Pulse: Chatter: Business: Vernon Goes Green

A former banker shakes up the salad world

It’s only been a year since Commerce Bancorp founder ­Vernon W. Hill II was ­ousted as CEO (accused of too much bank biz with ­family firms — most notably the multi-­million-dollar deal with his wife’s design firm, InterArch), but he’s moved on to greener pastures — ­literally. In March, Hill became a honcho at Saladworks, the ­Conshohoken-based salad-centric chain. The move ­likely caused snickers among old rivals, but it’s familiar turf for the former moneyman, whose early ventures included a string of local Burger Kings (which he still owns). He went on to build the fastest-­growing bank in the U.S. based on his service-savvy B.K. model, and now America’s McBanker says a similar plan will supersize ­Saladworks from 91 to 1,000 stores by 2012. Well, that and the “fresh-­looking, sexy” new prototype — ­courtesy of InterArch. Talk about a meal deal.