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.
Pulse: Chatter: Business: Vernon Goes Green
A former banker shakes up the salad world
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, June 2008