American Express and The National Restaurant Association recently hosted its 2019 Restaurant Industry Awards Gala in Washington, DC.  Great Full Gardens, among four other Reno restaurants known for their healthy menus, received a Restaurant Neighbor Award for community service, winning in the small business category. The restaurant was recognized for its partnership with RootED, a local grassroots nonprofit that provides schools, veterans groups and other nonprofits with greenhouses. The program aims to teach individuals, especially children, the benefits of being able to grow and eat their own food. The partnership’s long-term plan is to provide at least one greenhouse or more each quarter as the program grows. By providing schools with a potential means to earn funds by selling their produce, the program encourages self-sufficiency and creativity while engaging kids in a healthy, productive pastime. To date, Great Full Gardens has donated three greenhouses, with a fourth ready to go. These greenhouses have enabled students to grow enough greens and vegetables to offer “Free Salad Fridays” at their schools and launch a student-run Seedling Sale that raises money by selling starts from the gardens. Great Full Gardens encourages customers to get involved by donating $1 to RootED with the purchase of specially designated menu items.

Since its opening in 2013, Great Full Gardens has been dedicated to supporting and nurturing their community by sharing their passion for locally sourced food and passing on the love of growing food to the new generations.  They have made their name with dishes that inventively mingle healthy, organic, sustainable ingredients with flavor, eye-appeal and a concern for dietary restrictions. 

Great Full Gardens is the first Nevada restaurant to win a Restaurant Neighbor Award. It was rightfully recognized for donating nearly $35,000 to its community programs and charities with cash and in-kind donations, for the past five years.  They have also established numerous programs to benefit local charities and nonprofits. Events such as “Celebrity Chef” night invites a member of the community to create a special menu for a night with proceeds donated to the charity of their choice, including Fireman’s Assistance Program, Step 2, Animal Welfare and more. In addition, they created a program that allows schools to hold their fundraising events at the restaurants, volunteer with the Rise & Dine group to feed the homeless and regularly donate food to many local nonprofits and schools. 

Participants of the Restaurant Neighbor Award are awarded $10,000, which Great Full Gardens plans to donate to RootED. 

The first Great Full Gardens opened in Midtown Reno in 2013. The next year saw Great Full Gardens Express come to the University of Nevada, Reno. In late 2016, a third location debuted, this time in the Smith's center on South Meadows Parkway. A fourth spot, The Kitchen by Great Full Gardens, opened in August 2018. The Kitchen is a grab-and-go spot featuring a salad bar, a selection of hot soups and entrées and Gino the Soup Man line of frozen vegan soups and meals.