Food News

California Wrap Runner Launches Restaurant With DAWN Clinic Fundraiser

The California Wrap Runner has been a mainstay at Civic Center Eats.
The California Wrap Runner has been a mainstay at Civic Center Eats. Courtesy of California Wrap Runner
A food truck with a healthy mission has found a permanent home in Aurora. California Wrap Runner has been in business in Colorado since 2012, with two food trucks and a catering business that have served metro Denver. Leon Stamatis founded the company in Santa Barbara, California, but moved it to Denver five years ago to tap into the city's craving for fresh food on the go. And tomorrow, Tuesday, October 24, Stamatis will launch California Wrap Runner's first brick-and-mortar location, at 12348 East Montview Boulevard, on Aurora's University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Stamatis says that he has always tried to support local nonprofit organizations (including Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, the Denver Dumb Friends League, the National Sports Center for the Disabled and Amp the Cause, among others), and California Wrap Runner's opening day will continue that trend. Beginning at 11 a.m., the restaurant will sell wraps for just $2, and all of the proceeds will go to the DAWN Clinic (1445 Dayton Street in Aurora), a student-run free health clinic providing health care to Aurora's underserved population. Stamatis expects to go through about 1,500 wraps and will remain open until 3 p.m. or when the restaurant runs out of food.

click to enlarge These wraps have found a permanent home. - COURTESY OF CALIFORNIA WRAP RUNNER
These wraps have found a permanent home.
Courtesy of California Wrap Runner

After that, California Wrap Runner will be open from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, serving wraps filled with locally grown produce (whenever possible), housemade chicken and other fresh ingredients. A big new kitchen has allowed the company to move from deli-style chicken to poultry roasted in-house, which Stamatis says will also save food expenses, allowing the price for a wrap to drop from $9.50 to $8.50. Fruit smoothies with add-in health boosters (think bee pollen, whey protein and flax seed), a new line of breakfast sandwiches and full coffee service from a staff of baristas will also be part of the program.

"It's easy, healthy, walk around and don't-sit-at-your-desk kind of food," the owner explains, "with fresh, crisp, bold flavors."

The wraps are not unfamiliar to the 30,000 or so health-care students and professionals who work and study in the surrounding area. "We've always worked on the Anschutz Campus and have had a lot of success here," Stamatis adds. The counter-service eatery will have plenty of outdoor seating in addition to a small dining room, and there's also a rooftop patio, a rarity among fast-casual restaurants.

The two California Wrap Runner trucks will continue to operate with a focus on the Denver Tech Center, and the catering arm of the business will continue to grow with the extra kitchen space available. If you're planning an event and need wraps delivered, you can call 805-453-7777 or find menus and ordering information on the California Wrap Runner website.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation