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Finding a healthy meal in an unlikely place

Published On: Jan 03 2014 05:21:33 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 03 2014 07:59:47 PM EST

The only one of it's kind.


With today being January 3rd, it's day three of eating healthier for many of you.  We found an unlikely place where you can do just that.

You won't find much of an argument; when made right, a salad is one of the best meals for you.

"A lot of people are trying to eat healthier nowadays," Mark Mathias says.

At a salad bar in Roanoke County, they have it all.

But, this isn't your average salad bar, it's in a gas station.

They installed the salad bar at the Stop-In Foods on Starkey Road back in March. It's the only one of the convenience store chain to have a salad bar.

The area used to be an ice cream bar.  Even store managers and employees were apprehensive about the change.

"At first, I was kind of on the fence about it. But it's done ten times what I thought it would do," manager Mathias said.

"I just looked at it like, "What's going on?" I have no idea why a gas station would do that," quipped employee Matthew Payne.

Managers say even in the off months, they're doing at least 40 to 50 a day.

"Typically, at least two or three days out of the week," is how much Chelsea Settles comes in.

"I thought it was a great idea, we've had food here in the past. I'm a hot dog man some days and a salad man the others so today was a healthy day, today was a salad day," Leon McGhee said.

The normal array of foods you'd expect to find in a gas station are still here.

But there's nothing normal about gas and fresh-made salads in the same place.

Mark Mathias said, "They're like, 'I never expected to see something like this come out of a gas station, or thought that food like this could come out of a place like this.' Well there is."

On average, the salads are six bucks each, and if you're a member of the nearby gym, the Roanoke Athletic Club, it's 10% off; a bigger incentive to stay healthy.