PHOENIX — True Food Kitchen, a healthy-focused restaurant chain, announced on July 11 that Oprah Winfrey made an equity investment in the company and will extend her insight to support the brand's national expansion.

Winfrey will also join the board of directors to collaborate and consult with True Food Kitchen's leadership team.

"When Ms. Winfrey and I first sat down to discuss her potential investment, I was impressed by her genuine passion for the intention behind True Food," said Christine Barone, chief executive officer, True Food Kitchen. "My hope is that her passion and investment will continue to develop our growing brand to allow even more guests to experience a better way of eating."

Oprah WinfreyWinfrey was first introduced to the brand by Bob Greene, her trainer and a guest on her former talk show.

"I love bringing people together over a good meal," Winfrey said. "When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team's passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company's future." 

True Food Kitchen was founded in 2008 and now operates 23 restaurants in 10 states. The company projects to double its store count in the next three years.

True Food Kitchen is looking at East Coast locations in New York, New Jersey and North Carolina, in addition to expanding its existing presence throughout Florida, Maryland and more. Still to come in 2018 will be the addition of two new locations in Nashville, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida. The restaurant brand currently has 3,000 employees nationwide.