Mary Nguyen

Mary Nguyen

Olive & Finch
Denver, CO

“I love potatoes in every form. I think potatoes have gotten a really bad rap. They're actually pretty healthy.”

A Balance of Flavors and Textures in a Warm Niçoise Salad

I was working in high finance before I left to become a chef. With a goal to open my own restaurant, I worked at Starbucks in the morning, Happa Sushi during lunch and The Beehive in the evening for a year.

I opened Olive & Finch in 2012 because I couldn’t find chef-driven foods made from scratch in a setting that was easy and inexpensive. I was also having health issues and wanted to eat healthier meals.

Olive & Finch is part coffee shop, juice bar, bakery and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. You order at the counter and nothing is more than $16 dollars. We use fresh ingredients and enhance flavors without using a lot of butter or salt. Potatoes provide balance in a lot of our menu items, making them hearty and filling.

Our Niçoise Salad features mostly warm ingredients. The red potatoes and sweet potatoes complement each other. The Idaho® Red potatoes are crispy and have more bite, the sweet potatoes are more tender. Seared Ahi tuna elevates the dish. Tomatoes provide acidity while green beans and bacon add texture. A 140°F soft-boiled egg adds creaminess to the dressing. I like to have flavor and balance in every bite. I get satisfaction from feeding people what they want to eat and providing an experience that makes them happy.

Mary Nguyen’s passion to create healthy and affordable food led to the creation of Olive & Finch. The restaurant has been featured in Eater’s Guide to Fast Casual Eating in Denver and USA Today’s Best Lunch Spots in Denver. Nguyen’s “Dining for a Cause” program benefits local and national non-profits.