Paninis Plus brings healthier options to Minot

Ashton Gerard/MDN Mall goers wait in line at the recently opened Paninis Plus Friday at Dakota Square Mall in Minot. The location opened Aug. 1.

With a nursing background, Kim Gravseth has seen countless people struggle with finding and choosing healthier options. With the support of her family and the validation of serving great food, Gravseth decided to open Panini Plus in the Dakota Square Mall food court.

“Seeing people come in the hospital or they’d be sick with diabetes or maybe some other sort of autoimmune stuff and their eating habits really affected how they felt,” Gravseth explained. “I know how food works and I know what food you need with what kind of disease processes going on with the body.”

Paninis Plus provides the community with a restaurant to go to for gluten-free options, organic meals and tasty smoothies. The spot opened on Aug. 1.

“This is pretty much everything I serve my family at home,” Gravseth said of the menu. “Now they just have to come here if they want to eat.”

Gravseth noted that people who don’t eat their food like it’s medicine will be eating their medicine like it’s food, so she hopes to give people on the go a place to eat that would be better than stopping through the drive-thru.

“It’s not fast food, we’re not a McDonald’s or Burger King,” Gravseth noted. “We don’t have stuff sitting in a warmer so it does take a minute to make a panini or something fresh.”

As the name suggests, Gravseth and the team serve paninis and house sandwiches but she packs more into the menu than meets the eye. There are also a variety of soups, salads, desserts and even pizza. She also has a juice bar for shakes and smoothies packed with fresh ingredients.

“I worked really hard with my vendors to get as many options as I can here,” Gravseth said.

In addition to the organic and gluten-free options, Gravseth said they also have a vegan sandwich that people are surprised by.

“A lot of it is the same stuff, but it can be a wrap, a sandwich or a salad,” she said.

Going into the food court wasn’t necessarily the goal for Gravseth, but it opened up as a convenient place to start her business.

“Some things are easier than others,” Gravseth said. “Getting the space was easy — it was vacant, it was right here — but getting in to see if everything worked and getting people out here at the same time to get it fixed was difficult.”

Getting the crew up to speed was a challenge, but now after two weeks of being open, Gravseth is confident in her crew and the work they do to produce fresh, healthy meals. Because the mall location might be difficult for some people to get to, Paninis Plus offers delivery through Bite Squad and they have a full menu available online if people would like to call and order ahead.

“It’s been pretty fast and furious,” Gravseth said of her restaurant so far. “It’s been busy but I have a great crew and I have great managers.”

She also said the community has embraced the business so far which she appreciates. Dyess Media set up the menu and display for Gravseth and adds an extra creative edge to the new Minot spot.

To learn more about Paninis Plus, visit their website at paninisplusminot.com or visit them at Dakota Square Mall.