Chipotle will soon open in the Seaside Village Center in West Ocean City – right across from the West Ocean City Park & Ride. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant is next to a brand new Mattress Warehouse store and just a few hundred feet away from a new Chick-Fil-A Restaurant. Chipotle is planned to open later this month.

When locals became aware that a fast-food restaurant had signed a lease on the property in April 2012, there were many mixed emotions about the introduction of yet another chain restaurant in the Ocean City vicinity. Community members seemed to be upset about the thought of another quick, pop-up restaurant intruding. Many were concerned that this fast-food establishment would take business away from local family-owned restaurants. However, when some found out that a Chipotle was claiming the new spot, their opinions changed.

Chipotle is a company devoted to providing Food with Integrity. What does that phrase really mean? Watch the video below to understand:

This film, titled Back to the Start, was created to depict a story of a farmer as he battles with the pressures of becoming a mass-producing meat plant and then opts for a more sustainable way of farming, business, and life. This short, animated feature was created for the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

By serving Food with Integrity, Chipotle is serving the very best sustainably raised food possible while paying a great attention to taste, nutrition, and value. Chipotle believes in supporting and backing family farmers who respect their land and the animals that they care for.

On the Chipotle website it reads, “We are committed to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment, and the farmers.”

Chipotle only uses naturally raised animals that are brought up in a humane way, fed a vegetarian diet, never injected with hormones, and are allowed to display their natural tendencies. The meat products used (including pork, beef, dairy cattle, and chicken) have all come from ranchers and farmers who have been doing things the ‘right way’.

The standards are high, but Chipotle is looking for local farmers who meet their qualifications.  Local farmers who focus on responsible or sustainable practices are wanted. Currently, Chipotle plans to source their supplies from qualified farms that are all outside of the peninsula. The company hopes to help family farms from disappearing or being purchased by large corporations who don’t always follow the best guidelines. The Eastern Shore is covered in great farm land in which the company should take note of.

Over the last several years, Chipotle has contributed more than $2 million to help fund initiatives that support sustainable agriculture, family farming, culinary education, innovation, and eco-friendliness that promotes better food.

As a business, Chipotle has been thriving. People are attracted to their sustainable and healthful ways. The company does a great job raising awareness about concerning food issues. Currently, approximately three new Chipotle locations open each week.

The West Ocean City Chipotle will employ about 30 people. These 30 individuals will serve as liaisons of the Chipotle lifestyle, constantly striving to satisfy the company’s standards. For more information, visit the Chipotle website.

All photos from the Chipotle Mexican Grill Facebook page.