Customer Focus

Fighting Burrito, Ames, Ankeny & Des Moines, Iowa
An Interview with Matthew Goodman, Owner

Fighting Burrito logo, a plane with the words Fighting BurritoThe Fighting Burrito is a popular burrito restaurant with locations in Ames, Ankeny and Des Moines, Iowa.  The Fighting Burrito is actively involved in its local communities, and has made fresh, healthy and delicious meals its trademark.  We talked with owner Matthew Goodman about what makes The Fighting Burrito so special and why he uses Iowa Choice Harvest foods in his recipes.

How did you get involved in cooking?  Could you describe your career path to your job now?
I have always loved science, systems and processes. My passion for food came first from my passion for work (detasseling and fast food cook). As I learned more about food, agribusiness and how the way we eat shapes the world, I began applying my science and system passions to the way we delivered food to our customers.

Tell us a little bit about The Fighting Burrito.
We serve fresh and fulfilling Northern California-style burritos. All of our ingredients, from our salsas to our sour cream to our proteins, are prepared by hand from scratch daily. Our customers need a fast meal that will make them feel good. We believe that just because our food is prepared quickly doesn’t mean that it can’t be fresh and nutritious.

Corn salsa in containers on a small plate

The Fighting Burrito’s Spicy Corn Salsa with Iowa Choice Harvest corn

Why did you begin using Iowa Choice Harvest products?  What types of dishes do you prepare using our foods?
We are a small chain of stores, and as we grow, our scale allows us to make improvements to our foods that are good for our customers and the planet. We see local food as supporting the farming culture of Iowa, keeping our money where we live, and making healthier products for our customers. Our Spicy Corn Salsa is a great example. We saw the corn available from Iowa Choice Harvest and loved that is was a locally grown product. And, it is corn: it doesn’t get any more Iowa than corn, so we decided to replace our commodity corn with this value added local corn. It is working out great!

What do you like about using Iowa Choice Harvest foods?
We love to use Iowa Choice Harvest foods because they are the freshest and because the products didn’t have to travel a long distance to make it into our restaurants. We strive to make positive choices about our impact on the climate through our delivery fleet, which includes electric vehicles. Using Iowa Choice Harvest foods furthers that mission because the products come from Iowa producers who often live just down the road.

A burrito on a white backgroundWhy have you made Iowa-local foods an important part of your business?
We take pride in shopping locally and supporting Iowa’s economy. And we are proud to be a locally-owned business ourselves. Iowa is a great place to live, a great place to farm, and great place to do business. Our customers like to know that we support Iowa’s farmers and that we take care to source the highest quality foods to serve to hungry Iowans.

Anything else you’d like to share?
We work to support our local food systems, to protect the environment and to support Iowa companies. Our partnership with Iowa Choice Harvest is a great example of that!

The Fighting Burrito has three locations: 117 Welch Avenue in Ames (515.292.2222), 309 13th Street in Des Moines (515.288.4144) and 502 N. Ankeny Boulevard in Ankeny (515.963.8667).  Visit the Fighting Burrito online (and place a delivery order) at or

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