From the sidewalk, it looks like a run-of-the-mill sleepy health food store. Inside, the vibrant café is winning hearts (literally) and brimming with imagination. It’s like a winning trifecta — tasty food, beautiful food, food that’s good for you.
“Our whole idea was just to showcase vegetarian and vegan food that’s exciting,” said Food For Thought’s Blair Shiver, who co-owns the shop and eatery with husband Michael Nealis. Indeed, the café seems to be eating up more and more real estate in the shop in Gulfside Village. “We’re going to be looking at expanding our ‘grab and go’ options in the next few months,” she said.
The café’s vision is driven by the talents of Shiver, Nealis and Kiki MacIntryre, who said that before she began working in the café seven years ago, had “no idea where the kitchen was in my own house.”
But then, one day, her two daughters became vegetarians.
“I asked myself, ‘What am I going to feed these kids?’” she said. And so she embarked on an education that turned into a calling.
The food is really inventive. Shards of coconut meat take the place of fish or conch in the coconut ceviche. (It’s delicious.) Vegan sausage puts the heft in the breakfast tostada served on a gluten-free, seeded tortilla served with a Mexican slaw. (Wow!) Avocado toast is elevated with a handful of fresh sprouts. (Yum). Of course, the clientele also gravitates to the smoothies and shots of healthy go-go juice called Wheat Grass Shots designed to snap a body back into balance.
The café is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Sunday (look for more hours during high season). It’s located in the Gulfside Village between Anthony’s boutique and Salon Blanco. The telephone number is 305-743-3297.