By now you have heard from a friend of a friend that is a co-worker’s cousin’s friend that is NOT VEGAN about our famous veggie burger. Yup, its true. It is the bomb. Come try it out on Tuesdays when it is $5.
2018 is a great time to be Kale Cafe, because the future is plant foods and no one can argue with that. Whether you have been a loyal customer since our days at the farmers market, original location, Ormond store that is no longer there or our new Port Orange location. . .we love you!
Being a trailblazer and entrepreneur is not easy, its blood pulsating through your veins that keeps you chasing after your dream and with each failure and mistake you feel, not defeated but closer to your dreams coming true. I would say that sums it up. It seems like just yesterday we made our first $100 at the farmers market and had 3 children in 2011. Fast forward to 2018 and here we are with 6 children and 2 restaurants with over 12 employees.
The journey has been so demanding that updating this blog has not been a priority but instead survival and keeping pineapples and kale in the store, along with running my children to their weekly activities has taken over. But now. . . with 4 kids in school for the first time in their life, that leaves me with only 2 babies in the day, which is a piece of cake. HA. No, but honestly, I am in a position to now focus on marketing and working on my business and growing it, rather than scrambling in it all day long. Can I please get an AMEN?
So setting goals and budgets, working with people smarter than me, chefs that actually went to culinary school and can help us with unit costs, making recipe books, creating systems, bottling our salad dressing, creating new sandwiches, sourcing local produce and buns!!! PROGRESS.
These things all take time, and sometimes the pain of failing. . .but pain is temporary. Solutions are necessary and must happen quickly to experience success and staying positive and not being crippled by mistakes and fear.
What am I proud of? I am proud that my husband and I opened the first Black Owned Business in the history of Beach St. and have been there over 4 and half years. Please note we had no prior experience in running a business and he worked at McDonald’s and I worked a summer job in the village in NY at a juice bar. That was the extent of our food experience, oh but we both had been vegetarians for over 2 decades and loved healthy food. So with that, we made the beginning of our dreams for providing a legacy for our family, start to come true. . .and we are a work in progress.
I am proud that I sell products that are NON-GMO, and sometimes organic and local and continue to strive for more ways to make healthy eating more affordable. I am proud that my kids have been homeschooled while growing this business, right beside me and their dad learning with us. . . all about running a company. I am proud that I love the food my cafes serve and that we don’y serve people anything we wouldn’t feed our own greedy and growing children. Fondly, referred to many as “the tribe”and rightfully so, there are 6 of them and no one thinks we are done. LOL. No comment.
Proud that although we had to close a store which was hard for us to do, because of our pride, we did it to move forward and did not give up or quit. So, whats next for Kale Cafe? Well the sky is the limit and each day we keep growing and getting stronger and building a solid foundation. I smile at this, because we are resilient and I now know that that is a big part of being successful.
To you and your dreams, I say go for it. The world needs what God has put on your heart to bring to the world, and nothing can stop you because the universe want you to be successful. Will it be easy? Will you cry and fail miserably sometimes, um I guess you could call it that, but we call it growing pains and everyone has them. Judah cries from the pain of his teeth coming in, Zion cries if he can not find the words to say his feelings, Kofi cries when his muscles aches from training for the track team, Tandiwe cries when she falls off the beam in gymnastics, Fela cries as he struggles how to balance his kindness in a mean world of being a young Black man, and Amali cries as she tries to make sense of navigating the teen years. Omar and I cry too, by ourselves, together, and its okay. All the tears are okay and normal. In order for a seed to come out the earth, the ground has to be tilled and broken up, then the rains come and then the seed can begin to grow.
Life is just like that, isn’t it? So 5 years later. . . a blog update, the first of weekly ones, because consistency is so important.
Camille, Omar, and the tribe
Hard work pays off after all, that is the lesson we are teaching our children. We are the Brown’s of Beach St. 116 N.Beach St. in Daytona Beach, FL.
We were the Brown’s of Brooklyn, but for those of you that do not know our story . . .we moved here after Omar (Farmer Brown/ Smoothie Mon) got laid off. So we really took lemons and made lemonade, and to that we added carrots, apples, ginger and bananas and kale and made smoothies. LOL. We work hard and are visionaries. Both our families are from Jamaica, as a matter of fact Omar was born there. Our food pays tribute to our grandmothers and mothers who love fi cook!!! Our food is best described as Caribbean Vegan Cuisine.
MENU SMENU :
Our philosophy on food is simple, we do not like processed foods and avoid them. We use organic as much as we can and are always trying to get more organic foods as well as local food. Currently we use organic tofu, wheat, corn, carrots because they are often genetically modified and we say no to GMOs! We try not to fry stuff and we use food that looks like food and fresh ingredients that take a million hours to prep because they taste better, so we do it the right way. We cook what looks fresh when we go shopping or what is on sale, or what seems good for the unpredictable Florida weather. Simply put, our menu is evolving as we see what our customers most enjoy.
We feature daily specials with 2 entrees each day and all meals come with our kale salad and usually another salad.
Entrees: Brown Stew Tofu , Baked Jerk Tofu, Jerk Seitan, Lasagne, Curry Chik’n , Raw Jerk Nut Meat, Scrambled Tofu, Jerk Mushrooms
Sides: Mac n’ Sheese, Brown Rice and Peas, Yellow Brown Rice with Black Beans, Curry Daal, Curry Chana and Pumpkin, Roasted Potatoes, Millet
Soups/Stews: Red Stew Peas, Chili, Split Pea Soup, Lentil Soup, Corn and Pumpkin Soup
Salads: Kale salad, Tabbouleh, Pickliz Cabbage Salad, Millet Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, Greek Salad
Sweet Tings: Scones, Cupcakes, Raw Pie*( once a week)
Smoothies & Juices
If you need to know exactly what we have and hate surprises, that’s okay follow us on Facebook and Twitter or call us the old fashion way. . .
Kale Cafe Juice Bar & Vegan Bistro on Facebook
116 N. Beach
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Other news,we are going to have a New Year’s Eve Party Family Disco!!! Also coming in 2014 weekly cooking classes, daily juice cleanse and meal plans, West African Dance Classes, and a Organic CSA pickup and delivery club at our shop. Along with Smoothies & Movies once a month, free lectures, and much more ways to have fun and get yourself and everyone you love healthy.
The big day is near, check out Omar and I reflecting. . .
A New Baby. . .
Yes our new baby is almost here, the contractions are getting closer together and I am feeling the urge to push. I am telling you, this store is our new baby. Kofi came two weeks after his projected due date, there is our time and God’s time. I prefer God’s time so as eager as I am to get the doors open, I am also understanding of divine order.
In the interim, everyone keeps asking the question of the day, when is the baby coming, or rather when are we opening? I feel bad because I thought we would have been opened already but There are so many little details that are being taken care of now that I personally overlooked.
We will get our leasehold improvement grant from the city today! Which will allow us to purchase our POS (point of sale) system that tracks everything we sell, inventory, etc. and works with an Ipad and a square. It’s sleek and very efficient. We also have to get an oven, we only have a three top gas burner now.
Omar painted the countertop red and it looks beautiful. Oh we passed our electrical inspection and have three more to go. Woo hoo. The bathrooms are being tiled today,and that was the last major thing that needed to be done. The floors and walls throughout the entire 3600 sq ft massive place are all painted and stained with one million coats LOL.
I am going to look for a changing table and a bathroom vanity today. Call me if you have a wood changing table ASAP.
We have our menu board going up today as well as wall art/decor. My favorite part obviously. I got to print and laminate our juice cleanse and meal plan package signs.
Also we just got another juicer so we have two big fancy juicers now, enabling us to be at an event and still have the store going eventually, when we have enough man power that is. Also ordering packaging, more blender jars etc.
So lots of last minute details but all coming together. As for balancing my family life, making sure everyone gets a physical etc, because who knows when we will have another free day. Also going to take my kids on a field trip and get a romantic date in with Omar. For at least a year, my family life as we know it will be very different, but we know sacrifice and we are ready for it. Please keep us in your prayers and be patient a little longer.
We honestly are doing the best we can and going the fastest we can, it is all new to us and has been an exciting adventure. My mom said to me this morning, do you realize you are going to be cooking every day, all day? LOL.
Please visit us tomorrow (Saturday 9am-2pm) in front of our store, rain or shine for so yummy vegan food and smoothies. The baby is almost here. Thanks for all your love and gifts, see you soon.
Also we are making our space as green as possible, including a lot of reclaimed wood. We want to purchase solar panels and have a rain water catch system. For those of you that at are carpenters and handymen and women, please reach out to us if you can do some in kind work. We seriously could use an electrician. We are also taking reclaimed wood. We need bar stools and solid wood tables. Is there a plumber out there?? We are doing a shabby chic look so if you have some solid pieces that may work in the space, let us know. We have 3600 feet to decorate. Last but not least if you can sew or reupholster stuff, please call us. We got 20 chairs donated and want to make them look funky. My cell is 3476617179 so please give me a call, you can also call our business phone (386)227-7393.
We are going to make this great together so thank you for your support, it takes a village.
Love The Browns
First let me say thank you to my customers, seeing people try our vegan food and green smoothies for the first time and the things they say are my accolades. My family works hard but this work has been so rewarding and is fun more than anything. As you all may or may not know, before I became a self-proclaimed chef, I was and still am a filmmaker. So the fact that Hollywood glitz and glam did not appeal to me is no surprise, I am a lady who is rooted in family and community. I prefer to talk to one of my fabulous customers about seasonings and recipes than to be on a red carpet any day. I said all that to say this, I LOVE YOU and thanks for your support. Who knew my passion for cooking and my husband’s love of growing food would start Midtown EcoVillage, but it did!
Midtown EcoVillage is now going to present to you our very first juice bar and vegan cafe. Yes I said, you cheered us on, you waited patiently, you did not get mad when your brown stew tofu spilled everywhere en route home because of our inexpensive but eco-friendly paper trays got soggy. You stuck with us and you came out in the rain, in the winter, in the hot days of summer and you were loyal, You made us realize we were on to something and that you needed us just as much as we needed you. We became family. The Farmer’s Market was our training ground, talk about on the job training, but we did it, you all and us together, we learned and grew together and now . . .I present to you, our newest baby.
TRUMPETS PLEASE & DRUM ROLL. . .
Midtown EcoVillage’s Kale Cafe & Juice Bar
116 N. Beach St.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
If you missed it that is our new location. One of you lovely customers saw my sign at the market and pulled me aside and asked if we still needed help, investors, etc. Well, God Bless our angel that gave us a loan for $10,000.00.
Okay and if that was not exciting enough we already signed the lease!!!!! No we are not kidding, we have claimed this and we are giving it everything we got. This fall, Midtown EcoVillage, doing business as Kale Cafe Juice Bar will open it’s doors on Beach St. is part of the Beach St. Renaissance.
If you are not excited yet, get excited. Watch the video which another one of our fantastic customers has created for us and in exchange we give him a green mustache and his wife kale in her teeth. Yes, it has certainly taken a village to grow our business and we still need and value your help and input.
The plan is as follows: We still need to raise an additional forty thousand $40,000 bucks and if 200 people give us 100 bucks we are half way there. We are also seeking contributions from corporations and other organizations. There will be many rewards for the monies and/or in-kind services and goods donated. So help us so we can help make this place as awesome as ever, because we need it and Daytona needs it.
Check out our kickstarter link below and give what you can, if you have no money to give, tell a buddy to help out a good cause and remember you can always donate carpentry, electrician, painting, etc. services. You will receive a letter thanking you for your contribution for your tax records.
Spread the word, share the links on your facebook services, chat us up in the bathroom at your job, tell your employers you want them to be a sponsor so we can make smoothies for your co-workers. Just do what you can to help get the word out, the more the merrier. We have to raise the full amount of money we need on kickstarter because if not, we do not get any money at all. Womp womp, but that will not happen. We are too strong to fail, so let’s go forward, we are a village and we can do this.
We Love You All and Thank You For Your Support in Advance!!!
Peace & Blessings,