Where you can get clean, wholesome meals and treats that just so happen to be plant-based...
I spoke with Nikki Quan manager at Delicious Raw, and we touched on the humble beginnings of the local health spot and their mission for inclusively clean and wholesome food.
It's not outlandish to say that if you aren't vegan, it can be intimidating to step into a local vegan cafe and feel like you don't belong. As if someone can sense you aren't one of them– or maybe they can just smell the bacon and eggs you had for breakfast that morning. Either way, the point is that although many vegan / vegetarian cafes are welcoming, it's easy to feel unwelcome even before stepping in merely due to stereotypes placed on different diets and lifestyles nowadays.
However, this is not the case with Delicious Raw. Beside the name of the place, it's easy to let it slip your mind that you're eating at a plant-based restaurant. The menu is extensive, and the atmosphere is calming and warm. "We'd love to be the place for when your vegan cousin comes to town", says Quan. The kind of place that nobody has to sacrifice taste or preferences – everyone eats. She added that the menu is highly customizable, and merely serves as a template. "It's always your meal", she says.
But after going there myself, I'll be stopping by whether my vegan cousin is in town or not! They have homemade almond and coconut milks and a variety of smoothies, juices, lattes, sandwiches, and snacks. They only use natural sweeteners like lucuma, honey, maple syrup, and dates. Their menu is great for any time of day whether you're a breakfast or lunch person, so you can get your gluten-free high-protein waffles or a Pad Thai, up to you. It's a place where you can get deliciously clean food, that just so happens to be
Deliciously clean food, that just so happens to be plant-based
The employees themselves feel welcome in other ways as well, according to Quan. She left a high-stress hospitality work-life to find a place she would actually want to walk into every day and truly want to be her best (and not get phone calls at 5am every day). That's when she met Flemming and Jason, owners of Delicious Raw, and loved their business outlook and the way they treat their employees. She said that working at Delicious Raw, she finally feels like she is working with transparent people who care about their employees and maintain high, but reasonable standards.
I was able to try out a few dishes at the Sunset Harbor location in Miami, but the restaurant has it's humble beginnings in Naples, FL. Flemming Madson retired from his career in Denmark and decided to move to Naples to raise his family. There he opened a brunch cafe and decided to add on a menu for juices and smoothies, and he in love with the idea of putting something good into the community rather than profiting off of people's declining health. They were against artificial ingredients and chemicals from the get-go –so they were basically the anti-thesis of Jamba Juice and Smoothie King...
"...he fell in love with the idea of putting something good into the community rather than
profiting off of people's declining health"
After they gained popularity within the community, Madson partnered with Ben Steiner who helped him build more restaurants around Naples and fine-tune their menu to include more healthy food options. From there they opened a location in Davie and then Sunset Harbor, and there is a new location set to open up in Wynwood. And according to Quan, each location gets more and more charming.
I can vouch for the charming part of the Sunset Harbor location. As soon as I stepped in I thought to myself, "Yup, this is the kind of place I can sit down with my laptop for hours and get some work done." And after trying their insanely delicious Golden Milk Latte, that thought really started looking like a plan.
Right now Delicious Raw is working on maintaining their current locations amidst the pandemic (the Davie and Sunset Harbor locations are the only ones that have survived), creating their new location, and are looking to work on their coffee menu and develop some new smoothie and latte recipes. I'll be the first one to sign up for menu tastings if the new items are anywhere as good as that Golden Milk latte...