Growing up, Kirstin Coolman always knew she wanted to own her own business. Combining her entrepreneurship degree from the University of Tampa with a passion for health and wellness, Coolman launched the Tasty Roots eatery in Davis Islands July 22.
As an organic grab-and-go café, Tasty Roots at 218 E. Davis Blvd. features prepared items like grilled chicken and pico with veggies, vegan chickpea salad and signature Zoodles, a dish of organic beef meatballs, basil marinara and zucchini noodles. Sarasota’s Global Organic distributor supplies the produce that’s used in the eats.
Coolman, who says she’s very conscious of what she puts into her body, first started making and delivering these kinds of meals to clients out of a commercial kitchen.
“I wanted people to return to their roots,” she says. Translation: Forego processed foods.
There are house-made sauces, desserts and cold-brew coffees that call for organic fair-trade beans from Ybor City roaster Java Planet. The café also offers customized meal plans for patrons no matter their allergy or dietary needs, and plans to dabble in cold-pressed juices soon.
• In St. Pete, another healthful concept called Niryasa , a raw juice and organic takeout bar at 689 Central Ave., is already producing juiced creations, plus smoothies and iced teas, to complement its on-the-go grub.
The breakfast-vegan-vegetarian spot held its grand opening Aug. 3 and operates in the former gallery of 600 Block legend Bill "Woo" Correira. Many of the portable offerings, including broccoli slaw with acai yogurt dressing and sun-dried tomato gazpacho soup, are served in mason jars alongside sweet-tooth treats and make-your-own wraps.
• In case you haven't heard, Ybor City's Cephas' Hot Shop reopened July 31 at 1701 E. Fourth Ave. Owned by Cephas Gilbert, the restaurant, which CL contributor Kimberly DeFalco wrote about this past weekend, has ginger and tamarind tea, wine, beer and coconut water.
• Big Ray’s Fish Camp opened with a lineup of fresh seafood that includes grouper cheeks and sandwiches, shrimp corn dogs, po’ boys, deviled crab and doughnuts for dessert. At 6116 Interbay Blvd., chef Raymond “Nick” Cruz heads the kitchen of the Tampa seafood shack, and nautical decor is used throughout the joint’s interior.
• Also in Tampa, Westshore’s Curry Leaves , inside the old India’s Grill space at 4843 W. Kennedy Blvd., highlights authentic Indian cuisine, as well as Arabic and fusion dishes. Nearby at 3310 W. Kennedy Blvd., Japanese Kitchen Dosunco debuted its ramen specialties July 28, and the BubbaQue’s chain unleashed its latest barbecuery in Carrollwood at 12913 N. Dale Mabry Highway.