Eco-friendly

#38: Rawtopia – A Food-Inspired Spiritual Awakening

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Omar Abou-Ismail doesn't have your typical restaurant owner story. Originally born in Lebanon, Omar and his family traveled and lived throughout West Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Middle East, and eventually settled in Utah. After studying geophysics and mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, he began working with the U.S. Navy as a geophysicist. And then, in 2005, he opened Rawtopia. You could say it was a bit of a leap in career.

What started as a curiosity about the raw food movement became a passion, and his love for sustainability and care for the earth only fueled the flames. After he switched to a raw food diet, Omar began to feel more healthy, happy, and energetic. This new-found life style change felt akin to a spiritual awakening, and Omar wanted to share this feeling with the Salt Lake City community.

Rawtopia opened in Sugar House in 2005, and has become a staple in Salt Lake. Along with providing high-quality, healthy food, it also serves as an educational resource for people who are unfamiliar with what the raw food diet entails. Overcoming adversity, trials, and tribulations, Rawtopia has also celebrated many victories.

Join us as we sit down with Omar Abou-Ismail, and dive into his fascinating story, and all the lessons and changes that led to the creation of Rawtopia. We also learn what it means to eat raw food, and how the physical, mental, and sometimes spiritual benefits of a healthy and raw diet.

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

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#36: Amour Spreads - "And so we said, let's make jam!"

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Amour is the French word for love, and that's the perfect way to describe how the local jam company Amour Spreads began. It was in 2011 that John and Casee Francis were looking to start a new chapter in life. They felt they were in a rut with their careers and needed a change, or as they say in the episode… they wanted a sign: something that would signal to them what their next life chapter had in store for them.

It was when Casee and John were hiking in rural Idaho in the summer of 2011 that the sign they wished for appeared. Just not in the way they expected. A few miles from their cabin, they stumbled across a field with thousands of berries. Unable to stop themselves from picking them, they spent the morning filling bails with fresh-picked berries. But what do you do with thousands of berries when there's no way to bring them back to Utah? After some reading online, Casee and John decided to experiment with making jam. And that's where their new journey began.

Their first batches of jam were a hit. Friends and family loved their local, low sugar, high-quality recipes, and John and Casee's interest and excitement grew. Every new batch was an experiment, and what started as a hobby grew into a passion.

With further encouragement from their friends at Pago and Liberty Heights Fresh, John and Casee decided to take the plunge and grow Amour Spreads into a business. With a booth at the Farmer's Market, jam's at Liberty Heights Fresh and Caputos, and partnerships with Pago and Solstice Chocolate, Amour Spreads has quickly established themselves as an essential part of the Utah food scene.

Join us on The Utah Foodie as we sit down with John and Casee and learn how their humble jam interest grew into an award winning, state-wide hit. From the humble beginnings at an Idaho cabin to being a finalist in the Good Food Awards, the only way to go for Amour Spreads is up.

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visittheutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

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#33: Sage's Cafe & Vertical Diner - Vegan and Vegetarian Before it Was Cool.

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Vertical Diner and Sage’s Cafe are two leading restaurants in Utah that promote plant-based foods on their menu, with large offerings of exclusively vegetarian and vegan dishes. Today, vegan and vegetarian menu options aren't uncommon -- but 17 years ago, in 1998, it was rare... and the thought of opening a vegetarian-only restaurant in Salt Lake City seemed impossible.   

It was then that Ian Brandt, owner of Vertical Diner and Sage's Cafe, set out to popularize a non-meat diet (beyond tasteless leafy salads!) and provide better dining options for vegetarians and vegans in Salt Lake City. Brandt started with a small vegetarian, gluten-free food truck --thought to be the state's second-ever food truck to hit the streets-- and peddled his approachable vegetarian food at music venues and popular business locations.

After encouragement from loyal customers, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike, Ian Brandt opened his first permanent location. In the late 1990's, and named after Ian's firstborn son, Sage's Cafe was born.

Now today, 17 years later, Brandt runs two successful vegetarian restaurants in Salt Lake City at the center of a significant movement in the veganism movement. Tune in to today's interview with Vertical Diner and Sage's Cafe owner and chef, Ian Brandt, as we discuss why people choose a vegetarian and vegan diet, and talk about the horrors of modern day factory farming and animal cruelty. Join us.

Vertical Diner

801-484-VERT

http://verticaldiner.com/

2280 South West Temple, SLC

 

Sage's Cafe

801-322-3790

http://www.sagescafe.com/

234 West 900 South, SLC

 

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

#25: Allgood Provisions - Responsible Snacking

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Jake Boyd has always been passionate about organic food and environmental sustainability, but didn't know the best way to make an impact. After working full-time and moving to Park City to explore the famous Utah ski slopes, his childhood roots came full circle and he ventured into the food world. Having been raised by parents that grew up farming, the passion and drive to start a company from scratch that focused on non-GMO, sustainable, organic snack foods.

Hence began All Good Provisions, a local Utah company that has expanded to over 400 stores throughout the country. With products in Whole Foods, Caputos, and Liberty Heights, All Good Provisions has exploded throughout the organic food scene. With a focus on highlighting and working with environmentally conscious farmers, Jake and his small team have taken this idea and grown it into a company that is focused on providing delicious, healthy snacks that all are focused on a cause. With one percent of every sale going towards environmental organizations throughout the world, their products have a further reaching impact than the immediate nutritional benefits.

Jake has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their new product, The Oven Stoked Series, and are planning on rolling out more products throughout the state, and throughout the country.

Thank you for listening to The Utah Foodie!

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#13: Vive Juicery - All About Local, Cold-pressed Juice

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Vive Juicery is cold-press juice shop in Sugarhouse that makes fresh fruit and vegetable juices -- and it's the product of Brittany Thaxton's blood, sweat, and tears over the past two years.

And just this week, Vive is celebrating the grand opening of their second location in downtown Salt Lake City, right by People's Coffee on 219 E Broadway. So today we sit down with Brittany to reflect back on their last two years, starting all the way to their farmer’s market days, to their original Kickstarter campaign that got them the startup capital they needed to make Vive a reality, and all the way up to today, where they have 20 employees, two locations, and press a lot of juice.

Join us today on an episode of The Utah Foodie that takes us through all this and more with Vive Juicery owner Brittany Thaxton and our host Chase Murdock.

Vive Juicery

www.vivejuicery.com

801-824-9190

Sugar House: 1597 S 1100 E

Downtown SLC: 219 E Broadway

For more info visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, orTwitter.

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#4: Squatters - Doug Hofeling, A history of Utah's purveyor in craft brewing & eco-friendly food.

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Today on The Utah Foodie, our host Chase Murdock talks with the man behind Squatters: COO and General Manager, Doug Hofeling. Since quietly opening their doors on Broadway in 1989, Squatters has become a Utah staple in the restaurant and brewing scene. But when co-founders Peter Cole and Jeff Polychronis were getting started, their intentions were simple: they just wanted great beer, a friendly atmosphere, and a culture focused on quality, their community, and the environment.

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Squatters has always been successful, but the last five years have been explosive. In 2012 they announced a merging with their friendly competitor, Greg Shirf at Wasatch Beers, and the Utah Brewers Cooperative -- a massive brewing and bottling operation in South Salt Lake. They were also acquired by Firemen Capital Partners, a private equity group in Boston who wanted to invest in the craft brewing business and help Squatters and Wasatch combine and expand.

Today, Squatters boasts five high-volume brew pubs in Utah and ships bottled craft beer to 16 states. They've been listed as one of the Top 50 craft brewers in the country and hold 17 World Beer Cup awards, which is a feat only two other brewers in the US can also claim. As Squatters continues to expand and receive recognition for quality beer, many in our state feel they are representing Utah and shattering our historic reputation of not appreciating a great brew.

Importantly, Squatters has been able to maintain its commitment to a triple bottom line philosophy of People, Planet, Profit, that drives an emphasis on investing in the community as well as eco-friendly, ethical, and healthy food.

Join us in this episode as we further explore all of this and get to know Doug Hofeling, the man at the helm of this reinvented craft-brewing leader.

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Squatters' Website >> http://squatters.com/

Wasatch's Website >> https://www.wasatchbeers.com/

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