When Kate Straub decided to transition to a vegan diet for health reasons, it became quite clear that eating out in Mystic was going to be difficult, if not impossible.
So she decided to do something about it, and the result is the opening of Kate's Cafe on Broadway Avenue in Mystic.
"It was such a wonderful change, because not only did I feel better, but I found myself trying out things that I would have never tried," explained Straub of her change in diet. "I wanted to share this wonderful food with our community. There are so many things that are available that most don't even know about."
So when she found herself unemployed she decided to bring her love of vegan/vegetarian dishes to her hometown. Her cafe will be serving breakfast and lunch and serving Blue Bottle Coffee, which is "ground and brewed fresh while you wait," Straub said.
She explained that a vegan is a vegetarian who also does not consume dairy or eggs, no animal products at all. The restaurant will use almond milk in their cooking.
While Kate has absolutely no experience as a restauranteur, she has hired Executive Chef Gwenivere Lyon, a pastry chef with a degree from Johnson & Wales. Locals will remember her from her days at Puritan & Genesta Natural Foods, which closed last September.
"She has been invaluable for many reasons," said Straub. "She has tremendous experience and based on what is sitting on my stove it's just spectacular."
Although her husband, Brian, will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the cafe he was instrumental in helping Straub prepare to open for business.
The menu will include pancakes, waffles and tofu scramble wrap for breakfast and a fakin' bacon LT (vegetarian bacon) sandwich, a smoky chickpea burger, Portuguese Kale soup, a hummus wrap and root fries with sage and parsley for lunch.
"I was so happy this week when they finally opened," said Tricia Cunningham, president of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce. "I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years, so for me, personally, I'm thrilled. It's just a great healthy alternative for people to go and have a nice, relaxing, casual meal and know that it's healthy and everything that you are intaking is made with love and made with good healthy ingredients."
"You gotta come and try it," said Straub. "I feel very confident, very optimistic that this really is going to work. There is a market for it and frankly it's just wonderful food. Regardless of your food choices you will not walk out of here feeling unsatisfied."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Kate's Cafe
WHERE: 27 Broadway Avenue, Mystic
PHONE: (860) 245-5832
HOURS: Tuesday - Sunday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.