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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Black-owned café offers affordable, healthy options

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Restaurant owner and personal trainer Erica Bryant wanted to remind customers that embracing a healthy lifestyle is about more than choosing a salad over a cheeseburger. That’s why if a customer orders a smoothie at The Healthy Food Café, they are going to have to work for it. Bryant bypassed a traditional smoothie machine and invested in a blender bike, requiring customers to peddle their way to a refreshing treat. 

Bryant, who has a background in the medical field and has worked for 11 years as a personal trainer, is on a mission to make Hoosiers healthier – one client at a time. As a fitness expert, she started doing meal prep on the side for some of her clients. Eventually, the word spread and her business evolved into a food truck. 

“I started doing events to get people involved in exercising and eating healthy. I stopped working at the hospital to pursue this full time. We are still doing meal preps and helping people train at the gym, but our food truck has expanded and we opened a restaurant about seven months ago. We are trying to spread the world and get everybody healthier,” said Bryant.

The Healthy Food Café is one of very few local Black-owned restaurants of its type. They offer gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan options. Rather than simply serving food and sending customers on their way, Bryant helps customers create weekly meal and diet plans to meet their health goals and offers a meal prep and delivery service. Most menu options are under $11.00, including a $6.99 flatbread pizza, a $10.00 chicken quesadilla or a $10.99 shrimp stir-fry. The café offers all natural salads, chili, soups and desserts. According to Bryant, there are options at the Healthy Food Café to please a variety of tastes.

“I went to a food festival in New York and went camping in the woods and basically ate from the earth for two weeks. It was a really great experience. While I am not personally vegetarian or vegan I have done bodybuilding prep where I have changed my diet. We use all natural ingredients, but we offer food for everyone and find whatever is needed for that individual person,” she said.

In addition to running the Healthy Food Café, Bryant is a personal trainer at Core 9 Fitness Center and some of her clients who come to her for food prep also use her services as a trainer. Even though the Healthy Food Café is located across the street from a hospital, Bryant hopes offering a healthy option will keep her customers from having to take a trip across the road.  

“I have seen clients not only hit their personal goals, but pass them up an do better than they expected. When it comes to diabetes and high blood pressure, 99 percent of my clientele are off of their medications. I think that’s pretty rewarding and it is the reason I keep going. It’s great to see that what I am doing actually works,” said Bryant.

The Healthy Food Café is located at 8028 South Emerson Avenue (Suite F).

For more information on the Healthy Food Café visit thehealthyfoodcafe.com or call 317-476-2361. 

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