Nessa Campbell says she’s heard from many people who are excited about her plans to start up a “funky” raw-vegetarian café in Richmond.
The 55-year-old raw-food chef told the Georgia Straight that she’s aiming to open Rawk the Planet (240-12240 2nd Avenue) in Steveston in early October.
“There’s not enough raw restaurants out there,” Campbell said by phone from her nearby home. “They’re all in Vancouver.”
Campbell initially looked for a location in White Rock before settling on a small, second-floor space in Steveston.
She first got into raw food seven years ago. Then her husband got prostate cancer, and they both shifted towards a more natural, healthier lifestyle. Now Campbell eats a 95-percent raw diet.
“I love raw food because it’s protecting the Earth,” Campbell said. “It’s saving animals. It should be part of everybody’s life. It’s just kind of a way of life, and it’s the healthiest way to eat. It preserves all the enzymes in the food.”
At Rawk the Planet, she plans to serve “lots of wraps”, burgers, pizza, spring rolls, kale salad, crackers with hummus or guacamole and salsa, and other “traditional raw food”. For breakfast, there’ll be granola and blintzes. Desserts will include apple pie, chia pudding, and chocolate mousse. A few cooked items, such as soups and yam salad, will also be on the menu, which is still a work in progress.
As for drinks, the café will have juices, smoothies, wheatgrass shots, coffee, and organic tea. Campbell will also make what she calls “Monkey Milk”—a non-dairy beverage made with almonds, chia and hemp seeds, and banana—in chocolate and green flavours. Plus she’s working on “Jell-O shots without the Jell-O”.
According to Campbell, Rawk the Planet’s menu will be free of dairy, eggs, wheat, and soy. The café’s offerings will be primarily vegan, but raw organic honey will be an ingredient in some desserts and be provided as a sweetener option for tea.
Campbell has plans to teach beginner raw-food classes at the café, as well as to hold a monthly dance night. She hopes to obtain a liquor licence in order to serve vegan and organic beers and wines.
“It’s going to be different than other raw-food restaurants, because we’re not going to be so strict,” she said.
Campbell maintained she has no doubt that Rawk the Planet will be a success. She even envisions turning her small café into an international franchise.
“That’s why I called it Rawk the Planet,” Campbell said, “because that’s what we want to do—rock the planet with healthy food and healthy living.”