Shine Cafe and Be Love Cafe appreciate their green(s). Chefs Lindsey Bolton and Brandie Michelle delight in seasonally fresh ingredients purchased at farmers markets to concoct their ever-evolving healthy recipes.
And for dessert, they’re confident Amy Bakes Cupcakes will satisfy an indulgent need for sweet but stay-in-the-zone nourishment.
Cupcakes healthy? Absolutely, says Amy O’Kane.
“I’ve always cooked, but four years ago, all I wanted to make was cupcakes. First friends would ask for weddings and birthdays. Some had guests needing gluten-free, so I had a new challenge. I loved the Secret Garden in San Luis and experimented with their spices.
“Two years ago the business became official when I found my commercial kitchen. I love it when my customers will suggest new products that create a healthy choice for customers with special food needs.”
Chocolate merlot, strawberries and cream, vanilla caramel, cardamom and orange, and bacon French toast are just a few of her flavors. O’Kane makes traditional, gluten-free and vegan cupcakes by special order at www.amybakescupcakes.com.
“But often I’ll get a call last minute when someone discovers they need a vegan or gluten-free dessert,” she said. “I can direct them to one of my partners like Shine Cafe in Morro Bay and Be Love in Baywood Park.”
Three years ago when Greg Barnard purchased Sunshine Health Foods, where you can find Shine Cafe, he recognized Bolton’s passion to tap into the special needs of her customers. Popularity keeps growing. It recently spiked after being featured in Westways magazine.
“I try everything I serve. Everything is made from scratch from the farmers markets and certified organic sources,” Bolton said. “My first favorite was the black bean taco.
“I just created a vegan tuna melt customers like. We cater to food allergies and mainly sell vegan and gluten- and soy-free options. Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes or our tofu scramble is popular.”
Be Love’s Michelle worked the farmers markets and taught for four years before the commercial kitchen at 690 Santa Maria St. in Baywood Park became available.
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to run a cafe, but commercial kitchen space is limited. I’m passionate about preparing high-raw recipes. Many menu items are not cooked.”
Being adjacent to Monday’s Baywood Park farmers market ensures her access to fresh ingredients. Like Bolton, Michelle enjoys making seasonal soups with organic ingredients and caters to vegan and gluten-free customers.
Her mission, posted at www.belovecafe.com, says, “We believe in love, sustainable practices, magic, voting with our dollars, quality over quantity, healthy living and conscience eating.”
Reach Judy Salamacha at email@example.com.