Hi Everyone! We know you have LOTS of questions.
In a “nut-shell”; the founder of Body & Soul Cafe, Kellie Akehurst, has sold the lease & building contents at the 9331 N. Tamiami Trail, Naples location. This was for personal reasons, that respectively, we will not disclose here. Kellie had wanted to keep the business in caring hands- to carry on her mission of providing a safe resource for people with food allergies, dietary restrictions & plant-based beliefs. She has graciously handed over the Body & Soul Cafe business to her Chefs, Christy Boyer & Ashleigh Kendall. My name is Gene Allsworth (Christy’s partner in life & now business 🙂 ) I have over 25 years experience as an award-winning Chef, former restaurateur & hospitality consultant. I will be handling the business side, while the Vegan Chefs handle the food.
Before joining Body & Soul last November, Christy has over 10 years of restaurant experience-including as former Head Chef at “The Garden Grille” in Pawtucket, RI. The Garden Grille is a highly regarded vegetarian/kosher restaurant where she developed new menu items & managed the kitchen in a very busy location. She was also the Sous Chef at “Celestial Cafe” in Rhode Island (An award-winning farm to table restaurant.) Ashleigh has been with Body & Soul since the beginning. She is a highly skilled vegan baker and has been providing, along with Kellie & Christy, the fabulous food that you have grown to love. They are both extremely passionate about the food and the business couldn’t be in more capable hands.
New Location? Don’t panic Naples friends-We will still have a strong presence there. The hard reality is that the failure rate of new restaurants within 3 years, is over 80%. High overhead costs (rent, utilities, insurances, workers compensation, etc.) and slim profits with just food sales (without liquor), make running a successful restaurant/cafe extremely difficult. That being said, we are approaching our business model a little differently. We have secured a commercial commissary kitchen (much larger that the Naples Cafe location with state-of-the-art equipment) in Fort Myers. We will have a physical presence at local farmer’s markets (including Naples). We are developing an online ordering system for you to order your favorites, meal plans, and cleanses. For a short time, we will be offering delivery service to your home/office, but we are exploring potential pick-up locations across Lee & Collier counties. (We need to expand to new markets) We will be offering more cooking classes at our Ft. Myers professional kitchen, and could even have them at your home if you wish to host a cooking class party. There are a few other special additions that we are still exploring, and still finalizing many details. More news will be coming soon.
The phone number has remained the same, (239) 682-3663. Our Facebook page and website will be constantly updated. And we STRONGLY encourage you to join our mailing list for updates & special offers. Please call with any questions or to order food. The website will take a few days to get setup, but we are STILL making food 🙂 Give us a call!
Again, we wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Kellie for this amazing opportunity, and to you, our loving customers for your wonderful support. We have had so many well wishes over the past few days and truly THANK YOU for everything! Wish us luck!
All the Best,
Christy, Ashleigh & Gene