June 1, 2023


Be Inspired By Food

Leafy Bar delivers healthy eats to Lindale Shopping mall

Salmon salad with LaToya Wright’s “secret seasoning blend” is on the menu at Leafy Bar situated in the Lindale Mall Food items Court. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — For some great cooks, giving away food stuff is the commence of a financially rewarding organization design.

That’s partly how Leafy Bar, a new place presenting healthy eats in the Lindale Mall Food Courtroom, was conceived. Operator LaToya Wright was just minding her personal company, putting up on Fb photos of the meals she beloved to make at household for her children.

“I started off cooking from home and I would article just about every dish I would cook dinner,” she said. “People would question if I could market the plates.”

Working from dwelling devoid of permits, she experienced to decline. But right before very long, the force to be her own manager was also substantially to resist for the previous Arby’s shift supervisor.

Just after supplying absent one particular of her signature salads, the floodgates opened.

“It commenced with a single nurse at Mercy Healthcare Heart. She questioned if she could invest in a person, which she couldn’t,” Wright reported, nevertheless producing her food stuff at dwelling. So the Leafy Bar owner gave it away.

“The upcoming working day, I had 12 nurses wanting a salad,” she explained.

Immediately after acquiring her feet moist with some catering gigs, Wright jumped into the food stuff court docket ft initially, filling the mall’s previous Subway booth, many thanks to her friend’s encouragement.

If you go

What: Leafy Bar

Exactly where: Lindale Shopping mall Food stuff Court, 4444 To start with Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids

Hrs: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday by Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday midday to 6 p.m. Sunday

Get in touch with: (319) 431-4451 Leafy Bar on Fb

Facts: Positioned in Lindale Mall, foods at Leafy Bar can be eaten in the foodstuff court docket or taken as carryout foodstuff also can be ordered for supply by means of DoorDash

“I feel I strike a gold mine,” she explained to herself just after a lot more Facebook posts proved her food’s recognition. “I’m going to acquire it. I’m going to give it a try out.”

Like many tales of new dining establishments opened by enthusiasm, the seasoned cafe employee — but freshman restaurateur — has located herself applying her passions as a new source of earnings.

“I enjoy cooking, that’s my peace of head,” Wright explained.

Despite the fact that she’s also recognised for more classic soul meals — Philly cheesesteak egg rolls, jerk rooster egg rolls and cornbread bowls — the emphasis of her area in Lindale’s food stuff court is on wholesome meals that however has soul. With a new gymnasium opening up coming doorway in the mall, she noticed an possibility to put a new spin on wholesome foods as she turned a new leaf, opening Leafy Bar on June 25.

“Mainly, no fried meals,” she with Leafy Bar.

Even though her salads attribute a wide variety of meats and toppings, she also offers a novelty you are going to be hard pressed to obtain in lots of other dining places: fruit flavored pickles.

Using her aunt’s recipe, these pickles choose on an solely new flavor profile that is not an exaggeration of their labeled flavor. Bitter apple, pineapple, tropical punch and strawberry are just a couple of of the flavors that increase a sweet, crunchy punch to her choices.

“I want them to experience the flavors. I want almost everything to come out in the flavors I use,” Wright reported. “I want them to style the like.”

The operator also is regarded by loyal patrons for her hoagies built with a exclusive oil applying vinegar and herbs. Inspired by Household of the Hoagy in Chicago, she employs thinly sliced onions, banana peppers, cheese and mayo to bring a regional twist to the classic.

The warm corned beef sandwich, 1 of a number of scorching sandwich choices, also is common. Salads are priced at 10 to $15 and sandwiches are $8 to $10.

With cooking inspired by her mother, she is operating to stay true to her mother’s all-from-scratch type as she perfects her salad dressings.

“I just don’t forget her getting up all evening with her towel higher than her shoulder and cooking,” Wright said. “She always produced every thing from scratch. I can not recall my mama utilizing a boxed nearly anything.”

Although Wright’s preliminary vision for Leafy Bar was as a salad bar, which had to be repackaged with the pandemic, she even now has a vision for a thing more, calling her food items courtroom opening her starter restaurant. Shortly, she hopes to open “Leafy Bar and Far more,” a entire salad bar with lunch specials that can showcase her capacity to prepare dinner soul meals.

With fair lease, decent site visitors stages and a very good area between Cedar Rapids and Marion, she said the place has proved to be a very good incubator for her business so considerably.

“I wake up in the morning from time to time and I just cannot consider it,” said Wright, 40. “I have a restaurant. I simply cannot wait for it to improve.”

Leafy Bar opened June 25 at Lindale Shopping mall in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Salmon salad with LaToya Wright’s “secret seasoning blend” is provided at her cafe Leafy Bar. Photographed at Lindale Shopping mall in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

A turkey hoagie is topped with a exclusive oil blend and served with chips at Leafy Bar. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Buffalo chicken wrap is among the solutions at Leafy Bar, which focuses on healthful foods. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

LaToya Wright is demonstrated Aug. 17 at her new Lindale Shopping mall restaurant Leafy Bar. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

LaToya Wright stands in entrance of her cafe, Leafy Bar, positioned in the Lindale Mall Meals Courtroom. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

LaToya Wright is the operator of new Lindale Mall restaurant Leafy Bar. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

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