A New Beginning for GustOrganics
So here's our story in a word: seven years ago we were ahead of our game in the world of health food, however, times have changed and so have the facts about what is considered healthy and environmentally sustainable.
First and foremost, GustOrganics believes in Organic food. We believe in "Organic" in every sense of the word. Plants should be grown organically, animals should organically eat what they crave and live in their natural organic environments. People should eat what organically works best with their bodies, and humans should organically socialize over long healthy meals. We've done amazing work in the Organic world but as I mentioned earlier the standards for what is "Green" and sustainable have risen and so shall we.
Our Vegan Journey began where most vegan journeys do: with education. Incredible films like Cowspiracy, Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, Meat the Truth, Food Inc and books like, "The China Study", "Eating Conscious", "Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating", and "The Way We Eat" have made the GustOrganics family realize that just being organic isn’t enough. Therefore, we needed to turn the wheel on our business by 180 degrees, also known as, economical suicide.
GustOrganics has been a revered organic Paleo restaurant for seven years. We’ve essentially catered to the arch nemesis of vegans and raw-foodies. Our roots and our limbs were watered with Paleo beliefs and practices and suddenly we’ve ripped those roots from the ground. To our devout supporters this was an act of betrayal, but to GustOrganics, it was an act of liberty and freedom.
Besides going plant based for the logical reasons like a drop in food cost and the lessening of our carbon and water footprints (by a lot) there is a freedom that we can’t really describe. The best way that we can describe it is by saying that we feel cleaner, simpler, and more honest about everything we do. No one has to die in order to enjoy his or her experience at GustOrganics and that just feels good. The energy there is beyond pleasant. There is less confusion for the servers because our identity is so much simpler and our guests know exactly what to expect when they come. Also, the dishes have more flavor! Instead of trying to flavor a tasteless chicken or meat with plants and herbs, we are using plants and herbs to flavor something that’s already flavorful in its natural state and the result is simply delicious.
We are not here to say that if you eat meat then you are bad. Every person and business has its own journey and we need to respect that and hope that they will become more and more conscious with time, but insulting and fighting is not effective and only makes people and businesses defensive. With millions of people leaving animal products behind, we are certain that others will eventually follow our lead but we need to provide them with resources and positive examples in order to do so successfully. Our goal is to help other restaurants take the leap just like we did at GustOrganics and see that the communities that support such change will not let anyone fall or fail. We want to show other restaurants that it is a bold and modern move to make and only good things and good business can come of it.
Since the leap, we can honestly say that we’ve not even seen a drop in sales. The feedback is amazing and it’s as if we’ve been born again and have another opportunity to do good and help the planet. We look forward to what tomorrow brings because the connection between food and health is becoming more and more known and we cannot wait to be a part of this growing movement.
Our journey does not stop here, however. As of this moment, we have 51 vegan dishes and 3 meat dishes. "How could we have a vegan launch party and still have 3 dishes?" you might ask. Here is our response. We told you that we did "economic suicide" because we betrayed the clients that keep our doors open. We definitely see more support from the vegan side but it's not enough to keep us afloat. These dishes still sell way more than anything else and at the end of the day they allow us to pay rent. We've done our part and now our supporters need to create a supply and demand relationship that calls for zero animal products.
How can you help? You can dine at Gusto and order vegan dishes. You can blog about us and spread awareness so that more vegans order from us. You can write good reviews on yelp about our vegan story. There are a million and one ways to tell us that you support this decision but at the end of the day we are not mind readers so we need to look to the numbers to see which dishes are selling the most. With your help in the vegan-sphere those three dishes will be gone by January 2015.
Please share our story and help other restaurants become pillars of the health food movement.
Photos Diary of our Transformation
January 2009: Daily Menu
Signature/Most Popular Dish in 2012
July 2013: Daily Menu
February 2014: Valentines Day Menu
July 2014: Meatless Monday Launch
September 2014: Crowd Funding Campaign to hire a professional vegan chef starts
October 2014: Our vegan chef training begins
November 2014: Our Vegan Launch Party
November 2014: Current Menu