At Rawlicious, a new deli tucked inside fabric shop DelveMIY in Cedar Rapids’ NewBo district, customers can snack on key lime pie, taco salad bowls or burrito wraps.
That may all sound like typical restaurant fare, but at this eatery, none of the food has been cooked above 115 degrees.
Jessica LaFayette, who opened the cafe July 30 along with her husband, Tony, got into the raw food movement several years ago as a way to stay healthy, and she wanted to bring her passion to Cedar Rapids plates. The food she cooks and serves at Rawlicious is all vegan and all raw.
Instead of an oven, LaFayette uses a dehydrator and food processor to turn ingredients like nuts, seeds, coconut and other fresh fruits and vegetables into her own versions of tortillas for tacos and wraps, “not-tuna” for sandwiches and desserts like brownies, cheesecake and baklava, along with salads, vegan sushi rolls, smoothies and cold-pressed juices.
“I want people to know healthy can taste delicious, and that it’s not just lettuce,” she said.
Her “not-tuna” is made from a base of seaweed, sunflower seeds and sprouted almonds, and she makes sprouted onion bread with sunflower seeds in the dehydrator.
LaFayette, who also owns Brightside Wellness and is a massage therapist, learned her raw food cooking skills at the Living Light Culinary Institute in Fort Bragg, Calif. She also teaches raw food cooking classes.
She decided to operate her cafe out of DelveMIY after participating in an Open 4 Business pitch competition. DelveMIY owner Stephanie Brandenburg liked her presentation, and the two connected. The shop, in the former Brewhemia location in the CSPS building, already had a kitchen. Customers can take their food to go or can sit at a counter or at seating at the back of the shop.
LaFayette said she sees her restaurant as part of her mission to spread good health and wellness.
“Doing whole foods really goes together with all of it,” she said. “I just found people are hungry for eating healthy, and there aren’t a lot of options for vegan food, especially raw vegan, in this area.”
WHERE: Inside DelveMIY, 1101 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Saturday
DETAILS: (319) 560-5090 or Rawlicious.us