Front Page OS Calendar Section

Orlando Sentinel

Dandelion is my first love. You can imagine how good it feels to be the poster child for guilt free dining in Central Florida. High five to Heather McPherson for her brilliant cover choice for the calendar section of the Orlando Sentinel on the first Friday of the New Year. Indeed, 2013 is already feeling amazing, what with a revamped menu launched for us on the first followed by this bringing in loads of new folks in our doors, and maybe a few who had been in once or twice before but remembered how much they missed us and came back for more.

I had a really fantastic conversation with a gentleman in the 50+ bracket who had recently become vegan. I was intrigued by this sudden about-face so far into the game when folks are supposed to be set in their way, especially since I’ve noticed it being a bit of a trend for this age group. He was talking about the 40 plus pounds that he lost really quickly, how fast his digestive system improved, how clear his mind was, how much more energy he had and how good he felt. What inspired the change? I asked. He mentioned that he just read books and started learning about the China Study and said he just never knew what he was doing was unhealthy for him. It was simple: he got informed and made a pretty radical change. The words: “when you know better, you do better” rang through my head.  I could just tell he had a renewed zest for life.

Today, I hear three different accents in three different rooms, brought Giddyup’s out to people of every color, age and income bracket. I was reminded of my original business plan. Under “target audience” I listed: everyone. That wasn’t realistic, I should narrow it down and tailor it to one demographic, I was advised. Well, I knew who the early adopters would be, but when you talk about community, which is what we aim to cultivate, we talk about everyone – and with everyday, our patrons become more diverse, harder to describe in demographic terms. That is what success looks like to me.

To my mother, success is being in the paper. Thanks for having those tea parties with my as a little girl, mom. Those innocent moments meant to subversively teach me manners, inspired more than you could have ever imagined. Even if the manners weren’t always up to snuff!

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