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Among the Flowers revamps menu
May 17, 2017

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Among the Flowers is a step above when it comes to the raw vegan food movement. The cafe, which celebrated three years in the Tahitian Gardens Plaza last month, was founded by Chelsee Joel when she was only 21-years-old.

Her mother, Jolie Black and Joel's husband, Kenny Schmidt, provide a helping hand in the cafe as well. She considers the two of them her strong support system.

"By working with my mom, I'm able to see the woman I want to be," Joel said.

Joel has been eating a plant-based diet for the last decade. Among the Flowers' menu is comprised of smoothies, herbal lattes, wellness shots, juices, teas, coffee, "toasties" and desserts. Everything on the menu has been concocted by Joel herself.

Everything Joel offers on her menu is organic and non-GMO, so you can feel good about what you're eating. She said she does her best to seek out local ingredients. A large portion of the produce Joel gets for her cafe comes from Worden Farms - an 85-acre certified organic family-owned farm that is based in Punta Gorda.

"We try our best to source local 100 percent organic and style our menu with the seasons," Joel said.

Joel has been testing out her menu for the last three years to see what works and what doesn't. Most recently, Joel has added specialized juice cleanses, a new toastie which consists of toasted organic sprouted bread with coconut oil, coconut crystals, cinnamon and smoked coconut flakes. Among the Flowers has also added kombucha to their offerings - their special blend of kombucha isn't quite like anyone else's.

"We do an all herbal-infused brew of kombucha, with organic honey called, "Jun," and it's phenomenal plus it's not carbonated. We don't carbonate our kombucha because I've found through my healing studies that carbonation actually pulls calcium from our bones," Joel said.

By this fall, Joel hopes to have a kombucha tap system installed in the cafe after they undergo some renovations this summer. She also plans on making the kombucha in bulk so customers can keep it on hand at home. Joel also hopes to add a wellness boutique to the store where she will launch her personal care brand, Conscious Seed.

Above all, Joel said she sees her cafe as an educational tool for residents in the community. She hopes that Among the Flowers inspires others to eat well and take care of themselves.

"We're here to educate you," Joel said. "We feel to eat this way and to go to a place like ours where everything we do is organic and researched for its highest nutritional quality does cost some money, but it's supporting the community in the same sense. Really none of this is for profit, it's all for supporting the space and allowing the space to help bring wellness to people of all levels."

Aside from giving back to the community in a health sense, Joel's mother has also given back to the community through her art. Recently, Black has donated a few of her pieces to Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Lee Memorial Health System.

Among the Flowers is located in the Tahitian Garden Plaza located at 2003 Periwinkle Way. For more information, call (239) 312-4085. For their full menu visit their Facebook page or go to loveamongtheflowers.com.

Among the Flowers can also be found on Instagram: love_amongtheflowers.

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