Cultivate Café: An ‘off beet’ local eatery

Savannah Vasquez
Shane Morris and Joyce Sedersten are the faces behind Cultivate Café.

The earthen green building and a patio lined with freshly potted plants are a fitting touch for brand new local eatery, Cultivate Café. With the slogan ‘Off Beet Local Eats,’ restaurant owners Shane Morris and Joyce Sedersten told The Log they hope to bring fresh, locally sourced food to the table at their new Destin restaurant.

“We are trying to do a complete farm to table concept,” said Morris. “We are trying to promote community by supporting small businesses; As much as we can we do local.”

Although born and raised in Destin, Morris has spent the past eight years between living in Colorado and globetrotting; a lifestyle he said helped develop his love for fresh food and community sustainability.

“Knowing where your food is coming from is what is most important,” said Morris. “Certified Organic does not necessarily mean it’s the best for you… It’s about good food and knowing what you put in your body.”

 Sedersten, the chef behind Cultivate Café, studied culinary arts in Colorado and Nutrition in Road Island before traveling to Central America to cook in a work-exchange program. Now, coupling her love for all things tasty with her knowledge of healthy eating practices, Sedersten says she has her own unique twist in the kitchen.

“I like fresh and I really believe in not changing food from it’s natural form,” she said. “A whole food diet is what your body thrives on.”

The couple said the idea to open a fresh, farm-to-table restaurant in Destin came largely from discovering a need for good vegetarian options in the area.

“I came home last year for a visit, and my friends and I went out to eat and could not find vegetarian food anywhere,” said Morris. “I ended up cooking a lot while I was here for me and all of my friends.”

Although Cultivate Café will not be strictly vegetarian, Morris said there will be plenty of options from hearty, cooked meals to large delicious salads available for those who abstain from meat.

“This is a vegetarian base, if you will,” he said. “But we do get our meat locally from Arrowhead Beef. It has no hormones, and no antibiotics.”

With locally sourced produce and meats, Morris said the menu will change often depending on what is in season.

“Our produce is always different from week to week, and that’s what we like, the seasonality of things,” he said. “We are not going to have a set menu, but it rotates as the season rotates.”

But, he assured, even with a rotating menu, there will be some menu constants.

“Our staple will probably be our beet salad with grapefruit, goat cheese, red onion and roasted beets and an herb citrus vinaigrette,” he said. “Also our shrimp tacos are a mainstay, they are to die for.”

On opening day, Wednesday, Cultivate Café already boasted a wealth of local food sources including Ocheesee Creamery, City Produce, Acker’s of Strawberries, Sereni Tea and Capriccio’s Coffee, but said they are always on the lookout for new venders.

“Everybody’s been really supportive on this local sourcing,” said Morris. “I think it’s really what everybody’s been looking for.”

Cultivate Café is located at 529 Harbor Blvd. #101 and is currently open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information visit Cultivate Cafe LLC on Facebook.