Compassionate cuisine is making its way across the state of Florida, thanks to Choices Cafe. The organic, award-winning vegan chain just opened its fifth location in the Sunshine State — and that’s just the beginning.
Known for mouthwatering eats that appeal to omnivores and herbivores alike, Choices now has eateries in both Dade and Broward counties, four in Miami and one in Weston.
“Our mission is to inspire compassionate choices by serving food that is made with love for people, for animals, and for the planet,”says Lori Zito, Choices president. “We believe there is a gentler, kinder way of life. And by giving people the opportunity to choose plant-based food, we can help cultivate change with every meal we serve.” Profit isn’t the company’s main goal — love is.
The spots each offer fresh smoothies, colorful bowls, cold-pressed juices, hearty salads, and crowd-pleasing specials like chipotle nachos, the La Pixsa pizza, mac n’ cheese, baked goods — and pancakes, tofu scrambles, and soy-sage patties for breakfast. The Choices Cafe concept originated five years ago, founded by brothers Alex and Jorge Cuevas as a way to promote a compassionate, sustainable lifestyle.
In the long term, the team plans to have 100 locations across the country. In the short term, they’ll continue to expand across Florida.
“Our first out of state leap could be anywhere,” says Zito. “We prefer to allow the universe to guide us on this journey, and we are open to any opportunities that are presented to us. Regardless of the trajectory of how we get there, we trust we will reach our goal.”
Miami isn’t the city it once was when it comes to vegan eats. The area has evolved since Choices first took root. The region is now home to Seed Food & Wine Festival, a Matthew Kenney restaurant, and lots of other notable plant-based options.
“Since we opened our first location in 2011, we have seen significant changes in South Florida,” Zito says. “Mainstream grocery stores that didn’t even carry almond milk four years ago now boast plant-based ‘meats’, dairy-free ice creams, and a wide selection of non-dairy milk alternatives. In just the past few years, asking for things like vegan cheese at non-vegan restaurants no longer elicit a look of confusion, and many new plant-based restaurants have come onto the scene.”
As the first all-vegan eatery in Miami, Choices has been a key leader in the region’s plant-based movement.
“We’d like to believe that we’ve played some part in this rise of consciousness. And we are hopeful that this movement is only at its infancy, and will continue to grow and gain momentum. We are beyond grateful for all who have supported Choices and our mission so far. We currently are building our foundation, and we dare to dream big. We acknowledge the suffering that is occurring in our world today, and we are way too stubborn to let it continue.”