New vegan eatery Love in Action Cafe opened its doors this week, offering plant-based fare and nutrient-rich sea moss smoothies. The cafe, run by nonprofit Love in Action, claims to be the first vegan restaurant in the Tuckaseegee corridor of Charlotte.
The cafe is located at 4419 Tuckaseegee Road, on a property that has gone through major changes over the last year, becoming the center of controversy and local news headlines.
In June 2022, Love in Action Cafe co-founder Traci Jones was forced to shut down the Southern Comfort Inn that she had operated on the property after it fell into disrepair, displacing around 200 people. Then in October, Jones announced she would reopen the motel as a nonprofit, Freedom Community Outreach, with a stated goal of providing transitionary housing to veterans, seniors and people with disabilities.
Jones told WCNC in October that rebranding as a nonprofit allowed her more opportunities for government funding to accomplish her goals. Love in Action is a program created by Freedom Community Outreach, through which Jones and others hope to offer transitionary housing as well as wrap-around services for those taking part in the program.
Chef Renate Moore, resident chef at WBTV Charlotte and author of Just Eat: Pure and Simple Cooking, will serve as the cafe’s executive chef, and she’ll be joined by a rotating schedule of local vegan chefs hosting pop-up events in the cafe during Love in Action Cafe’s opening week.
The cafe’s menu varies from soul food to international cuisine, with all dishes featuring local, organic ingredients. Entrees range from $12-$16 and include Meatless Meatloaf, ChickJewl Curry, Soul Wraps and more.
The cafe will also offer grab-and-go bakery items and a variety of sea moss products from Love is Love Always, including smoothies, gels and body butter. Sea moss is believed to lower cholesterol, boost immunity, support gut health and serve as a rich source of iodine, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
“We’re passionate about creating a dining experience that not only satisfies your taste buds but also promotes a healthier, more sustainable way of life,” Jones said in a press release announcing the Feb. 13 opening. “We believe that everyone deserves access to delicious, healthy food, and we’re excited to bring that vision to life in our community.”
The cafe will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with sit-down dining and takeout service available. Following opening week, the cafe plans to host Zumba classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. and therapeutic art sessions every Thursday at 6 p.m.
Ryan Pitkin contributed reporting to this story.
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