Have you heard? Fred-Anthony Garza is opening a second Vegeria restaurant! Viva Vegeria opens this month at 1422 Nogalitos, just west of IH-10 and just south of Southtown. (See display ad on page 7.) Those who have enjoyed a few meals at the original Vegeria on Broadway know that each visit is an immersion in Garza’s amazingly simple (and also amazingly rare) concept: the passionate belief that prepared food can be both nutritious and delicious.
Garza is a culinary pioneer in the Alamo City, the first to offer a menu that is 100 percent vegan and glutenfree, from his Super Human Nachos to his delectable pastries, cakes and pies. Garza’s success after opening Vegeria about four years ago helped identify the local market of consumers who want healthier eating options. That success helped pave the way for other healthy-food-focused businesses like Sweet Yams on Cherry Street downtown (Facebook: SweetYamsOrganic), Pharm Table (www.pharmtable. com), which offers chef-prepared healthy meals that are delivered to your home, and Naked Coconut Eats (www.nakedcocunuteats.com), which focuses on healthy, flavorful chef-prepared Paleo meals that are now available in many local H-E-B stores.
Like many business owners and practitioners I’ve met through this magazine, Garza is motivated by a higher calling. He chose the location for his new restaurant in large part because of the community that surrounds it. When he talks about the new restaurant, his eyes light up about the larger space, the outdoor patio, and the ability to soon offer gluten-free beers and organic wines. But when you really want to feel his passion and emotion, listen to him talk about the cooking classes he hopes to offer and the connections he plans to make with neighborhood schools and community groups. “We want to be involved in the community and connect with children, schools and older residents,” he says.
“We want to show people there how to create delicious, flavorful Latino dishes that are culturally authentic and also much healthier. It’s something the community needs, and I’m excited to help people learn to make delicious, healthy meals for themselves.”
We certainly wish Garza much future success, and we wish the same for all local businesses and organizations that are focused on improving lives throughout our community. You’ll find many such businesses within the pages of this magazine.
May you and your family enjoy this wonderful transition month of August!