Rootz – Fairhope’s new Nutrition Kitchen is giving people what they want and need

IMG_4335Tony Tkac is a medical professional who truly understands the process of disease. On a daily basis he specializes in emergency medicine and witnesses how diet and lifestyle contribute to one’s health. That along with his personal goals, spurred Tony’s desire to delve into the world of nutrition. All the research he did subsequently ignited his passion to not only further educate himself but others as well. His findings unveiled how food affects our bodies on a cellular level and that we as a people are basically nutrient starved.

Initially, Tkac began with the idea of a food truck but he knew he was going to need physical help with the day to day operation of such. With the help of Fairhope Fitness owner, Eddie Henry, Tony was connected with Ms. Sofia Fly and that set the wheels in motion for what is now in place.

Sofia grew up in this area and started cooking as a child when her Guatemalan mother presented her with a microwave cookbook. She perfected her egg making skills, then moved on to fudge and taffy in her own “kid kitchen”. Her first paying gig included learning how to roll sushi at Doug Kerr’s Dragonfly Cafe. “He really opened my eyes to a lot of cool culinary skills” says Fly. Sofia moved to Birmingham and was able to get her foot in the door with Frank Stitt at Chez Fonfon where she worked for five years. As an employee, she had access to his other restaurants, Highlands Bar & Grill and Botega. She immersed herself in learning French cuisine and enjoyed recreating dishes at home that incorporated her own touch. Sofia lived and worked on and off in Birmingham for thirteen years which included time spent learning Thai cuisine from Nepali owners at Surin West and a two year stint in Hawaii. When Sofia started working for Whole Foods her interest and attitude about food and nutrition shifted. She has always wanted her own business. When she moved back to Fairhope, she started teaching cooking classes on an individual basis and by word of mouth became quite busy as a private instructor and chef.

As soon as Sofia and Tony met they became fast friends. For the past 18 months Tony has been physically building out the space and everything else for their concept, Rootz – Fresh Local Eats. Their recently opened Nutrition Kitchen in Fairhope has been designed to get people back to their roots. In addition to educating the public, these two individuals wish to provide the healthiest food in the most convenient manner.

Rootz uses local farms, sustainably grown produce and Sofia can accommodate any special dietary need. The foods and beverages contain no processed sugar and everything that is prepared contains ten ingredients or less.

The menu varies from week to week but Rootz offers a variety of prepared eggs, muffins, bowls, wraps, parfaits, burgers, salads and soups. Protein choices include fish, shrimp, grass finished beef, pasture raised chicken and pasture raised eggs. They also prepare
sides, sweets and snacks from the freshest ingredients possible. You can drink your nutrients with a variety of cold pressed juices, nut milks, Kombucha on tap, coffee, tea and flavored water.

The hours of operation are Monday and Tuesday, 7am until 5pm and Wednesday and Thursday, 9am until 7pm. Tony and Sofia invite you to open your mind and your stomach and join them in the quest to choose a healthier lifestyle for a better quality of life and longevity.

Rootz • 209 A South Section Street • Fairhope • (251) 270-7120 • Facebook “Rootz”


Fairhope’s Newest Coffee Shop, The Fabled Brew cultivates “a story in every cup”

CoffeeCoupleThere are amazing things happening in the world of coffee, and this couple has set out to share their knowledge as well as learn from others along the way. Although their journey as shop owners has just begun, their travels and experiences are what have gotten them to this point. Jennifer Lindsay and Darryl Gonzales are creatively pairing their passion for coffee with a unique business model that celebrates regional differences. Fabled Brew is the name of their business because “there is a story in every cup.” With a Master’s Degree in History, Jennifer has identified coffee as one commonality of most every individual on the planet. “It transcends race, religion and socio-economic boundaries,” says Lindsay. “People from all walks of life can enjoy coffee.”
Darryl’s career in sales and marketing, along with the knowledge and experience acquired from growing up in his family’s restaurant business, helped harness the direction and timeliness of the launch of their business. It’s a beautifully unique combination of what each partner has to offer, and together they offer the community artisan brews from around the world. Fabled Brew opened in February after much research and training. Barista classes and coffee conventions were part of the mix, and every product that they use in their shop was hand selected for a specific reason. To ensure the freshest coffee possible, the roasted blends are supplied by Fairhope Roasting Company. The single origin beans come from a small roaster in Louisiana that ships directly. The coffee is brewed as ordered, and you won’t find any artificial sweeteners at this establishment. It’s agave nectar, honey or stevia that they offer. Their syrups and milk are all organic. Coffee and coffee drinks offered are espressos, lattes, Americanos, Javacicles (an iced blended coffee), the coffee of the day and Green Bean Refreshers – a refreshing fruity beverage with a caffeine kick – made from unroasted green coffee beans. The Refreshers are available in Valencia Orange or Wildberry Mint. They also offer several signature coffee drinks that have become fast favorites with their regular customers. They are always experimenting, so look for more to follow! You won’t find traditional coffee house snacks like muffins or bagels either. Fabled Brew has their own culinary creation called the Oublie that can be enjoyed in a sweet or savory manner. It is a tubular, stuffed, unleavened waffle served with a dipping sauce. Oublies can contain Conecuh sausage, pepperoni, ham & cheese, PB&J, spinach & artichoke or strawberry or blueberry & cream. On Saturdays the bacon, egg & cheese Oublie is added to the menu. Fabled Brew coffee is also available by the pound. There is a drive through window where you can place your order, or you can call in and pick up your order at the drive through if so desired. Fabled Brew is open Monday through Friday from 6:30am until 8pm and on Saturday from 7:30am until 7:30pm. The Fabled Brew, 21180B State Highway 181, Fairhope  (251) 928-2566 • Facebook “Fabled Brew”