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”


Chasing Fresh Produce Market encourages “eating by the season” with bounties from Alabama farmers

corteThe Corte family’s farming ventures began in Baldwin county over 120 years ago when Arthur Angelo Corte purchased land in South Alabama and started farming with the help of his seven children. In 2012, Chase Corte started his agriculture adventure by combining his business background, farming contacts and sales experience to find the freshest, highest quality food that is available. It started out in the back of his truck as a delivery venture. Chase would find out what farmers were growing and had available to sell and send out order forms as to what was available that week. He would gather what had been harvested and because of lack of storage, immediately deliver to customers. It wasn’t long before that process became a logistical nightmare. That spurred the need for a market. He wanted to have a place where people could come look at what was in season and available to them. Chase and his wife Wynter opened Chasing Fresh Produce Market on Highway 181 in Fairhope. They were in that location for about a year when they were courted by the owners of Windmill Market. It made perfect sense. A fabulous venue filled with like minded vendors and patrons right in the heart of Downtown Fairhope. They made the move this past November and the response has been amazing. The redesign of the space lends a more open air feel and increased traffic and sales have allowed the Corte’s to be able to bring more farmers to the proverbial table. Chasing Fresh is 100% Alabama. While the majority of the produce they carry comes from Mobile and Baldwin County, they are reaching out to some of the northern parts of the Alabama for items that might not be available in our local area.
In addition to seasonal fruits and veggies, Chasing Fresh carries dairy products (milk, eggs, cheese), meats, grains, honey and more. Some is certified organic and most all of their growers use organic practices. They know all the farmers personally and can give details about each item.  They also provide residential and restaurant delivery. Market hours are Monday-Saturday from 8am-5pm and also on Sunday.   Chasing Fresh Produce @ Windmill Market, 85 N. Bancroft Street, Fairhope  (251) 517-5800 • Facebook “Chasing Fresh”