A sweet vegetarian cafe in Watauga has closed: The Healthy Hippie Cafe, which served vegetarian and vegan eats at 6600 Denton Hwy. for nearly five years, closed on August 23.
Owners Kelli and Darrell Myatt said they were closing due to the effects of the pandemic on their business. Despite the avid support of the vegetarian and vegan community, their cafe was not immune to the struggles faced by businesses dealing with the pandemic.
The couple first founded the cafe in 2017, after Kelli built up a following for her plant-based fare which she sold at the Keller Farmers Market.
They had a big to-go business in products packaged to-go such as smoothies, and hummus and dips in numerous varieties. Customers could also dine at the cafe.
They offered frequent specials such as Stuffed Fried Pepper Tacos featuring bell peppers stuffed with bean and quinoa, battered & fried, topped with greens, onion, and cilantro sauce, at a bargain price of two for $6.
They were a welcome vegetarian destination, but a restaurant offering that kind of food at such low prices would also require the support of its immediate neighborhood to stay afloat.
Leading up to the closure, they took steps that included cutting back on their hours. At one point, they were doing call-in and carry-out only. In November 2020, they put out a plea, asking customers to order a meal, buy a gift card, or stock up on pantry items like hummus and protein bars.
The couple closed the book with grace.
"We are so very grateful to have had the opportunity to live out our mission, 'To educate, inspire and empower people to live in optimal health through a plant based lifestyle' by serving you, our loyal community," they said on a Facebook post. "If you have been a guest and patron, we hope that you have felt the peaceful vibe, tasted our delicious food and beverages, and enjoyed the amazing view. We truly love what we do and we hope our passion was evident."
"Our cozy little cafe & bar endured many challenges, and prevailed through some very difficult times," they said. "This time, we bow in gratitude of all we have learned, all we have shared and all who have entered in to be a part of our journey. Please continue on your quest for real, transparent and organic food that tastes good!"
They're continuing to offer their cookbook for 50 percent off on their online ordering website page through Monday, August 30. And they're keeping their social media pages intact for questions, comments, and support.
"As we do not yet know what the next chapter is in our novel of life, we do know that we have more work to do," the couple said. "Stay tuned for updates on our next adventure."
Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story.