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Root & Bloom Celebrates One Year on Elmwood with Great Vegan Fanfare

Mother’s Day brunch menu

This coming Mother’s Day marks the one-year anniversary for the all-vegan restaurant Root & Bloom Café. On Monday, the vegan hub announced it will be rolling out their new “Southwest Summer” menu this Friday. The launch of the full summer menu will come to fruition by the end of May. To add to the excitement, they also began accepting reservations for Mother’s Day Brunch – and with their reputation for having a full house, you better call now!

When I first heard about Root & Bloom opening, I was beyond ecstatic. As a retired vegetarian-turned pescatarian, I’m always looking to try new vegan delights. Naturally, Root & Bloom was the headquarters for my adventure. I remember the long and worthwhile wait, as the gazebo was packed with excited patrons. I ordered the creamy and flavorful Edna – their house made mac and cheese with BBQ fried tofu and sautéed greens.

The Edna

Thankfully, as their menu rotates, Enda lives on #saveedna.

The husband-and-wife owners James Ernst and Sarah Sendlbeck originally thought Root & Bloom would be a three-month experiment with the possibility of permanency. They were overwhelmed with joy when they received such positive feedback. “We put our hearts and souls into the space and the food just to bring an experience that we enjoyed to our hometown with the little startup money we had. We were blown away by the initial out pouring of love we saw in those long lines during Sunday brunches,” Ernst said.

The back patio will hopefully open towards the end of May
R&B will slowly roll out their new “Southwest Summer” menu come Friday, with the launch of the full menu completing by the end of May

The birth of Root & Bloom took roughly three years. Upon welcoming their newborn daughter to the world, Ernst and Sendlbeck realized that the traditional corporate careers weren’t suitable for their family. The couple started out with “Improveged”, a vegan pop-up series. After taking a break for a year and travelling the country, Sendlbeck was called back to Buffalo to “bring vegan, plant-based food to people who really deserved it. Then the next six months were spent recipe testing before we realized we had a solid start to open Root & Bloom.”

“R&B has partnering with Sunset Farm in Wellsville, NY to bring in a majority of our fresh ingredients. Sunset farm is an amazing collaboration of ‘beyond organic’ farmers led by a vegan farmer.” – R&B

Sendlbeck created the menu. A majority of the current menu items was developed in their little house in Joshua Tree. The menu options were items that their close friends talked about missing when they transitioned to a vegan diet. According to Ernst, Sendlbeck isn’t one to “back down”, and welcomes the challenge of recreating classic dishes with fresh plant-based ingredients.

Notable for being a vegan-only restaurant in the Queen City – known for their chicken wings – Root & Bloom also donates monthly to local charities that support vegan causes.

Root & Bloom is located at 423 Elmwood. They are in the process of finalizing their beer and wine license, and will be featuring a new drink program, so stay tuned for some vegan food and booze to further tease your taste buds!

R&B will be closing Thursday, May 2nd (all day) to prepare for the soft launch of their summer menu. The café will reopen at 10am on Friday! 

Tips generated at the restaurant are dedicated to various non-profits. This week, the cause was pit bull rescue. 

Root & Bloom Café | | 423 Elmwood Avenue | Buffalo, New York 14222 | (716) 768-1878 | Facebook

Some photos courtesy Root & Bloom 

Written by Sara Ali

Sara Ali

Sara is a freelance writer living on Buffalo's West Side. She works full time in human services, part time in freelance, and is currently working towards her endeavor to create a nonprofit focused on telling the stories of the refugee and immigrant communities.

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