After making a decision 3 1/2 years ago to follow a healthier diet, Wendy Welly now is offering a menu of vegan and vegetarian items at her restaurant in Tiffin, Phoebe's Healthier Options.
Welly said her change to a vegan/vegetarian diet brought about numerous changes in her life, and opening Phoebe's has enabled her to share "that there are healthier foods out there."
After embracing the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, she said, she lost weight, had a clearer complexion and generally felt better. She said her husband also began to eat vegan/vegetarian foods and saw a decrease in his cholesterol.
"When you decrease animal products," Welly said, "you notice health benefits."
Eating a vegan/vegetarian diet, she said, means foods are gluten-free, non-dairy and free from animals fats.
In accordance with those guidelines, she said, Phoebe's menu includes wraps, pasta, rice, smoothies, soups and more. A children's menu also is available, Welly said.
Welly said she is thinking about expanding the menu, and possibly adding daily specials and desserts, as well as punch cards for frequent customers. That expansion, she said, likely will happen after she finishes fully training Phoebe's staff in vegan/vegetarian food planning and preparation.
Welly said many of the recipes and foods at Phoebe's have been dishes she has created, and others have come from online recipes she has tailored to make her own.
Bringing those creations from her kitchen to a restaurant menu, she said, was "a heck of a jump."
Phoebe's opened in April, Welly said, and serves a diverse group of customers. Many people, she said, originally tried Phoebe's out of curiosity and now are regular customers who enjoy the menu of healthier options.
Phoebe's is at 138 S. Washington St., and Welly said she chose the downtown location for its convenience and because she likes the "old style of the inside." The restaurant offers dine-in, carry-out and call-ahead service, and prices begin at $6.50. A variety of packaged, storefront items also are available for those living the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle at home.
Phoebe's is open 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Welly said she is considering adding evening hours one night a week. The restaurant also is open during special events, she said, such as farmers
Welly said a website is being created for the restaurant. Now, she said, information about Phoebe's can be found on Facebook. A ribbon-cutting is planned for 11:30 a.m. Friday.