ZEPHYRHILLS — Iris Ivanac values healthy, fresh food, but she also values flavor. So last year she opened Terra, a family-owned and operated restaurant that fuses them.
"We're trying to promote a healthy lifestyle — a healthy lifestyle that does not compromise taste," said Ivanac, 33.
She has owned and operated restaurants all her life, as the daughter of restaurant owners. Prior to Terra, she owned a Zephyrhills pizza parlor. But her brother's health inspired the fare at Terra, which opened in December.
Her brother has celiac disease, she said, which is a gluten intolerance. Her family learned to create meals that accommodate for that. And that's what Terra can do, too, she said.
"People think it's going to be this big ol' bowl of kale, and nothing else," said Ivanac.
But, she says, it isn't.
The menu features seasonal ingredients, and meals for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans.
"After you eat (at Terra), you don't have that 'Oh, I'm so full I can't walk' feeling," she said. "You feel satisfied, but you feel energized."
That, she said, is part of the lifestyle Terra aims to promote.
The restaurant seats 120 and also offers takeout. Its most popular options are salads, soups, smoothies and seafood. The staff uses organic ingredients and makes the meals fresh, which allows for flexibility.
"That's the beauty of the concept," said Ivanac. "Everything is freshly made. We can add or eliminate any ingredient."
That means, she said, that Terra can cater not solely to the health conscious consumer, but also to the consumer whose health and well-being depend on special diets.
"No one will ever have to leave Terra hungry, saying they couldn't find anything on the menu," said Ivanac. "If it's not on the menu, we will make it for them."
Terra is at 6834 Gall Blvd. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For information, call (813) 355-4862.