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UT grad brings organic flavor to Davis Islands

Combining her passions for entrepreneurship and nutrition, University of Tampa graduate Kirstin Coolman, 24, opened Tasty Roots, an organic cafe on Davis Islands, in July.

"I liked the location because of the small community feel. It's still in South Tampa but it's such a tight knit community, they don't even have a grocery store," Coolman said.

The health food store and restaurant offers grab and go options as well as a few seats for indoor and outdoor dining.

Some items stand out as staples on the menu, such as the bahn mi bowls, which substitute rice for the bun that typically comes with the signature Vietnamese sandwich, and grilled chicken with pico de gallo, brown rice and vegetables. However, new things are always added.

"The menu can change every week based on what's available," Coolman said. "We go through our main distributor, Global Organics, who deals with local ingredients."

When the cafe first opened, Coolman was doing the cooking.

Now, a month later, the entrepreneur has hired someone to take over that responsibility. However, the menu retains her own recipes, like the Thai peanut chicken with sweet potato noodles that sold out in one day.

"It's fun to figure out recipes, especially vegetarian and vegan options because I can get creative, like with the sloppy joe bowl we made," Coolman said. "I take things that are classics and put a twist to make them healthy."

To keep up with menu changes and see what else they have to offer, check out the website, Or visit the store at 218 E Davis Boulevard.

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