City of Ventura Certified Green Business, Harvest Café, a farm-to-table restaurant located in Downtown Ventura, is committed to serve healthy, organic cuisine from local, sustainable, and environmentally conscious sources. Founders and owners Robert and Ulrika Glover are also making it their mission to consider their impact on the environment from their farming operations to the products they use, as well as educating customers about the health benefits of the foods they eat and how our food choices impact the health of our environment.
Robert, formerly an owner of a landscaping and gardening company, and his wife, a nutritionist who previously worked at the scenic fitness retreat, The Ranch Malibu, initially began toying with the idea of opening a restaurant approximately three years ago.
“After Mary’s Secret Garden closed, my wife and I felt that the vegetarian and vegan customers were somewhat underserved in our community,” said Robert. “However, it wasn’t until we found out that the space next to Jai Rhythm was available for lease that we started taking our dream seriously. The timing of how everything came together couldn’t have been more perfect, so we opened our doors in January 2017.”
As part of the Glover’s mission statement, their goal is to always have as small of a footprint as possible — sourcing the ingredients for the restaurant from their local, organic farm that Robert tends to in Oak View in Ojai, and from other small, local farms and vendors.
“Our farm is one acre and we have ducks, chickens, and grow all types of fruits and vegetables and I really enjoy working it,” continued Robert, who holds a graduate degree in Business Administration from the College of Charleston. “My wife on the other hand, oversees the Café’s kitchen.”
The menu at the café, which is open 7 days a week, mornings and afternoons (see below for hours) features a host of organic vegetarian and vegan dishes as well as gluten-free muffins and breads, specialty coffees, teas and wine and beer. Daily seasonal specials are served as well as a variety of freshly made smoothies, fruit and grain bowls, and breakfast and lunch fare.
Sustainable In-House Practices
In addition to stocking their kitchen with local, sustainable foods, the Harvest Café utilizes food waste and scraps in their garden compost.
“We recycle and compost everything that would normally get thrown out. Our chickens and ducks love leftover scraps and we use worm composting beds,” said Robert.
“We also encourage folks to bring their own to-go boxes, and as an incentive, we offer them a discount on their food when they do. We would also never use any Styrofoam or plastic, instead we opt for brown paper products, which cost a little more, but the added benefits are worth it.
The café, which has high ceilings and plenty of natural light, also practices energy efficiency with lighting that is the electrical standard (Title 24 Compliant) and all lights are on automatic timers.
The café conserves water as much as possible utilizing low flow faucets and toilets, and they clean with only eco-friendly products.
“We also capture water in a bucket which we use to care for our garden beds planted with herbs and succulents on the front patio,” said Robert. “My friend and I also built all the café tables and table tops with recycled wood.”
Also on the sustainable agenda is to educate staff about recycling, composting, eco-friendly practices and products and how to properly separate food items for compost on the farm.
“Whenever possible we also try to educate our customers about the health benefits of the food they eat and show them new and beneficial ingredient options to improve the foods they already enjoy. Our hope is to make an impact about the way that people think about food, inspiring them to make incremental changes that will benefit their health as well as the health of our environment.”
175 S. Ventura Ave.
Ventura, CA 93001
Monday-Friday 7:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday 8:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday 9:00am – 3:00pm