The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Bliss Cafe Radiates Wellness During COVID-19


  Bliss Cafe feels like spring. The restaurant’s seating near San Luis creek creates a peaceful, natural dining area. Its high ceilings allow light to stream into the interior. From its menu to its back storage room, Bliss’s commitment to healthy, planet-conscious radiates throughout the restaurant.

  Located in the back of the Network on Higuera street, Bliss Cafe was founded 9 years ago by David Fintel, brother of San Luis Obispo High School math teacher Kyle Fintel. They offer all-vegan, nourishing cuisine that combines aspects of Mexican, American, and Indian fares. Many of their dishes are gluten-free. Today, the restaurant is run by six board members, including Mr. Fintel and his wife, Dara Stepanek. Bliss is currently open for delivery and curbside pickup from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. 

  I sat down with Stepanek to learn more about the goal of Bliss’s fare as well as their operations during current times. 

  In order to help the community build their immune system during the COVID crisis, Bliss has assembled an Immunity Menu featuring four dishes and drinks which promote wellness. They’ve also provided a 10% discount on select menu items and BOGO 50% off on their juices.

  “Everyone needs to be taking care of themselves and we believe in the power of nurturing ourselves through food. So we want to empower and encourage people to lean into that… we’re trying to provide it with discounted rates and also provide our customers with information that this is what our bodies need now more than ever,” said Stepanek.

  The health of their customers is as important to Bliss as is buying local, organic ingredients. 95% of their produce is organic, and many of their products are local. Throughout our interview, Stepanek emphasized the importance of these tenets to their operations. 

  “The whole position of our business is supporting other businesses. The less you have to drive or transport things, the less carbon you’re emitting and the more you’re supporting a community: a culture that says yes to being involved and engaged and empowered. So everything on the menu is centered around those three pillars: organic, plant-based, locally-sourced. That’s for our own health as well as the health of the planet.”

  The nourishing quality of Bliss’s food is also of great importance to Stepanek. She believes in its power to influence many other aspects of our life besides simply our need for sustenance. 

  “When we’re not nourishing ourselves, anything else that we’re doing is an inauthentic expression of who we are. We’re not in our best alignment when we’re not actually fueled properly,” she explained about food’s influence in our lives. 

  Beyond the confines of Bliss’s walls, Stepanek hopes to influence a greater cultural shift concerning our nutritional and environmental values. 

  “We’ve had a lot of conversations about moving beyond just a restaurant and turning the Bliss brand more into a lifestyle… We’re shifting out of old habits and into more aligned, new habits, because the integrity of our food needs to be matched with this space.”

  The high quality of Bliss’s food evident in their locally sourced ingredients stands out in the flavor profile of the restaurant. Stepanek highlighted the intersection of their ingredients and flavors as logical and inevitable. 

  “At the root of who we are is food that tastes delicious, and feels good, and is nurturing for the planet itself to be growing. I think our whole menu demonstrates what we’re going because they’re all organic, plant-based, locally sourced and to me that’s just the answer.”

  So if you’re aiming to feel healthy, nourished, and sustainable, stop by Bliss Cafe for a delicious meal at curbside pickup. The tang of their house made lemon dressing on a protein-rich, antioxidant boosting salad will leave your tastebuds smiling and immune system thriving. Both in regards to the current crisis and the future of the environmental movement, Stepanek summed up Bliss’s purpose at the end of our interview: 

  “This is the healing.”

  Contact Bliss Cafe at (805)547-0108 or order through their online menu for curbside pickup. Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

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    Dulce EsquivelJun 7, 2020 at 9:31 am

    I really enjoy eating at bliss cafe because as a pescatarian it kinda difficult to find places I can eat at and they have a variety of healthy good foods.