Vegan food in Des Moines

Our Health Community – Deanne and Steve Bryce of Brightside Kitchen

Abbie Sawyer Our Health Community Leave a Comment

Vegan food in Des MoinesHere at Capital Chiropractic, we are champions of vegetables and plant-based foods. In the big-picture wellness journey, eating well goes a long way to improve how you feel, move, think, sleep, and (literally) grow. You are, after all, what you eat!One local source we have found for inventive, hand-crafted, delicious plant-based food is Brightside Kitchen. After recently moving into their first brick and mortar location in Clive, founders Steve and Deanne Bryce shared with us their vision for bringing plant-based foods to Greater Des Moines.

Tell us a bit about Brightside Kitchen. Why did you start the restaurant? How has it evolved? What is it today?

When we started Brightside Kitchen in April of 2017, we were still using a kitchen in southwestern Minnesota, but our goal was to find a location in the Des Moines metro area where we could connect with people and create delicious plant-based meals for those seeking options related to their values of health, our environment or ethics. We launched our retail café space in January 2018, and we love our new home in the Mercy Health and Fitness Center in Clive. Currently, we are the only 100 percent plant-based restaurant in Greater Des Moines. We envisioned a café space where people could discover new ways of eating and that vision has come true. We’re really excited for how things will continue to grow and evolve.

Vegan food in Des Moines

Steve and Deanne Bryce, founders of Brightside Kitchen.

What makes your approach to different?

We serve food that fills people up; our meals are layered with flavor combinations and hand-crafted care. To help explain our menu, we have a video that shows our food being made. It helps people wandering by to see our menu in action. But the most unique thing about us is our location: we’re tucked in the lobby of a fitness center. We’ve embraced this unique location and made it our own with colorfully-potted succulents, artwork and a mini library. The lobby is a busy place to be; being there has helped us meet new customers and dedicated followers seek us out.

How does your business help people?

Since we’ve opened, a handful of curious and open-minded people have stopped by to try our oatmilk lattes, scones and chickpea “tuna” sandwiches. Others have simply rested at our table and read the books from our mini library. Some have shared personal stories with us about health ups and downs and healing successes, often through exploring plant-based foods. Some of our customers live alone and express wanting a hot meal that they don’t have to prepare. These folks take soups and Brightside Bowls home or eat while in the café.

Vegan food in Des Moines

The chickpea “tuna” sandwich is a customer favorite.

What gets you up in the morning?

We get up kind of early. Our alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m., and we head to the café to start cooking. Filling the space (which is a two story open fitness center) with the smell of roasted veggies, onions, and garlic, makes our day a little brighter. We like to interact with customers as they head out the door after working out. We also like to make lunch for busy professionals who stop by during their work day. Since we are the only 100 percent plant-based eating establishment in the Des Moines Metro, we often get people driving through from other cities.  It is fun to learn about their travels. In addition we get to serve a steady core of compassionate vegans and people following a whole-food, plant-based diet for health reasons. We get up every morning to serve, meet and connect with a diverse group of people.

What do you love about the Greater Des Moines community?

We have lived in many communities since we got married in 1979. This is our third time living in Iowa. We can honestly say that this move was the most welcoming and exciting. We care about wellness, sustainability, social justice, and entrepreneurship and we see these principles alive in Des Moines. It has been a delight to meet people taking action in these areas here in the Greater Des Moines community.

What’s next?

We plan to expand our  entrepreneurship dreams as a well as our desire to write, speak, and do cooking demos. We don’t know exactly what form all of those interests will take. However, we use the mental mantra of “Food, Stories, and Adventure” to fuel our learning and growth.

Learn more about Brightside Kitchen

About Our Health Community

“Our Health Community” is a blog series by Capital Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Center designed to celebrate health-centered services and businesses in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Explore “Our Health Community.”

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