Tell us a bit about The Aloha Table. Why did you start this business?
I felt the need for hospitality. Inviting people into your home to break bread with you is a lost art and there are so many benefits, the primary one being connecting with others.
How has it evolved?
The Aloha Table is a pop-up diner hosted by myself and my husband in my home. It’s about gathering people around home-cooked food. At first it was dinner and cooking class, but that got too tricky to accomplish all in one night. Plus, cooking class seemed to appeal more to women than men and this was meant for both men and women. Instead, we’ll do cooking class separately.
What is it today?
At first I tried to do everything myself, from menu planning to cooking to marketing the seats and it was too stressful. Another purpose of these dinners is to encourage others to try doing some version of the dinner in their home and decided being stressed out would not be setting a good example! I now try to find another home cook or chef experienced in the cuisine we’re having (e.g. Vietnamese) so we can collaborate on the menu and prepare the food together.
What makes your approach unique?
Our focus is on making everyone feel welcome and also using the best ingredients we can find. Health is important, so we use ingredients that are going to be better for you. For example, we stay away from vegetable oils and instead use olive oil, avocado oil or healthy animal fats like lard and butter. When sourcing products, we try to get organic or wild caught when it really matters.
How does your business help people and build community?
It’s been wonderful to bring together people who are strangers or casual acquaintances and see them get to know each other a little better. I feel these dinners provide nourishment on a deeper level, something we health coaches call primary food. Relationships are just as important for health as the foods on our plate!
What’s one thing people should know about your business if they’ve never tried it before?
I try to teach people to connect food with health and talk about things like how food influences your hormones and how we can improve digestion.
What gets you up in the morning?
Making my kids a healthy breakfast before school. 🙂
What do you love about the Greater Des Moines community?
Des Moines is willing to try new things. In the 23 years I’ve been in Des Moines, the food scene has gotten more diverse and people are wanting some of the things we can readily get on the coasts. There are more and more people interested in learning how to use food for good health and that’s very exciting to me.
What’s next with The Aloha Table?
In addition to gathering folks around good food, I’m passionate about helping them make healthy and tasty food for themselves. I want to provide a space where people can cook together and make healthy foods to take home. Much of the ready made foods available are made with crappy oils and other questionable ingredients. I’m holding my first make & take class of seasonal foods (soups) on October 16 at Kitchen Spaces near Drake.
We’re still planning the Aloha Table dates for 2020, but the last dinner in 2019 will be Dim Sum on November 14. For tickets, email me at Dani@DaniLinWellness.com.
Where can we learn more?
About the Our Health Community Series
“Our Health Community” is a blog series by Capital Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Center designed to celebrate health-centered causes, services, and businesses in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Explore “Our Health Community.”
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