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Scandone has over 20 years of experience in the food and wellness industry. Photo: Nourish.
Scandone has over 20 years of experience in the food and wellness industry. Photo: Nourish.

Nourish, the vegan cafe that stayed true to delivering immune-boosting foods and drinks amid COVID-19

Owner Sarah Scandone had to relocate from South Street to the Italian Market after a fire but has become a community health staple.

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Sarah Scandone has always loved the presentation and taste of foods that are flavorful and healthy.

It’s spelled out on her impressive resume in the food industry, with the most recent addition being Nourish, a vegan cafe in Philadelphia’s Italian Market.

“I’ve opened restaurants in the Caribbean such as Belize and Jamaica, this is my third restaurant overall,” Scandone recently told AL DÍA News.

In addition to her love for food, Scandone also said she loves mentoring and teaching others about the importance of taking care of your body. It’s why her most recent spot is vegan.

“I've been vegan for 22 years and I have a love for natural healthy food. I work with people and meet with people who have health problems and show them natural medicine and herbs that can be used to fight it,” she said.

Scandone initially opened Nourish on South Street a year ago, but the restaurant caught fire, causing her to have to move locations.

“We moved to the Italian Market, we love it here,” said Scandone. 

She also has quite the neighbors on her street, including Blue Corn and Talluto’s.

On top of the traumatic loss of her first location, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Philadelphia in March 2020, leaving other small businesses in a state of panic.

“A lot of people did not know what was going to happen,” she said.

But, as many people found out about the importance of immune health, her business became more and more well known to Philly locals.

“People started to stop by and check out our supplements, smoothies, and other drinks that are filled with antioxidants and vitamins,” she said.

Amid the pandemic, Scandone was lucky in that she didn’t have to close the cafe. 

She actually hired more staff and they became a recognized storefront that provided customers with trustworthy, healthy recipes.

One of the cafe’s specialties are smoothies that are made with elderberries and sea moss, which is important for the gut and immune system, said Scandone.

“I think that we helped people navigate a healthier lifestyle,” she said.

But the New York native also wants customers to know that she and her staff serve out some appetizing and flavorful foods that draw inspiration to her time spent in the Caribbean.

“I sell some foods that carry a Caribbean influence, like vegan oxtail and coconut curry plantains, some other alternatives that have a Caribbean spice to it,” said Scandone.

She also sells plantain nuggets that have also been a hit with customers.

“They are healthier than your average nuggets,” she said.

Scandone also has a cheesesteak that is a healthier alternative to the cheesesteaks Philly locals love to eat.

It is made with sauteed onions, peppers, and veggie steak.

“I just want people to know that we have delicious food that can help you become healthy because your health is your wealth,” she said.

Check out the menu and see what other smoothies and dishes are being served up.

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