Kelsey Shuler of Kale Me Crazy on providing nourishing meals
It wasn’t until KELSEY SHULER, co-owner of Kale Me Crazy, started looking for alternatives to dorm food that she became interested in healthy eating. By the time she graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2015, Shuler had gained a true appreciation for healthy eating and fallen love with the area.
Kale Me Crazy, a cafe franchise focused on healthy food, satisfied her wish to stay in the area and give Wilmingtonians a new healthy food restaurant.
“Wilmington has a ton of amazing food options, but not so many that are healthy,” Shuler says. “There are places where you can get great juices and places where you can get yummy sandwiches, but there aren’t many places where you can get both.”
Shuler and her husband Michael looked at a number of franchise models before deciding to invest in a Kale Me Crazy and open a location at 6800 Parker Farm Road in 2018. What sold them on the franchise is that, unlike a lot of restaurants, everything at Kale Me Crazy is made fresh.
That includes its cold-pressed juices and smoothies, acai bowls, toast options, salad wraps, hummus, and homemade soups. Kale Me Crazy also offers fruit and vegetable cleanses, which help diet reformers wean themselves off sugar, and immunity boosts, which are made from scratch for every customer.
“Everything at Kale Me Crazy is a labor of love,” Shuler says. “We couldn’t find that with other business models.”
While the kale in the restaurant’s name may give some potential customers pause, their fears are banished upon tasting Kale Me Crazy’s dishes, according to Shuler.
The food is really tasty, and even meat and potato devotees are more than pleased with Kale Me Crazy’s chicken pesto and grilled chicken Caesar wraps, she adds. As a result, the restaurant has a substantial number of repeat customers and new diners come in every day.
“A lot of people are hesitant to try healthy food,” Shuler says. “It feels good to offer food that’s healthy and that tastes so good. It’s great to then see other people love it as well.”
With the pandemic, Shuler says it’s more important than ever that people eat healthy so they can boost their immunity and prevent colds and the flu. To that end, and to ensure the restaurant’s success despite the COVID-19 restrictions, Shuler implemented new processes such as partnering with food delivery services.
“Through the delivery platforms, we gained a lot of new customers, and that will help us grow our business for the long term,” Shuler says.
Kale Me Crazy’s catering services are also in demand. While Shuler has received numerous catering requests from medical businesses and spas, she stresses that the restaurant’s catering menus provide healthy and appetizing fare for other businesses and private parties as well.
“It’s very satisfying to show different offices healthy options for their events,” she says.
For Shuler, Kale Me Crazy is much more than business. It’s a way to help people.
“It gives me hope and excitement to see more people be receptive to healthy eating,” Shuler says.
To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to michaelclinephoto.com.
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