DeeAnna Staats of FEED Body & Soul
Good Morning everyone!
During our visit to FEED Body & Soul for our restaurant review we had the opportunity to meet with the owner, DeeAnna Staats. We really enjoyed her restaurant and wanted to share a little bit about her and her history as a restaurateur. Check out why DeeAnna decided to open a healthy restaurant on the popular Abott Kinney and her background in the food industry!
What drove you to open a restaurant?
"I’ve always shopped organically and I’ve always cooked very “clean.” After my children left the house, I could not find places to eat that incorporated my own very natural eating habits. Also, I didn’t personally know of any place that existed that served clean, healthy food that didn’t look like a cafeteria. So, I decided to build my own. It has been a huge personal pleasure to watch just how many of our guests share a similar vision for dining."
Have you always been involved in the food industry?
"No. I’ve always had my own gardens and I’ve always cooked. In fact, I even made my kids’ organic baby food from scratch. When I moved to the west coast, and I suddenly had the ability to use fresh fruits and vegetables everyday, my outlook completely changed - it was a revelation to be able to eat so light and healthfully every day, and also have it be so delicious."
Why did you decide to open your restaurant in Venice?
"I’m from the east coast and I live in Malibu. There is not a single sidewalk in the residential areas of Malibu. I love being around people and energy. I’m from the design world, I love begin surrounded by eye candy and the excitement of new ideas. To wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee and be in the company of active, creative people takes me back to the environments that make me happiest. There is an exhilarating sense of “newness” in Venice, and I wanted my business to reflect those sentiments."
We LOVED the interior and décor of your restaurant! The attention to detail is amazing! Did you have a vision of what you wanted the restaurant to look like or were you inspired by something in particular?
"The vision in my mind, before any architectural planning, was of an open and airy space. I wanted the customer to see everything, with nothing hidden from view. I tried to remain close to the integrity of the building - We kept the rounded front, and a bit of the original deco feel. We included 40’s era stucco details. The walls are hand painted by a street artist, in order to honor the integrity of our local community, which is also found in the striking mobile that hangs above the bar by local artist, John Rose."What was most important element to you when opening Feed Body & Soul? What did the restaurant definitely have to have? (As far as feel, atmosphere, menu, etc.)
"A big, over-sized bar. It keeps everything open, with a flow of energy. From any seat, you feel a part of the experience."
What inspired you to have dishes on your menu that are healthy and gluten free? Do you follow a specific diet such vegan, vegetarian, etc.?
"I do not follow any specific “diet” and I hate labels. I try to eat well, and I try to eat clean, but I love delicious food and I love the experience of sharing the table with friends and loved ones. My goal was that guests can come to FEED five days a week, if they so chose. Our primary goal is that our guests enjoy delicious meals that just happen to also be healthy and fresh. We have structured our menus so that guests with almost any dietary restriction can have a wonderful time with us."
Is your food locally sourced?
"Yes, whenever possible."
What is the most popular item ordered off your menu? Is that your favorite dish?
"Interestingly, the most popular item is the bison. Since I do not eat red meat, it is obviously not my personal favorite, but it is a great example of how we created a menu that would please anyone’s idea of excellent dining."
Do you plan to open more locations? If so, where are you hoping to expand?
"Absolutely. And soon, too. Stay tuned. That’s all I can reveal for now."
Tell us one last thing you want to share about your restaurant, Feed Body & Soul!
"We are always working toward the goal of “Integrity.” Even down to the type water that we give our guests for free - a very special naturally infused hi alkaline - the offerings that we created are about the details, the integrity that arrives when a good, honest product is offered to the guest. We will always be striving to achieve that goal."