Daytona’s first vegan restaurant is closing to move to new home. Here’s where.

DAYTONA BEACH ― A Black-owned business that became Volusia County’s first vegan restaurant 10 years ago is closing at the end of August to move to its new home.

Fortunately for owners Camille Holder-Brown and Omar Brown, they are just moving their Kale Cafe two doors over to a building they bought two years ago.

The bad news is that construction delays will force the couple to operate for the next few months out of a temporary kitchen until Kale Cafe can reopen at its new home, hopefully in November.

Kale Cafe owners Camille Holder-Brown and husband Omar Brown are pictured in the present location of their downtown Daytona Beach restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. The vegan eatery is temporarily closing at the end of August. It is expected to reopen at its new home two doors over at 110 N. Beach St. in November.

Where are they moving?

Kale Cafe’s future home is at 110 N. Beach St., near the corner of North Beach Street and West International Speedway Boulevard in the heart of Daytona Beach’s historic downtown business district.

The Browns paid $455,000 for the 1920-built two-story 5,256-square-foot building on July 1, 2021, according to Volusia County property records. It was previously home to Carousel Antiques, but has been vacant the past five years.

The seller was Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. The real estate investment trust now known as CTO Realty Growth paid $550,000 to acquire the building from the antique store’s owners in 2018.

Kale Cafe owners Omar Brown and wife Camille Holder-Brown are pictured in the future home of their vegan restaurant at 110 N. Beach St. in downtown Daytona Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. The eatery which is currently two doors over is expected to open at its new location in early November.

How did the Browns buy it for that price?

Camille Holder-Brown attributes the lowered price to “divine timing.” She and her husband purchased the aging building while the COVID-19 pandemic was still raging.

The couple’s efforts to give back, including providing free meals to needy families in the city’s Derbyshire area during the first two years of the pandemic, may have also helped. Several community leaders, including Leslie Giscombe, founder/CEO of the African American Entrepreneurs Association in Daytona Beach, wrote letters of recommendation to CTO.

“We honored (Kale Cafe’s owners) two years ago as the recipient of our annual Entrepreneurs of the Year award,” Giscombe said.

The News-Journal was unable to reach CTO CEO John Albright for comment.

Carl Lentz IV, managing partner of SVN Alliance Commercial Real Estate Advisors, was the listing agent who negotiated the building’s sale to the Browns on CTO’s behalf.

“There were multiple offers. The letters of recommendation likely had an impact on the selection of this particular buyer,” Lentz confirmed.

Giscombe said he and CEO Business Alliance President Kent Sharples helped persuade CTO to provide the Browns with owner-financing until the couple could secure a loan guarantee from the Small Business Administration. Intracoastal Bank provided the loan.

Omar Brown has taken on the role of overseeing the renovation which has proven more extensive than originally expected.

“We’ve had to put on a new roof as well as new pipes and electrical. Everything inside of the building had to be ripped out,” said Holder-Brown.

Omar Brown said he would welcome volunteers who could help with the build-out.

Where will their temporary base of operations be?

Until it can reopen, Kale Cafe will provide catering services from a temporary kitchen at the Natural Concepts Revisited health food store around the corner at 142 W. International Speedway Blvd.

“We’ll be doing some brunch, food prep and catering out of there,” said Holder-Brown. “For anybody who needs catering, they can contact us at”

Omar Brown hopes to soon begin operating a food truck for Kale Cafe that can serve customers while parked in front of the restaurant’s future new home until the eatery can reopen.

Couple began their business at a farmers market

Omar Brown was an aerospace engineer and Holder-Brown was a documentary filmmaker in New York City before relocating to Daytona Beach in 2011 with their then-three children. The couple now have six kids, ranging in age from 6 to 18.

The Browns that same year began selling their vegan dishes at the Saturday morning farmers market on Daytona Beach’s City Island. Their growing number of regular customers led to the couple’s opening of Kale Cafe in a rented storefront space in November 2013.

In addition to running Kale Cafe, the Browns sell their own line of bottled vegan salad dressings named after their youngest son, Judah. The Browns recently inked a distribution deal with Amazon which will soon offer Judah’s Dressing in three varieties: the original recipe, a soy-free version and a new creamy tahini flavor.

What’s on their menu?

Menu offerings at Kale Cafe have a Jamaican flair, a nod to the couple’s roots. Brown was born in Jamaica. Holder-Brown is a Brooklyn native who grew up in Daytona Beach, but her family originally hails from Jamaica as well.

Kale Cafe serves dishes with names such as “Jerk Seitan Sandwich,” “Buffalo Seitan Sandwich” and “Floridian Philly Cheese” (made with vegan cheese and a wheat-based vegan meat substitute). The “Veggie Burger Meal” includes a choice of “side tings” such as fried potatoes, fried plantain, sauteed cabbage/vegetables, and “Mac N Sheeze.” The restaurant also serves salads, smoothies and “Jamdown” juices.

These are some of the vegan offerings at Kale Cafe in downtown Daytona Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023.

What customers say

Jacqueline Bodnar is a Port Orange resident who writes a blog called She wrote in late 2013 that Kale Cafe was the first all-vegan restaurant to open in Volusia County.

Another vegan restaurant, Evolve Modern Vegan Kitchen, opened on Seabreeze Boulevard in Daytona Beach in 2019.

“I think those are the only two all-vegan restaurants in the area,” Bodnar told The News-Journal. “One of the great things about Kale Cafe is that they use quality ingredients. When you dine there, you know you are going to get whole foods.”

Sarah and Paul Bates of Port Orange also have been longtime customers at Kale Cafe.

“Paul and I remember visiting their stand at the City Island Farmers Market a long time ago,” Sarah Bates recalled. “They held a kickstarter to help open their restaurant and the community really rallied around this sweet family. I was so excited when they opened the restaurant because being plant-based myself, I could eat anything on the whole menu.

“I’m so happy to see them doing well there on Beach Street after all these years. It’s really a testament to how good their food is.”

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