At 11 a.m. Ahmahtsiyah B. Rahm opens Soul Vegetarian with a smiling face peeking from behind his salt-and-pepper beard. Customers inhale the aroma of barbeque tofu, vegan macaroni and cheese and fresh steamed collard greens.
Soul Vegetarian is a vegan restaurant that features a full menu of lunch platters, sandwiches, specialty drinks and more.
“Soul Vegetarian is an off-shoot of the African Hebrew Israelite community of Jerusalem,” said Rahm.
“Part of our culture is a vegan diet, so we opened restaurants for the public to partake in a one-hundred percent vegan cuisine with no animal products,” Rahm said.
In 1996, the Jerusalem community participated in the Olympics in Atlanta. Customers were served from three mobile food trailers.
“Once the Olympics were over, there was an opportunity for us to purchase a food trailer here in Tallahassee,” Rahm said.
Soul Vegetarian began first serving on Florida A&M’s campus in 1997.
“We worked the food trailer for 13 years on ‘The Set’ every Friday up until last year, but now we have our own building,” Rahm said.
“I found out about Soul Vegetarian my freshman year,” said Craig Beacham, a senior philosophy student from Prince George’s County, Md.
Beacham has been vegan for almost three years, and visits Soul Vegetarian to go to get a quick meal.
“It’s definitely makes it easier; it’s convenient when you’re on the move,” Beacham said.
Beacham believes his support of small chains like Soul Vegetarian is a part of what helps sustain the vital community restaurant.
“You’re supporting a business, you’re supporting a family and community with a positive vision,” Beacham said.
“It works for people in a transition from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet,” said Ariel Wright, a master of social work student at Florida State and two-year vegetarian from Alexandria Va., also agrees that Soul Vegetarian is a good place for students.
“They bring a lot of different communities together, you have people who are vegan and non-vegan come together.” Wright said.
Beacham and Wright said some of their favorites include the vegan pizza, Garvey burger and their blue berry smoothie.
“Our goal is to motivate people to eat better and live better.” Rahm said.
Soul Vegetarian is located on 1205D South Adams St.
“I recommend Soul Vegetarian to people who are vegetarian and who aren’t, the food there is good.” Beacham said.
Rahm is glad to be able to give another alternative of food for his customers; he believes that having a healthy diet is crucial. “Our goal is to motivate people to eat better and live better.” Rahm said.
Soul Vegetarian is located on 1205d South Adams Street, they are open Monday-Friday 11a.m to 7p.m., and Saturday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.