Julie Hutchins and Nick Bradfield, founders of Eden's Cafe, have delayed the opening of their new restaurant in Athens, Georgia. While the restaurant will still feature organic, plant-based dishes, it will be on a scale smaller than originally intended. (Photo/Jason Born)

Eden’s Cafe’s dream of a fully vegan restaurant is put on hold as owners Julie Hutchins and Nick Bradfield are delaying the opening. They still plan to open, but their initial plans for Eden’s Cafe have drastically changed.

On March 28, Eden’s Cafe posted a comment on their Facebook page about its opening, saying “Still working out the kinks with the health department but we hope to be open soon! A month or two at most.”

Owners projected the fully vegan restaurant to open on March 22, but the opening will be delayed due to difficulties making sure the building is up to code. The building has insufficient space in relation to how much food the owners planned to produce for their menu.

Hutchins and Bradfield explored various possibilities such as building a walk-in/enclosure or using a trailer behind the existing structure, and they even considered opening an auxiliary catering facility in order to produce food and bring it to the restaurant.

“We’re kind of limited. We don’t have the money that is being asked.”

— Nick Bradfield, co-owner of Eden's Cafe

The main problem with writing up the proposals is staying within a reasonable budget. If they needed to get a building permit, it would require them to update their grease trap as it is not up to code. The whole process would be expensive and above their budget.

“We’re kind of limited,” Bradfield said. “We don’t have the money that is being asked.”

Hutchins and Bradfield are planning to open despite this drawback, but Eden’s Cafe will not open as it first intended.

Rather than serving meals, they are planning on opening up the current location in a few months with just possibly just coffee, tea and pastries, Bradfield said. They hope to expand in the future, producing more food through an auxiliary catering facility when they have the finances needed.

Hutchins and Bradfield have recently submitted an application for the Department of Agriculture to look over their business model, Bradfield said over email.

“Certainly we're surprised at the amount of paperwork and hoops that you gotta jump through, but we accepted the challenge,” Bradfield said. “We’re looking forward to opening.”

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