The Eating ... Our Words 100: Staci Davis, Owner of Radical Eats
Photos by Carla Soriano Staci Davis, owner of Radical Eats.
Eating...Our Words has embarked on a project to profile 100 Houston culinarians of all fields, practices, careers and backgrounds. This isn't a Best of Houston® list, it's not a 100 Favorites list and it's not in any particular order. Instead, the Eating Our Words 100 is a way to introduce our readers to some of the most notable people behind Houston's exciting and deep-rooted culinary culture. Twice a week, we'll explore a new culinarian's work, his or her inspiration and what makes Houston a perfect home.
What she does:
"I own a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free restaurant, which is sort of a little dive on the near north side that we like to think pumps out really great food. We sort of cater to people that are looking for a healthier alternative, and also just people looking for something different," Staci Davis, owner of Radical Eats, explains.
"We like to have fun with it," Davis continues. She believes that vegetables are vastly underused. And she is not a fan of fake meat. So, rather than put out imitation meat products made from vegetables, Radical Eats' menu makes fresh, locally sourced vegetables the protagonists on the menu.
Prior to opening her storefront, which has now been going for "just under 20 months," Staci did farmers' markets, weddings and catering for about four years, as well as sold some food products at Antidote and Blackhole. She opened Radical Eats because she needed a new "home" in which to create all of the products she was selling all around town. Since opening the restaurant, Staci has been getting "busier and busier and busier," so she had to "let some of the other stuff go," but that's not to say that she wouldn't like to go back to her roots and sell all around Houston.
Why she enjoys it:
As far as why she got into and enjoys the food aspect of her business, Davis has been a chef since she was 17, and she's always loved it. Every time she goes to a party, she always ends up in the kitchen. She likes working in kitchens -- "the camaraderie, the speed, the creativity. I've been doing it for a long time. I've always liked vegetarian food. I've always liked playing with vegetables. It's just something I was good at. Another thing is that I always wanted to get some products in the grocery store. All the fake meats never fit the categories that I wanted. I wanted specific things and I wanted to fulfill what I thought was a need," Davis says. Davis created a large part of Radical Eats' Mexican-inspired menu.
Why she enjoys owning her own business? "I like the people that I work with --they're all kind of nuts. And it's just fun solving problems and seeing it work. It also just makes me feel like a grown-up. I like the customers; I like telling them jokes. It's fun. It's just like family."