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Salad Club Boss Opens Plenty Goods Café at Kimball Arts Center, Offering Healthy Dining Along 606

HUMBOLDT PARK – A take-out cafe from a holistic chef comes to the border between Logan Square and Humboldt Park.

Sarah Russo Santillanes opens Plenty Goods Cafe on The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail at the Kimball Arts Center on N. Kimball Ave. 1757 after successfully running a salad subscription service.

The 2,100-square-foot cafe serves smoothies, salads, and breakfast sandwiches made in-house, as well as a range of drinks and snacks from local producers. The spot will focus on healthy whole foods, Russo Santillanes said.

The café will also be a headquarters for Russo Santillanes’ salad subscription service, originally known as Salad Club but now nicknamed Plenty Goods.

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The Logan Square resident wants to open Plenty Goods early next year. She said the cafe will fill a need in the neighborhood that is short of healthy quick-service restaurants.

“I’m a healthy eater; I love eating a burger and going to Outside Voices [wine bar] … I love all of that too. But if I want a smoothie, a breakfast sandwich, or a hearty salad, there’s nowhere to go,” said Russo Santillanes.

A native of the Elmwood Park suburb, Russo Santillanes used her certification as a natural chef from the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in California to cook for private clients, including athletes.

When the pandemic hit, she started the Salad Club at The Hatchery in East Garfield Park “to do something for the masses,” she said.

The local shop was a hit; Russo Santillanes went from fulfilling 50 salad orders a week to as many as 400.

Expanding the business is the natural next step, she said.

“We pay about $4,000 in rent [for The Hatchery] … especially because it’s a certified kitchen facility,” she said. “Our new room is about the same [rent]and being able to come and talk to us, walk and get a pastry or a salad.”

Plenty Goods Cafe is built on the idea that quality ingredients and whole foods can heal, Russo Santillanes said. All the ingredients used in the kitchen, down to the salt and olive oil, are sourced from quality suppliers and local farms.

“It’s how I cook for my customers and for Salad Club members, and it’s how I will continue to cook when we’re in the café,” said Russo Santillanes.

Recognition: Provided
A rendition of Plenty Goods Cafe.

In addition to healthy breakfast and lunch items like smoothies and salads, the cafe will also offer locally made snacks and pastries made with whole-food ingredients — similar to foxtrot, Russo Santillanes said. While Plenty Goods is a healthy food concept, it won’t be exclusively geared toward one diet or another, she said.

“We are a full-value company. We are an inclusive food community. Whether you are gluten free or love gluten, you are welcome here. We have something for everyone,” said Russo Santillanes.

To make Plenty Goods a reality, Russo Santillanes is raising money through Honeycomb Credit, a small business crowdfunding platform. As of Friday, the campaign had raised $25,050 to reach its $50,000 goal.

She is working with an architect to expand the space, which will include a mini-spa where she plans to hold twice-weekly collaborative meditation classes. The free classes focus on breathing and stretching – a place for neighbors to “slow down” before or after a healthy lunch or breakfast.

“I chose to open in Logan Square because I live here and I know it matters to the people around me; I go to the farmers’ market every week and see how people spend their money and time,” said Russo Santillanes. “There are already some successful vegan businesses in the community, which just goes to show that there is a demand for this product and people out there are going to enjoy it.”

Plenty Goods Cafe is the latest small business to move into the Kimball Arts Center, an art warehouse that was renovated a few years ago.

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