Trumpet Blossom emerges in vegan dining scene

BY ELLE WIGNALL | JULY 26, 2012 6:30 AM

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In the Trumpet Blossom Café, plants and trinkets sit in the windows, a cozy couch in a corner asks to be read on, and the silverware comes wrapped in homemade cloth napkins.

“My grandma makes those napkins,” said Katy Meyer, the owner of the café. “It just added this touch that I did not realize would be so impactful, and it’s just so neat.”

Meyer, 33, opened her vegan restaurant Trumpet Blossom Café on April 17, three months after the Red Avocado closed, on Jan. 22, and she hopes it provides a new option for vegan dining in the Iowa City community.

As one of the three co-owners of the Red Avocado, Meyer was sad to see it close but excited about the opportunity to create a new business in the old Hideaway Tavern & Grill venue at 310 E. Prentiss St.

“It’s one of those things where it’s heartening that people responded the way that they did,” Meyer said. “For us, it gave us a lot of momentum to get this place open. The people who were upset about the old place closing, hopefully, they found it here.”

Meyer brought connections she made and culinary skills she learned at the Red Avocado with her to Trumpet Blossom.

“There were farmers that I made relationships with at the old place that I continue to work with now,” she said. “It’s just amazing to see all the stuff that comes in.”

The food at Trumpet Blossom is all vegan, meaning no animal products are used, and most of it comes organic from local area farmers.

“We get a lot of food right now from local farmers and then in the off-season we use some distributors,” Meyers said. “We’d like to, you know, a year from now or a year and a half from now, when it’s winter, we’d love to be using stuff that we’ve preserved as much as we can.”

Meyer does most of the cooking and said she hopes there are options that every customer can enjoy on the menu, vegan or not.

 “We try to make things really familiar and accessible because I do feel like the vegan aspect can be kind of a hurdle for people to begin with, so we want to make the plates that come out familiar,” she said. “It’s still food. It’s just food.”

Trumpet Blossom has an outdoor patio, a stage for live performances, and a bar to complement the dining experience.

“I feel like this space could lend itself well to wedding receptions, things like that,” Meyer said. “So that’s one of our goals for sure is to get people to see the possibilities of the place.”

Iowa City resident Cyndy Bohnenkamp said the Trumpet Blossom was a great choice for a book club meeting with three other members earlier this month.

“I drive by there every night on my way home, and I just decided I wanted to try that,” she said. “We thought it was great. Everybody had a great meal.”

University of Iowa student and vegan Elise Goodmann was pleased with the variety of Trumpet Blossom’s menu and its atmosphere.

“Everything I’ve had has been really delicious, and it’s really great to see people who run a business who really care so much about it,” she said. “I’ve eaten there more than a handful of times.”

The café is welcoming for all occasions, Goodmann said.

“The Sunday brunch I love,” she said. “And the cocktails are incredible. They always have drink specials that are really just out of this world.”

Meyer looks forward to serving her creations to new customers as business continues to grow.

“It’s the kind of food I enjoy cooking, and it is nice for people who are vegetarian or vegan to come here and be able to order anything off the menu,” Meyer said. “But I also hope that it speaks to everyone who enjoys good food.”

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