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About Us

Three weeks before 27-year old Nicole Lawrence was set to open FeelGoods Cafe in 2007, an all natural, health-focused cafe in St. James, NY, she put an ad on Craig's List for a part-time manager. Kathy Gerdes, 52, a life-long vegetarian and former deli owner, who resides on a horse farm in Port Jefferson, answered the ad, feeling the hands of fate at work. Even though Nicole could only pay Kathy a measly $12/hour, Kathy convinced Nicole that she wanted to help her, and they were soon together 12 hours a day.

Nicole, the daughter of two entrepreneurs and a Cornell business school grad with no culinary background, envisioned FeelGoods Cafe as a "healthy Subway", where people could create their own whole grain wraps, paninis, and salads with fresh ingredients and nutrition information available. Minimal cooking was to be done. Her goal was to create a successful, easily replicable franchise. But Kathy quickly went to work doing what came natural: cooking. From Mediterranean Chickpea Salad to a Four-Seed Quinoa to a Southwest Two Bean & Corn Burger, Kathy added a different element that gave FeelGoods a sustainable, creative advantage. Not only did Kathy positively influence the cafe with her kitchen skills and food industry experience, but she also influenced Nicole, who followed Kathy's natural footsteps and became vegan (and learned how to cook, too!).

Nearly four years later, Kathy and Nicole are business partners in their award-winning cafe, and every day they strive to bring the healthiest, most natural, close-to-the-earth food to their customers. One of their most unique and exciting menu offerings are the EdgyBurgers: the Veggie Burgers with an Edge. They started with two basic burgers, the Two Bean & Corn and the Classic Falafel. Then they experienced "BurgerMania", a period of time when they took every flavor combination imaginable and put it in burger form. Eventually, they whittled it down to about fifteen. Customers make meals with them and also buy them in bulk.

Even though the FeelGoods Cafe that exists today is drastically different from the original concept, it has survived and thrived, because two very different women, from two very different backgrounds, found each other and cared enough to make it happen.
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