Search
  9911 Seminole Blvd. Seminole, FL 33772       Ph. 727-397-5563   View TBN's FREE e-Edition today!  
Click here to learn more
Palm Harbor Beacon Facebook Twitter
Restaurateurs grow green cafe business
Article published on
  Print E-Mail
 
[Image]
Photo courtesy of ANDREW KOUMI
The Green Market Café, located at 3150 Tampa Road in Oldsmar, enjoys a busy lunchtime crowd.
OLDSMAR – Owners of the popular and successful Green Market Cafe on Tampa Road will open a new restaurant in March. The new cafe will resemble the Oldsmar location, which features outdoor seating and a custom-built green grass fence.

“We’re going to look to expand in Tampa, and the new store will be a little bit bigger,” said Andrew Koumi, owner of the family-based business. “I’m looking for the perfect space.”

The Green Market Cafe opened in July 2010. Both Andrew and his mother, Elizabeth, work at the restaurant full time, serving healthy alternative dishes such as fresh salads, grilled whole wheat wraps, brown rice bowls, multi-grain flatbreads and freshly-made yogurt.

“I try to give things a healthy spin where they still taste good,” Koumi said. “We don’t fry anything – we bake everything. The chicken, bacon and mushrooms are baked.”

The restaurant serves between 600 and 800 customers per day during the week accommodating lunch crowds from local hospitals and businesses like Lockheed Martin and Nielsen. Weekend patrons come for breakfast flatbread sandwiches, crepe bowls and yogurt frappes and for dinner before a movie at the local AMC Theatres.

Daily lunch specials include a choice of five and sometimes six homemade soups including chicken and wild rice, butternut squash, mushroom and kale and tomato basil.

For $29.99, customers can buy two entrees, two yogurts and two movie tickets, a $43 value. Koumi sells between 1,000 and 2,000 of these specials per month.

“I focus on internal marketing. You get the movie vouchers and you come here and eat and there’s a total package price,” Koumi said. A single person, especially teenagers and college students, can purchase a movie ticket and a small yogurt for $9.99.

The menu has more than 100 items and entrees include your choice of a small yogurt. Five special and seasonal flavors of yogurt are made fresh daily by Koumi, whose house brand is Kiwi. Taro is the best-selling flavor and is made from a flavoring of taro root, which is popular in many Hawaiian dishes. The purple vegetable resembles a sweet potato. The pale lavender-colored yogurt has a subtle tart and creamy taste.

“For the first two years that I was open, I refused to serve vanilla yogurt because of the pure fact that I believed that no one would want to try any of the different flavors,” Koumi said. So what eventually happened was that taro became my best-selling flavor and now I sell regular vanilla yogurt.”

Koumi, 26, moved to Florida with his family from Long Island, N.Y. He attended middle and high school here and continued his education at the University of Florida, earning an undergraduate degree in business.

Koumi and his father, Steven, bought a panini press and experimented in the kitchen for six months before opening the Green Market Cafe. Although Koumi’s father had wanted to open an ice cream shop, the idea to combine a cafe and yogurt restaurant was born.

Koumi buys mostly local products for his ingredient base. He buys tortillas from Plant City and oranges for fresh-squeezed juice from Odessa. Items on the menu range from $7 to $9. Koumi is able to keep this price point because he cross-utilizes most items on the menu about six to seven times, for example, goat cheese is used in seven items on the menu. The cafe does not have a freezer and fresh produce is delivered daily by truck or distribution houses.

“When you use everything faster, it’s fresher,” Koumi said. “The lettuce comes right from the truck; we’re chopping it and it’s going right out to a plate.”

Most non-food items get recycled including biodegradable take-out boxes and plastic yogurt spoons that customers can drop in a recycle bin on their way out.

Koumi employs 36 to 45 part-time servers and full-time cooks. He hires college students during the busy spring and summer months, when people want to eat lighter meals.

Although Koumi and his family are Greek, they do not own a Greek-style restaurant.

“Maybe cooking is just in my blood,” he said.

For more information or to see what’s on the menu at the Green Market Cafe, visit www.greenmarketcafe.com.
Article published on
Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
Printable Version E-mail article
NuSmile
Community Focus Online
Featured Print Advertisers
Tarpon Springs Recreation Division
Sunset Beach Concert
Red House Road, 8/6 @ 7 p.m.
(727) 942-5628

Web site        View Ad
:)
Florida Center for Back & Neck Pain
Dr. Greg Hollstrom
11444 Seminole Blvd.
Largo
(727) 393-6100

Web site        View Ad
:)
Abbey Carpet & Floor of Largo
13120 66th St. N.
Largo
(727) 524-1445

Web site        View Ad
:)
Oakhurst & East Bay Medical
13020 Park Blvd., Seminole
(727) 393-3404
3800 East Bay Dr., Largo
(727) 539-0505

Web site        View Ad
:)
Law Office of Stephen C. Whalen, P.A.
1968 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin
(727) 726-0439
(727) 409-7347(Cell)

Web site        View Ad
:)
Tarpon Springs Merchants Association

Hippie Fest
Saturday, Aug. 15 @ 5-10 p.m.

Web site        View Ad
:)
Flooring America
9012 Seminole Blvd., Seminole
(727) 397-5509
100 Patricia Ave., Dunedin
(727) 733-1356

Web site        View Ad
:)
Custom Couture of Tarpon Springs
208 East Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs
(727) 238-7194

Web site        View Ad
:)
Casino Over Under

Web site        View Ad
:)
Donna's Cleaning Angels
(727) 942-8289
Web site        View Ad
:)
Bell Hearing Instruments, Inc.
801 West Bay Dr., Suite 405, Largo (727) 585-2675
Factory Location
700 Stevens Ave., Oldsmar (813) 814-2355

Web site        View Ad
:)
NuSmile Dental
13611 Park Blvd., Suite G
Seminole
(727) 475-7866

Web site        View Ad
:)
Tampa Bay Newspapers
Online Advertising
For information, e-mail
webmaster@tbnweekly.com
:)
Online Services Directory
MEDICAL DIRECTORY   ONLINE DINING GUIDE
MEDICAL DIRECTORY ONLINE DINING GUIDE
AUTOMOTIVE GUIDE REAL ESTATE GUIDE
AUTOMOTIVE GUIDE REAL ESTATE GUIDE
Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News