May 19, 2022

go health

Nourish ICT to open in former Beautiful Day Cafe space


Charolett Knapic, left, is leasing her former Beautiful Day Cafe space on East Central to Jamelah Kauffman, who is opening a meal prep company called Nourish ICT.

Courtesy photo

When Jamelah Kauffman used to eat at Beautiful Day Cafe, she said she thought, “I would love to meet the owner because I feel we’re kindred spirits.”

Now, Kauffman has met Charolett Knapic and is leasing her former restaurant space for her new meal prep company called Nourish ICT.

“We have so much in common,” Kauffman said.

“She even said, ‘You’re carrying on the legacy of what I wanted this building to do, what I wanted to provide for people.’ ”

Knapic said she had a lot of offers to lease her building at 2516 E. Central, including from places like a potential hamburger joint.

“But I wanted someone who favored organic and healthy foods,” she said.

That’s Kauffman’s entire focus.

“Our focus is on whole food, and we’re bringing in the local community,” Kauffman said.

Her intention is to work with local farmers and grow her own vegetables and herbs at the garden on the property. Kauffman called it a farm-to-table concept in meal prep form.

“I have always loved food and loved entertaining,” she said. “My entire life, people have said, ‘You need to make food for people.’ ”

Kauffman learned a lot about healthy eating through a program that she said taught her about the importance of focusing on her body’s response to food and eliminating inflammatory and addictive food.

Over the course of four years, she lost 85 pounds.

“I started to understand that, really, what we put in our body makes a huge difference.”

Kauffman said there is a variety of foods that work for different people, and each person needs to figure out what works for healthier results.

“Not every food works for every body.”

She calls food medicine.

“It doesn’t have to be super difficult.”

Kauffman said as she saw her own health improve, she started helping others, and that was part of the inspiration behind Nourish ICT.

Also, with the pandemic, Kauffman said she didn’t want fast food drive-throughs.

“I was like, oh, my gosh, we don’t have healthy choices.”

Nourish ICT will open this spring, and Kauffman will post a variety of meal options each week.

“My heritage is Mexican,” she said, and Kauffman said she’s learned to make Mexican dishes in a healthier way.

She’ll also offer vegan dishes, salads and Asian meals.

Prices “will be competitive to what is already out there in the Wichita market,” Kauffman said.

She said healthy food takes time, and locally sourced food costs a little more, too.

“But in the end it’s an investment for our health that in the long run makes sense.”

Kauffman is looking for a chef.

“Someone who is into that healthy lifestyle . . . and is passionate about people eating healthy.”

She said she’d like her entire staff to have that vision.

Knapic said she was thrilled to hear Kauffman’s plans.

“I just came home really inspired.”

She said her vision “is going to live on. It made me feel so good.”

Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for more than three decades, including almost 20 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.