Brad Hooey is the manager of High Noon Cafe, Jackson's only strictly vegetarian and vegan restaurant operated by Rainbow Cooperative Grocery in Fondren. Tonight, Hooey will lead a meeting on the restaurant's uncertain future.
Hooey, 30, came to Jackson in the summer of 2006, and he has managed the cafe, as well as Rainbow's deli and bakery sections, since April 2007. A native Californian, he is a true believer in High Noon's mission to showcase the diversity and quality of vegetarian cooking, beyond the tofu-and-beans stereotype.
That mission is in danger, however, because of the sluggish economy. With a narrower profit margin, Rainbow cannot support the restaurantwhich has never been profitablemuch longer.
"The store treats us a service to the community," Hooey told the Jackson Free Press. "The store has always floated us as a business."
The restaurant does not skimp on quality, buying almost exclusively organic ingredients and preparing every dish from scratch, using nothing frozen. That commitment to quality and a "real product, from real people," is expensive, though, Hooey says.
Hooey hopes that today's meeting will stir up support from the cafe's loyal customers and elicit ideas for ways to keep High Noon afloat. The meeting is open to the public and starts at 6:30 p.m. in the cafe, located in the Rainbow Grocery building on Old Canton Road.
High Noon Cafe is open from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. See their menu on the Rainbow Web Site. Call 601-366-1513 for more information.
I haven't tried High Noon Cafe, but it would be a real tragedy if it can't survive.
- golden eagle