Greenhouse Café in Lebanon places emphasis on local sourcing

The farm-to-table movement has gained a lot of traction around the world in recent years, and Southwest Ohio is no exception. One of many such restaurants, the Greenhouse Café in Lebanon, is committed to bringing healthy, local food to the Cincinnati area and accommodating a wide variety of people.

Greenhouse Café has been open since 2019, but current owner Sam Heareth bought it from founder Lindsay Mescher in March of this year. Heareth had always dreamed of owning a restaurant. The Lebanon native had been to culinary school and started her own business teaching cooking classes at Liberty Farm Market.

As with many business owners, Heareth had to pivot when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She opened a farm-to-table food truck called Grassroots Kitchen, which she gave up to buy the Greenhouse Café and achieve her lifelong dream. “

I could possibly see it making a reemergence in the future, though,” Heareth said of the Grassroots Kitchen.

Greenhouse Café sells sandwiches, salads, quinoa bowls, tea, kombucha on tap, coffee, craft cocktails, and local beer and wine. Emphasis is placed on locally-sourced, organic ingredients.

“What makes Greenhouse Café unique is it truly has something for everyone,” Heareth said. “We cater to many dietary preferences and allergies and provide a place where people can feel good eating at. We pride ourselves on our use of local fresh ingredients and making as much as we possibly can in-house.”

All sauces are vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free, and many dishes either already are or can be made vegetarian or vegan. Some unique offerings include a chamomile CBD elixir and a cashew cold brew.

Greenhouse Café also offers a small bites menu, which is available from Thursdays to Saturdays in the evenings.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had long-lasting effects on small businesses, and for Greenhouse, the biggest impact is the rising cost of ingredients, which is compounded when buying local ingredients. This has caused Heareth to raise prices, which some customers are not happy about. However, Greenhouse Café has a wide net of support.

“I have an absolutely amazing team that works for me. Everyone works so well together and supports one another,” Heareth said. “One of the other awesome things about it is the feeling of the support of the local small businesses in the Lebanon community. Our customers are amazing and really appreciate Greenhouse Café's mission of supplying fresh sustainable food.”

Heareth’s upcoming plan is to remodel the kitchen to expand the menu offerings, such as more dinner items. Heareth would also like to add brunch on the weekends. One possibility is to open a secondary location and bring the fresh, sustainable offerings to a wider audience.

How to go

What: Greenhouse Café

Where: 105 E. Mulberry St. in Lebanon

Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays.

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