Don’t have a cow; eat at Squeakers

As a new push to eat organic food arises in our society, a local business delivers the goods.

Squeakers, a vegetarian café and health food store downtown, offers a variety of organic and vegan food for everyone.

Owner Heather Andre said a wide range of customers shop at the store.

“We see people anywhere from college students to senior citizens,” she said.

According to Andre, the trend of eating organic food became very popular in the last five years, which was around the time Squeakers was opened. She said eating organic and vegan foods are much cleaner since they are free of synthetic pesticides and herbicides.

“Organic food does not contain carcinogens, the taste is better, they are healthier and they are better for the environment and animals,” Andre said.

She added that 90 percent of everything in the store is organic, but their main focus is to promote veganism. They believe strongly in selling food free of animal products.

For those not familiar with Squeakers, it is a store and a restaurant all in one.

Every item on the menu is 100 percent vegan. The food is free of eggs, dairy and animal meat, according to Andre.

“It is harder to train the cooks because our style is unique, but it helps that every employee is vegan or vegetarian,” Andre said.

Squeakers has four employees who are all trained to do everything in the store. They are trained to cook, use the register, stock shelves and wait tables.

If customers come into the store and cannot find something they want specifically, they can make a request with Heather.

She then makes special orders every Monday and the truck comes in on Tuesdays. She does this for customers free of any extra charge to show the community she is willing to meet their every need.

“I give customers a 10 percent discount if they order a case of an item,” she said. “Also, students get 10 percent off any item when they show their student ID.”

Andre said she grows her own organic produce at home and sells it at the store.

The organic produce has proven to be very popular along with the organic chocolate bars, baked goods and fruit smoothies.

“I support the local farmers and growers when I’m in need of products, but my garden produces a lot,” she said.

Andre explained how she had a similar store in Findlay but it was closed due to staffing problems. She added that she will eventually open another store in Findlay because she lives there.

Locals also have a chance to purchase organic produce elsewhere in Toledo at the Toledo Farmers’ Market open every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.

The Farmers’ Market continues to thrive because quality, home-grown produce is available.

According to the Web site, “Along with farm fresh produce, the market provides quality poultry products, fresh baked goods, herbs, fresh cut flowers, all types of plants, fruit and cider, handmade crafts and gourmet food items.”

In addition to the Farmers’ Market, a Harvest Fest will be held Aug. 25 with live music, free samples and a fundraiser for the Food Bank of Toledo.