TJ Welton meets a young customer at his healthy food business, the Goodie Bowl. Photo: The Goodie Bowl.
Writer: Karla Walsh
At the Table is a recurring feature in dsmWeekly, in which we introduce you to a local food company owned by a person of color. Catch up on the previous editions: Street Eats DSM, G.G.’s Chicken & Waffles, Palm’s Caribbean Cuisine, Artis T’s Catering, Your Mom’s Bakery, Jazz It Up, Chellie’s Sugar Shack Bakery, Bess Kitchen, Curly Girl Cakes and Cookies and Kiana’s Cookie Creations.
As a part-time lawyer, house-flipper and dad with a nursing degree, it’s not like TJ Welton needed another job. But after studying plant-based eating, Welton realized there would be a market for the Goodie Bowl in Des Moines. “About five years ago, I started watching documentaries and reading books on plant-based eating and how good it is for longevity,” Welton says, which prompted him to switch to a vegan diet.
“Looking at our society, the No. 1 factor for nearly every chronic disease—like heart disease, cancer and diabetes—is what we put into our mouths every day,” he says. “Being healthy allows you to live a fuller and happier life. The person that’s unhealthy has one goal: to get healthy. The person that’s already healthy can have a thousand goals.”
So in November 2019, Welton opened the Goodie Bowl tucked inside Rooted Beauty and Wellness (300 E. Grand Ave., Suite 160) as a fully vegan, plant-based cafe offering cold-pressed juices made with organic fruits and vegetables with no added sugars, additives or preservatives. At the launch, Welton was also making vegan food such as Buddha bowls in-house (hence the “Goodie Bowl” name) but decided to outsource that to the Grateful Chef to allow for better work-life balance.
“I wanted to give people more options besides burgers,” Welton says. “Giving up meat is hard, but once your taste buds change, you don’t really want to go back.”
The cold-pressed immunity juice with orange, pineapple, carrot, lemon, ginger and turmeric is the top-seller—especially during the pandemic. When you score any of the juices you can feel good about the fact that all food scraps from the juices are donated to the Inner Light Sanctuary to feed animals.