Intuit Helps Small Cafe Promote Healthy Dining Alternative
In November 2011, Melanie Fremont-Weatherstone poured her 35 years of experience in the food-service industry into starting her own business in Gillette, Wyo.
“I had only lived in the Gillette community, which is a big mining town, for about seven years,” says Weatherstone, who has worked in cafes, restaurants, and food stores since the age of 14. “And we either have two choices of food — fast food, which is definitely not good for you, or the ‘big house’ or buffet-style [restaurant]. There’s no good alternative for any kind of good eating.”
Inspired to provide a healthy dining option, Weatherstone created the Mufa Cafe. The cafe’s name and overall concept stems from her awareness of the myriad health benefits associated with consuming foods that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Jokingly, Weatherstone often quips that Mufa stands for “Melanie’s Unadulterated Food Acquisition.” What isn’t a joke, of course, are the well-known heath benefits of consuming “good fats.”
“These fats happen to be the fats that are good for you,” she explains on the cafe’s website. Eating foods high in these “good fats” is conducive to a healthier heart, more energy, improved metabolism, and a “step in right direction to a longer life with a sharper mind and more zip in your step,” Weatherstone says.
Consequently, almost every item on the menu is made from scratch — and 80 percent of the dishes served are gluten-free, too.
“People [in Gillette] who are thinking about their health have an alternative or a different route to go,” Weatherstone says. She’s certain that more local diners would enjoy her healthy and delicious menu, if only they knew about the cafe.
“The business was established where I found a little cafe that had just totally been a dive,” she admits. “Even after a year people still come in and say, ‘Wow, we didn’t even realize that it had changed hands.’ So that’s part of the reason for our need for advertising. We need to let them know we’re not on the main drag of the road, but we are definitely a great place to eat.”
Looking to pay for the local advertising Mufa Cafe desperately needs, Weatherstone entered Intuit’s Small Business Growing Strong campaign.
“Our location is less than ideal, and people don’t simply find us by driving by,” she wrote in her wish entry requesting funds to help spread the word.
This week, the small-business owner learned that Intuit is granting the wish. “Thank you so very much!” Weatherstone says. “I’m thinking this will help me phenomenally.”
Intuit’s Small Business Growing Strong campaign is announcing one winner a day through May 24, 2013. Check out the list of current winners and find out whether we’ve granted your wish!
Michael Essany is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.