In need of sustenance after a long, hot day in Redding I popped into Mimi Grace Café for some lunch and to re-charge my coffee batteries. It’s the kind of place you go when you want to eat something that hits all your notes but doesn’t leave you feeling bad about your life choices.
Sure, maybe that slice of paleo chocolate cake is still a slice of cake, but if you’re worried about allergies or inflammation, at least you can sit in a window seat with a cup of coffee and enjoy it without painful repercussions later. Other than the extra minutes on your workout if you’re so inclined, and I am most definitely not.
Warren and Naomi Drew moved to Redding a little over five years ago from Tacoma. They started Mimi Grace after Naomi underwent a serious health journey, bringing Warren alongside her. Mimi Grace Cafe officially opened in November of 2017 after gaining a following from their presence at the farmers’ market where they served coffee and gluten-free banana-sweetened waffles. They spent three years at the market, and after realizing how their health was influencing their nutrition choices they decided that Mimi Grace Café would focus on health and wellness.
Their foods aren’t specifically paleo or vegan; instead they’re choosing to focus on serving clean, whole, organic foods. They also like to reflect the seasons in their menu, switching up soups and fan favorite, the Abundance Bowl, as the weather changes. The Drews try to source all of their ingredients locally and their coffee offerings are a pleasant surprise as well. I highly recommend the rose petal latte.
With fair trade, local small batch roasters, a coffee break at Mimi Grace is many kinds of good, wholesome self-care. One of the local cottage roasted coffee producers featured in the cafe is Integrity Coffee by Blake Carlson. Originally from Kentucky, he’s excited to join the ranks of the small-batch coffee roasting revival in Redding. He roasts weekly, bringing his coffee to Mimi Grace and selling it via his website. Take a bag of coffee home with you, along with your lunch, and perhaps a something for dessert.
Speaking of dessert, as you walk in to order at Mimi Grace, you’ll find yourself drawn to the sweet tableau of desserts off to the left. That’s because they have an incredible baker onsite, Hunter Francis, cooking up luscious layer cakes and assorted desserts using mostly coconut sugar and maple syrup. If you’re one of many people taking a hard look at the way refined sugars and wheat flours affect your wellness, know that there is a place where really delicious cake is available without those things. Go ahead, treat yourself.
Mimi Grace Café
2527 Victor Ave, Redding
7am–3pm Monday–Saturday and 8am–3pm Sundays.
Open for online ordering; check the link on MimiGrace’s Facebook page.
retail sites and direct order at integritycoffeeroasting.com
Sara Calvosa Olson is a Karuk writer living with her soulmate, raising two large teenage sons. She has a regular column in News From Native California that explores California Indian foodways and reconnection to traditional Indigenous ingredients. Chími nu’am! (Let’s eat!)