New owners of the popular vegetarian and vegan establishment plan to build on winning formulaBy Ann Luongo
Entrepreneurship is nothing new to Keith and Teresa Stigura. As the new owners of Green Lotus Café on Main Street in Hyannis, a popular vegetarian and vegan establishment, the pair felt it was the next natural step in their lives.
The Stiguras met and married in the United Kingdom, Teresa’s home country, while Keith was working for Lockheed Martin. When it was time for their daughter to attend college, the family decided to move to the U.S. so she could enroll here. But they found themselves wondering what they should do for a living. After some time, they purchased the Espresso Yourself Café in Newport, Pennsylvania, which became a huge success thanks to Teresa’s culinary education, friendly personality and exceptional customer service.
Once their daughter graduated college, the couple, now empty nesters, decided to sell the café and fulfill their dream of moving to Cape Cod. Keith was hired as the avionics manager at Cape Air, and Teresa became the owner/operator of the Inn at Lewis Bay in West Yarmouth, which they later sold.
“When you have a business, you have no time,” says Keith. “When you sell your business, you have too much time.”
When they discovered that Green Lotus was for sale, the pair thought it would be a great opportunity to purchase a restaurant that promotes a healthy lifestyle.
“Nate (Fanara, the former owner) had established a winning formula here,” says Keith. “We took what he did, added some great customer service and a few other changes, and went forward. Having a B&B taught us what it’s like to deal with a seasonal crowd, although we still have lots of full-time Cape regulars.”
The menu at Green Lotus has kept almost all of its staples, with the exception of removing the few meat products they offered in the past. These were replaced with delicious items such as the Philly Cheese Steak wrap, which is made with Portobello mushrooms (in place of steak) and is one of the most popular items on the menu.
“The Malibu is the biggest seller,” says Teresa. It’s made with avocado, red onion, tomato, sprouts, white cheddar, chipotle mayonnaise and served on seven-grain bread. “The soups are also huge sellers, especially the kale soup and the carrot and potato soup,” notes Teresa. The veggie reuben, adds Keith, is better than the real thing.
Moving forward, the Stiguras have a few subtle, yet unique plans for Green Lotus Café. “We intend to introduce veggie burgers and have a ‘burger day’ once a month,” says Teresa. “We got lots of ideas from the New England Food Show. We’ll also be installing a Kegerator from Cape Cod Coffee, which will allow us to serve micro-brewed iced coffee.”
The Stiguras source about 80 percent of their ingredients locally. “Cash & Carry (Hyannis Food Service) helps us with breads,” says Keith. “We get about 12 loaves of fresh bread a day and Teresa makes gluten-free muffins and cookies. We are also planning on offering more gluten-free products.”
People come from as far as Boston to try the food at Green Lotus, according to Keith. He adds that they have no plans for expansion at this time because, he says, laughing, “We have enough on our plates.”
Green Lotus Café
349 Main St., Hyannis