We all know that clean eating and healthy living is a goal that we should all aspire towards. However, that lifestyle can be easier said than done. Preparing farm-to-table meals can be both time consuming and costly. And that’s where Ellicottville’s Wholesome Hideaway comes into play. About to enter it’s second year of operation, Wholesome Hideaway is the vision of Brittany Lowry, who after beginning a career in the legal field, decided that her lifestyle needed a more holistic approach.
“When I was working in the legal field, I found myself feeling exhausted and stressed out the majority of the time,” said Lowry. “I went from a court stenographer to paralegal. On my lunch breaks as a paralegal, I spent my time researching clean eating and more of a holistic approach to life. That led to me working at Nature’s Remedy (in Ellicottville) where I continued to pursue my research on a cleaner lifestyle. I noticed that clean eating and using food for fuel was becoming my obvious passion and I really noticed a major change in how I felt.”
The change in how she felt physically soon turned into a feeling of change that she knew she needed to make. The question was, what was the next step? The answer, as it turned out, was to go into business for herself and open a restaurant. And while starting a restaurant in Ellicottville was by no means an easy feat, Lowry said that the location of the ever-growing tourist destination was an obvious choice. Not only did she and her husband, Job, know the area, but since they were quite positive that they wanted to start a family there, it only made sense to plant business roots in Ellicottville as well.
“The decision was definitely a scary one that my husband and I spent a chunk of time discussing, but I felt like it was what I was meant to do,” Lowry stated. “How can you know the benefits of this lifestyle and not share them with those around you? Whenever someone comments and says how great something tastes, I usually respond with ‘our food is made with love’ because I think that makes all the difference.”
So with that mindset fueling her, Lowry opened Wholesome Hideaway - a café full of clean eating, carry-out options that both taste great and leave you feeling fueled up for your day. Lowry gets her culinary inspiration from a combination of experimentation, research, blogs, Instagram, numerous cookbooks, and of course her Nana’s recipe box.
There was certainly a level of intimidation that Lowry had to get past in order to make her dream a reality. Aside from the fact that there were already plenty of established restaurants in the area, she would be opening a café based on clean, holistic eating concepts, which in many ways were unchartered waters for her. But she wholeheartedly believed that if she gave people the option to treat their tastebuds and also be health-conscious, that she would be able to grow a customer base. One year later, that philosophy has proven to be true.
Much to Lowry’s surprise, business has developed faster than expected. When Wholesome Hideaway first opened, Lowry said that she wasn’t anticipating the demand for catering that she currently has. “I knew I wanted to pursue the eat-in and carry-out café aspect, but the high demand for catering really caught me off guard. Actually, it’s become one of our favorite things to do. Customizing, preparing, cooking, plating – it ends up being an entire experience for us before it even leaves the door to make its debut at the event itself.”
As with any new venture, there have been ample lessons that have been learned in the past year. Lowry stated that, much to the delight of her friends and family, she quickly found out that she needed to let go of her Type A personality and just roll with the punches. Ultimately she is grateful that she trusted her instincts and embarked on this endeavor. “Although we are expecting our first child in October, this has almost been like my first little business baby,” Lowry stated. “They say that motherhood is the most rewarding experience in life and my business baby has been exactly that.”
This “business baby” is much more than just a job to Brittany. She looks at Wholesome Hideaway as a career due to the fun, fulfilling days that are always demanding and filled with a tremendous amount of hustle.
Lowry is quick to point out that people would not be enjoying the mouth-watering, healthy benefits of her whole foods menu without a lot of help from her family and friends. “The ‘yum’ frame and shelving was done by Job’s grandparents,” said Lowry. “My brother and father have been my plumbing crew for the 3-bay sink. My mom painted all the walls and my father-in-law painted the door. My mother-in-law has hand painted us Wholesome Hideaway signs. Karie, who started out as my 4 hours a week helper, has turned into a full time assistant here and will soon be opening up her sister company in our new expansion. Without her, Wholesome Hideaway would not be flourishing the way that it is and many of our meals would not have made it onto the plate.” And of course there is her husband, Job, who has been a constant source of love and support.
Wholesome Hideaway is celebrating its one year anniversary by rolling out a new addition to the building - repurposed home décor by Karie’s new business, E. Co. (Entertaining Company). “We will also be utilizing the additional space by expanding our catering options, including weekly meal plans, event catering, party planning, classes, and more,” Lowry stated proudly.
Brittany is also expecting her and Job’s first child soon. But rest assured, that does not mean much down time for her. She will take a few weeks off while Karie manages the business and then it is right back into the swing of things. “Wholesome Hideaway will become even more kid-friendly than it already is because every day will become bring your kid to work day,” said Lowry. “With this lifestyle, it is commonly said to start them young so I only see Liam (our son) benefiting from daily green juices and play dates with all of our under-the-age-of-five regulars. Okay, maybe the moms are the true regular customers, but you catch my drift.”
You can find Wholesome Hideaway online at wholesomehideaway.com. Or better yet, visit Brittany in person at 33 Bristol Lane in Ellicottville (the building that also houses Tim & Bonnie’s Restaurant and Jonny Barber Shop). And of course, search Wholesome Hideaway on Facebook and give them a “Like”.