We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalia Levey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Natalia, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Most of us are used to grabbing a bite to eat, or going out for a special occasion, not giving a second thought to how many micro decisions go into making every meal experience come together. It’s not on our radar – we just want to enjoy the food and service. The fact is that profit margins at the restaurants are around 8-10%, and keep getting smaller because of all the extra added expenses (from approximately paying 30% to delivery companies, extra sanitizing and personal protection equipment, rising food costs due to supply chain interruptions).

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In 2001-2002 I went through a culinary school in NYC, but after working in the industry for a couple of months I had to quit due to health issues. I’ve spent years traveling the world, learning a variety of culinary and wellness modalities from different cultures, which eventually led to creating Healthy Intent – an educational company with focus on holistic approaches to cooking, entertaining and health. Following years of research on why we like to eat what we do, I published a book : “Cravings Boss – the real reason you crave food and a 5-step plan to take back control.” I’ve spent years going deeper into research on gut health (which led to a TEDx talk “The surprising connection between gut and happiness”), teaching, speaking, and helping people to connect what they eat with how they feel. Few years ago I had an opportunity to come aboard our family restaurants, and integrate all my studies into creating better company culture, and subsequently into happier customers and better profits. The boomerang career. It started in the restaurant industry, and pulled me back after years away. Food is my first love. And now to have the opportunity to feed the souls of the people who feed the nation is something I don’t take for granted. We currently have 2 restaurant locations, with more concepts in development. Building a solid team of smart, professional, talented, dedicated people is the key to our success.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Tampa Bay is a massively growing area. And now we are The Stanley Cup champions! With fabulous waterfront activities and dining spots, close proximity to beautiful beaches, it’s easy to fall in love with. One day we would go for a drive all around Tampa Bay – through the beautiful bridges, to St. Petersburg for a few hours to see the new Pier, and then back. We would check out the new restaurant Counter Culture and have amazing sharing plates. One day I would make her a delicious breakfast, then we would take a drive down to Sarasota and spend the day on the beach in Longboat Key and have dinner in St Armands Circle. We would visit all the little shops and eat dinner at Speaks Clam Bar (our family restaurant). We would spend hours and hours sitting in my back yard, looking at the views of Tampa Bay – and talk. To me the best times are times spent together, connecting.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dr. Betsy A.B. Greenleaf DO, FACOOG(Distinguished), MBA Email drbgreenleaf@gmail.com Website: https://drbetsygreenleaf.com/

Website: natalialevey.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/natalialevey
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalia-levey-54b15219/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnxPzlTbBVQKLf-rhTjmrFg

Image Credits
Heidi Hapanowicz Photography Shayna Hardy personal images

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