Customer Spotlight: Rutabagas
When creating a recipe, it’s all about the perfect combination of ingredients to make your meal taste just right. Business owner Sara Brown, seems to have found all of the right ingredients to make her vegan restaurant, Rutabagas, a success – despite current world challenges.
Sara spent several years working in corporate America in non-profit fundraising management. While her job was fulfilling in many ways, Sara knew it was time to get back to her entrepreneur roots. During this time in her life, Sara had also transitioned to a mostly vegetarian and for a short time, vegan diet, and realized there was a great need for vegan options in the Lincoln community. Brown comments, “I was researching vegan recipes and learning how to cook with ingredients I’ve never used before – and loved it! I knew I had something special to offer.”
Sara began working on her vegan restaurant concept and in July of 2018, Rutabagas was formed. “I own and operate Rutabagas – from the visionary aspect down to the day-to-day operations. I’ve also recruited a team of 12 dynamic and talented individuals that help bring Rutabagas’ vision to life,” comments Brown. Currently, Rutabagas is the second only all-vegan, full-service restaurant in the state of Nebraska.
Rutabagas menu consists of American comfort foods – nachos, burgers, onion rings, chick’n sandwiches and cookies – to name a few. “I wanted our dishes to evoke feelings of safety, comfort, well-being and happiness. All of our menu items are vegan (free of ANY type of animal products, i.e. meat, eggs, butter, honey) and many of our dishes are free of the common allergens (corn, peanuts, soy, nuts, gluten, etc). From creating the right menu, to finding the right employees, to having the right type of insurance, Sara has overseen every step and has had a little help along the way.
“My Security First agent, Dustin Lottman has been by my side since the inception of Rutabagas. I’ve executed the vision of Rutabagas in phases – all of which required different levels and types of insurance, and Dustin has always done a great job making sure I’m coved,” comments Brown. “This is the first large-scale business I have owned, and Dustin is a wealth of information for me. I truly could not have navigated the last two years without him.”
With her business protected, Sara continued on but could have never imagined what was to unfold next. Rutabagas was in the process of moving into their new “forever” home when COVID-19 hit. While Sara and her team were able to complete the transition into their new space, she was now faced with a whole new list of challenges. Like for many other small businesses, COVID-19 restricted business volume and revenue. To overcome these new challenges, Sara and her team “beefed up” (no pun intended) their carry-out business and launched the Rutabagas app, making it easy for customers to order from home and swing by for curbside pickup.
Brown adds, “We are taking things day by day, but feel thankful we had built such an incredible following before COVID hit. I also know my business is in good hands with Security First Insurance and my agent, Dustin. Overall, the future is bright for us!”
Rutabagas is located at 1430 O Street in Lincoln and is open for dine in, carry out and delivery. More information can be found by visiting their website at eatrutabagas.com or downloading the Rutabagas app.