Contributed by Melanie Oliva
If Miami’s environmentally-conscious vegans collectively dreamed up the ideal-ice cream shop, Nabati might be it. Not only are their products all plant-based, but their materials are also eco-friendly.
Owner Ola Kayal integrated sustainability into the design as well — down to the hand-painted menu, which only appears on reusable glass panels. The ingredients for Nabati’s rotating 18 flavors are all organic, sustainably-sourced, GMO-free, unrefined, soy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free; dates and maple syrup are used for an all-natural sweetness. Service-ware is biodegradable, the shop is plastic-free and customers receive a discount if they bring their own container.
Ola strives to live a zero-waste lifestyle herself, something not easily achieved. She believes her business should match her values and has the background for success, with a sustainable business degree from the Business School of Lausanne. While working as a plant-based chef in London, she became inspired to start her own business. Sensing Miami was in need of plant-based ice cream, Ola jumped at the opportunity to relocate and start Nabati. Miami can experience this scoop of heaven starting August 2nd!
We got to ask Ola a few questions about what led her here:
Miami Chronicles: What inspired you to open Nabati? Does the name have significance?
Ola Kayal: I’ve always aspired to open my own restaurant and as a chef, I feel responsible for providing healthy options and caring for the environment. This led me to the concept of Nabati.
Na-ba-ti is an Arabic word that means “plant-based”, which touches my roots. I connected with this world heavily. Our ice cream is of course plant-based as well as unrefined and organic. I think the demand is growing for sustainable food, and there aren’t yet enough options, so I wanted to fill that void with something healthy, delicious and fun!
MC: What do you love about ice cream?
OK: I love that ice cream brings people together and makes them happy. It also cools you down quickly during extreme heat. I feel fortunate to offer delicious, guilt-free options for those who are environmentally-conscious, health-conscious, lactose-intolerant or allergic to nuts (while most of our bases are made with cashews and coconuts, we offer nut-free options as well). The shop will have 18 flavours of ice cream, toppings, and sauces, as well as smoothie bowls, smoothies, coffee, desserts, kombucha and CBD water.
MC: What are your best flavors?
OK: At Palm Beach VegFest, my most popular flavors were Vanilla Mango Almond and Chocolate Almond Butter Brownie. I personally love the creamy texture of Sunflowerseed Butter Chia Swirl and am also excited about the new flavor I just recently developed: Mamey Ginger.
MC: How did you get into plant-based cuisine?
OK: To start the journey towards my dream of owning my own restaurant, I obtained a degree in sustainable business at the Business School of Lausanne. I then enrolled in the Culinary Arts Academy in Switzerland, where I obtained my second bachelors. I worked in Switzerland, in a three Michelin star restaurant in Sweden, then in Macau, and finally in London where I started to move towards plant-based cuisine.
For the last couple of years, I’ve been challenging myself to live a zero-waste lifestyle. I decided pretty early on that the business I open has to match my values; plant-based and environmentally-responsible.
MC: Why Miami?
OK: Simply put, I saw a great opportunity and I grabbed it. Since just about everyone these days is becoming more conscious about what they’re putting into their bodies, I knew an ice cream that satisfies a craving, guilt-free, would be perfect. Plus, Miami is hot, all year long, so what better way to cool off? Lastly and most importantly, I’m able to continue my mission and educate all of my customers on the zero-waste lifestyle.
Nabati is located at 317 NW 25th St. Buy one, get one free at their Opening on August 2. Open Tuesday through Thursday 10am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 10am to midnight and Sunday 10am to 10pm. Follow Nabati on Instagram, Facebook or visit nabatisuperfoods.com for updates.