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Fresh Pot Cafe adds fresh option to Highway 153

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Chefs Blanca Mullo and Marco Garrido and their daughter Gaby Cemel, from left, smile for a picture in the newly opened Fresh Pot Cafe.

The newly opened Fresh Pot Cafe adds a casual option for fresh food — with a gourmet twist — on Highway 153.

The family-run business just opened its doors in February and serves a varied dine-in and carry-out menu, from a vibrant strawberry spinach salad to a savory New York strip steak to customer-favorite shrimp and crispy grits.

Then there’s the cafe’s special sauce, a secret family recipe with tomatoes, parsley, onions and more, that makes everything taste even better, said Gaby Cemel, daughter to owners and chefs Marco Garrido and Blanca Mullo.

“Our food speaks for itself. It’s fresh and it’s healthy,” Cemel said. “Everything my parents make, they make it here. We wanted to bring a different type of food that wasn’t fast food. We wanted it to be fresh and use the best quality.”

The family is originally from Ecuador, where Garrido and Mullo owned a restaurant for 20-plus years, Cemel said. Hints of the family’s heritage can be seen in the small cafe, from the warm yellow walls to the images of beautiful Ecuadorian scenery hanging in frames.

The family moved to the United States 10 years ago but just recently decided to open up the new restaurant.

“All of us put input and give our ideas and work to make this restaurant succeed,” Cemel said, explaining that her brother Diego Garrido also helps out at the cafe. “My parents have been cooking their whole life and always worked together. It kind of runs in the family.”

Fresh Pot Cafe is located at 5425 Highway 153, Suite B4.

To find out more, visit facebook.com/freshpotcafe. The restaurant can be reached at 805-3773.