For Adenike Johnson, the transition from the tech world to the restaurant industry was a matter of lifesaving necessity. “When I first moved to Florida, I couldn’t find work in my field,” she recalls. “I was actually getting sick from the stress and needed to heal myself and eat a healthier diet.”
She went back to the classroom, enrolling in Florida SouthWestern State College’s business management program and taking nutrition courses. After several false starts, her journey morphed into Fibrre, a vegan restaurant and carry-out spot inside LA Fitness in Fort Myers (although access to Fibrre is available to all). While she offers meat and fish items on special, the core of her menu consists of homemade veggie burgers from a proprietary recipe.
“We’re here to help people maintain a plant-based diet on the go,” she says. “My inspiration is to offer food that I would have served to my grandmother. You don’t feel sluggish when you eat here because your body is turning the food into energy.”
Her goal was to develop a vegan burger that had both texture and flavor, unlike many others on the market. She uses black beans, beets, and legumes to make sure each patty delivers nearly 15 grams of protein. Among her assortment of drinks and smoothies, her personal favorite is the Cucumber Limeade, a “vegetable limeade” designed to contain fiber as well as refreshing taste.
Despite the challenges of operating a Black-owned business (her previous location was vandalized twice, and funding has been difficult to come by), Johnson continues to persevere and give back. She maintains a Fibrre Box Program to feed the homeless and is working on a Fibrre Kids Program to teach children how to transition to healthy food. “When negative things happen to you,” she says, “you have to find ways to turn them into a positive impact.”