Local Food Hero Lydia Kindheart Opening New Vegan Restaurant in Sebastopol

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Award-winning vegan & raw food pioneer Lydia Kindheart expands her organic dynasty beyond grocery store shelves to include another new restaurant in Sebastopol, CA. Their grand opening celebration takes place on July 13th.

Our philosophy is to do whatever we can, in any way we can for the benefit of people, the planet, and all lifeforms.

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All aboard the “Chew Chew Train!”

Situated inside an authentic 1930's Pullman train dining car in the iconic Gravenstein Station, Lydia's Express is quaint and unassuming. But if you ever get the opportunity to talk to it's namesake, Lydia Kindheart, you'll see that this train runs on schedule because of its conductor.

Located on Highway 12, directly across from the Barlow, the newly minted $23.8 million culinary and arts center, Lydia’s Express serves the same award-winning vegan food as their sister restaurant, Lydia’s Sunflower Center in Petaluma; which is billed as “America's Largest Vegan Restaurant and Event Center.” Managed by lifelong vegetarian and Lydia's daughter, Sonya, Lydia’s Express serves a full menu of organic, vegan, gluten free and GMO free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, as well as beer, wine and cider.

In the retail section of the restaurant, dominated by a large wooden shelf and glass door refrigerator, the labels on the fresh and dehydrated food products also bear Lydia's name. In fact, Lydia's Organics and Lydia's Lovin' Foods are just two more aspects of the Lydia's brand that has slowly grown over the past 18 years in Northern California.

Starting from a catering job that Kindheart fulfilled with the help of her mother in a Fairfax backyard, the Lydia's brand now can be seen on shelves in over 500 stores nationwide, in Bay Area grocery stores, and award-winning restaurant locations in Petaluma and Sebastopol. Add to that the numerous catering gigs and music festivals (almost 50 this year alone,) and the total count hovers around two million people that have been nourished by this “Raw Food Alchemist,” as she has been called.

"Our philosophy is to do whatever we can, in any way we can for the benefit of people, the planet, and all lifeforms," Lydia says.

Kindheart was born in Paris to an American father & French mother and moved to California when she was 16 years old. After years of her own studies in raw food, veganism, meditation and fasting, she eventually finished school early and set out on her own journey of self-discovery. This lead her to a almost 10 year stint traveling all over North and South America, living out of a school bus where she would sell handmade arts & crafts in addition to her teaching others about the benefits of a raw food lifestyle.

After having her daughter, Sonya, and fluctuating between living in Marin County and Hawaii, Lydia eventually settled in the Bay Area and began perusing her passion for nurturing others as a full time venture. Early support from Whole Foods Market got her dehydrated food line in front of thousands of new customers and her trajectory has only been upward since.

She moved her operations to Petaluma in 2012 to expand her in-store food offerings to include fresh foods (Lydia's Lovin' Foods) elusively to Bay Area stores. She was also able to increase her output of raw cereals, crackers, bars, chips, kale chips and seasonings (Lydia's Organics) and open her restaurant and event center, Lydia's Sunflower Center. In recent months, Lydia, her brands and restaurants have won numerous awards from organizations like the North Bay Bohemian, The Petaluma Argus Courier, Edible Marin & Wine Country Magazine, the Sonoma County Green Business Program, and San Francisco Earth Day; naming Lydia Kindheart as a 2014 Bay Area Green Hero.

Lydia's Express opened for business in February of 2014, but the grand opening event will take place on Sunday, July 13th between 11:00 AM & 7:00 PM and will feature live music, delicious food, entertainment for the whole family, holistic healing sessions, a raffle drawing and some special activities from their neighbors at Gravenstein Station!

Sponsors Include:

West County Glass Gallery is a destination gift shoppe for the discerning buyer, glass connoisseur, and shopper in need of gifts for that someone in their life who has everything.  We create many of the products on display in our flameworking studio, located along Hwy 116 South in Sebastopol, where we also teach classes and sell glass working supplies, tools and equipment. In addition to our own wares, West County Glass Gallery features the work of many talented Sonoma County glass artists. http://www.westcountyglass.com

Coffee Catz is “Sebastopol’s living room.” A place to relax, meet new people, be creative. We roast all of our organic, fair trade coffee on premises!  We offer fresh roasted, organic coffee. Organic teas, great chai, yerba mate, lemonade, etc. We have an extensive menu of bagels, eggs, sandwiches, quiche, desserts, muffins, etc. that we serve all day long. We have Science Buzz Cafe on some Tuesday nights, Open Mic every Monday night, Bluegrass Jam every Saturday afternoon, and Coffee Talks the 1st and 4th Weds of each month which are all about raising your consciousness and personal growth/transformation! Open to all! Check out the calendar of events each month at our website  http://www.CoffeeCatz.net

Radiant Health: Our team of practitioners offers an extensive collaborative experience in Naturopathic medicine, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Herbal medicine, Stress Management, Body Work, Energy Medicine and Alternative Health Care. Our Holistic Health Center practitioners help you create a new pain-free life. http://www.CommunityHolisticHealth.com

SoCoHA(Sonoma County Healing Academy) is a group of innovative Healers/Practitioners/Artists/Business folk that through education and experience, developed and created unique healing modalities.  SoCoHA collaborates with local commerce to create sustainable and affordable self-health care.  Services/clinics include both Alternative and Traditional methods to healing Mind Body & Spirit.  http://www.socoha.com

Claypool Cellars: Established in 2007, Claypool Cellars began as a hobby project of Primus frontman Les Claypool and his friend and local entrepreneur Slawek Michalak. A few years and thousands of bottles later, Claypool Cellars is now recognized as a serious purveyor of Pinot Noir, even if they don’t take themselves too seriously. Their tagline is “fancy booze for semi-fancy folk.” Their reservation-only Fancy Booze Caboose is located in the Gravenstein Station, right next to Lydia’s Express! Call for a reservation 707-861-9358 or visit their website at http://www.claypoolcellars.com

The Sebastopol Inn: The Sebastopol Inn, in Sonoma’s Wine country, is the ideal accommodation not only for the romantic wine country getaway, but also for a family vacation, with wine tasting, hot air ballooning, Russian River canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, zip line, Safari West park with live animals and superb antiquing at your doorstep, this inn, tucked behind the historic Gravenstein train station, offers a central location to explore all that is wine country in Sonoma County.  The Sebastopol Inn will take you back to small town America during a simpler and friendlier time. Enjoy our inviting garden courtyard with fountain, relax on our large veranda style porches and take in the peaceful scenery.  http://www.SebastopolInn.com

Peace In Medicine: Peace in Medicine is a grassroots, community-based, healing center offering support and alternative health resources to people facing health challenges. We are a California nonprofit operating the first special use permit (issued 06/27/2007) for a medical cannabis dispensary in the City of Sebastopol. Our primary goal is to advocate and support a proactive approach to health management by providing a local, affordable, and safe environment to dispense medical cannabis and offer other alternative health services. http://www.peaceinmedicine.org
Raffle Prizes Include:
❤ Large Hanging Air Plant Holder ($45) and/or Hummingbird Feeder ($39) from West County Glass
❤ 3 hours of body work with Dr. Laura Polak, D.C from Radiant Health
❤  $25.00 gift card from Coffee Catz- Sebastopol’s Living Room!
❤  A gift certificate for The Sonoma County Healing Academy
❤  A gift certificate for one night stay at The Sebastopol Inn
❤ Something cool from Peace in Medicine
❤ Something cool from Claypool Cellars
❤ And of course, gift certificates to Lydia’s Express!
Lydia's Express
6761 Sebastopol Avenue,
Sebastopol, CA
(707) 861-9431
Monday to Sunday, 10am - 9pm

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Glenn Sauber

Lydia Kindheart
since: 02/2014
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