Bliss celebrates 10 years in SLO and launches its first-ever CBD-inspired dinner party | Flavor | San Luis Obispo

In 2011, vegans Palaka Sauer and David Fintel co-founded Follow your happinessSan Luis Obispo’s first mobile food facility.

Within a short year, Bliss traded in its wheels for a permanent establishment at the Network Shopping Center at 778 Higuera St.

Over the past decade, the plant-based passion project has grown into a full-service restaurant, marketplace, event lounge and catering business, and its team of owners has grown to include chief executive Dara Stepanek and chief financial officer Kyle Fintel, David’s brother. .

However, the Bliss team’s core mission – to create food that’s good for the planet as well as for the body and the soul – has never wavered, according to Sauer, who leads the kitchen as executive chef.

“Cooking healthy food with a healthy mindset is key to creating wellness,” Sauer said. “It’s a yogic diet [rooted in Hinduism]. We are using sattvic foods, which are foods in the mode of good.

“That’s why we never use animal products or serve meat, fish or eggs. This philosophy supports the nature of prana—or life force energy – and teaches us how to accept nature’s energy without harming the planet or living things. It’s also why we source local and organic produce whenever possible.”

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  • Courtesy photo by Triniti Rowe
  • OF THE HEART Bliss co-owners, left to right, Kyle Fintel, Palaka Sauer, Dara Stepanek and David Fintel are dedicated to building healthy cuisine, fostering community and protecting the planet.

Originally from Brazil, Sauer spent time in India before moving to the Central Coast in 2007 and eventually settling in Oceano.

“I learned a lot of principles from ayurvedic cook by studying the principles of Ahimsahor nonviolence, as I lived in India in the mid-1990s and continued to apply and practice these principles in all aspects of my life,” Sauer said. “This philosophy centers on compassion and care for all creatures and the realization that our activities and choices affect all other life forms on the planet.”

Ayurvedaoriginating in India more than 3,000 years ago, is a form of natural medicine that encourages healthy, humane lifestyle choices, and it’s the hallmark of Bliss, from its restaurant and product offerings to activities and special events.

“Our varietal menu is full of delicious and energizing dishes, many of which are naturally gluten-free and easily modified for special diets,” Stepanek said.

Breakfast and lunch offerings include coffee, tea, smoothies, juices, and items ranging from pancakes and scrambles to salads and protein bowls.

In the evening, a special rotating chef’s dinner includes eggplant Parmigiana, yellow coconut curry, chili “karma asada” and lentil and vegetable soup.

Atascadero’s Melissa Sabino says she dines at Bliss several times a week.

“I work in downtown SLO, so I order online and pick up food to enjoy on my lunch break. It’s so easy and convenient,” she said. “I know everything on the menu will feed my mind, body and soul. My favorite [dish] is the buddha of proteins. I also like their addition, the Light and Bright Bowl, and their daily soups. Everything on the menu is delicious.”

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CREEKSIDE PATIO Bliss' 2,400 square foot kitchen, market, and lounge seats 50 people indoors, with capacity for an additional 100 people outdoors.  - PHOTO BY CHERISH WHYTE

  • Photo by Cherish Whyte
  • PATIO BY THE STREAM Bliss’ 2,400 square foot kitchen, market and lounge can seat 50 people indoors, with capacity for an additional 100 people outdoors.

In addition to the lounge and restaurant terrace, Bliss has an in-house market offering Ayurvedic skincare, superfoods and supplements, hemp-based cooking oils and tinctures, lifestyle products zero waste, as well as snacks, drinks and groceries. .

Another goal of the Bliss ownership team is to improve the holistic well-being of their community through experiences, Stepanek said. An SLO resident and Cal Poly math and physics graduate with teaching credentials, Stepanek is also a Certified Climate Reality Leader and an Embodiment and Integrative Nutrition Coach.

She loves her job at Bliss because it provides “a vehicle to help create a future of successful humans on a successful planet,” she said.

Stepanek regularly offers dance and embodiment lessons in the Bliss Lounge and also moves offsite. For those who prefer yoga or breath work, enthusiasts can access the events tab of the Bliss webpage for local classes run by Sauer.

As part of its ongoing commitment to promoting innovation in vegan cuisine and healthy living, Bliss will be offering its first-ever Sunset CBD dinner on April 16.

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GOODIES GALORE Bliss' expanding market includes its own nutritional snacks and hemp products, as well as other health-conscious groceries, skincare items, apparel, and more.  - PHOTO BY CHERISH WHYTE

  • Photo by Cherish Whyte
  • GOODIES GALLERY Bliss’ expanding market includes its own nutritional snacks and hemp products, as well as other health-conscious groceries, skincare items, apparel, and more.

“CBD [cannabidiol] the benefits are widely known and accepted in today’s culture,” Sauer said. “The idea for an all-CBD dinner came from conversations with our friends at Type [Creations]”, based in Santa Cruz.

“We would like to collaborate to help demystify and help educate the public about the myriad benefits of CBD,” he continued. “Their product is fantastic, pure and potent. I will be creating amazing flavors to complement this amazing product, demonstrating how CBD can be easily incorporated into our diets to improve our overall well-being.”

The CBD dinner will feature live music from the acoustic indie folk duo Fort Vine from New York.

“Participants will learn to cook with our organic hemp-infused olive oil and be entered to win and take home one of our seven Bliss Hemp products,” Sauer said.

The meal will include a sparkling cherry mint soft drink, Italian cranberry salad, butternut squash soup with croutons, spicy chutney samosas, turmeric ginger quinoa, roasted vegetables drizzled with cashew cream and açaí blueberry bliss balls for dessert.

Stepanek clarified that guests will experience subtle side effects from the CBD dinner, such as “feeling calmer, experiencing less tension or pain in their body, smiling and laughing more easily, feeling deeply relaxed, and generally feeling happy. “. The company notes that CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Bliss manufactures its products from CBD.

Long-term goals for Sauer and Stepanek include brand expansion.

“We … hope to open a second location in the next few years to deliver Bliss throughout the county and beyond,” Sauer said. “We are also currently building an exciting line of take-out products to be sold in local markets…and eventually across the country.” Δ

Flavor Editor Cherish Whyte salutes Bliss’ 10 years of healthy and delicious culinary operations. Contact her at

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