How About a Bowl of Kindness?

By Durham Chamber of Commerce / Published 06.12.19
Back to Feed

Grateful, kindness and compassion. These are all tasty items on the menu at ZenFish, a Durham restaurant that serves sustainable, healthy and locally sourced food in an environment simmered in positive messages.

ZenFish also caters to all dietary restrictions, making it an easy choice for dining. Owner, Janet says, “I wanted to create an environment of positivity and inclusivity, where everyone feels welcomed and I believe our friendly staff and positive messages achieve that.” Keep reading to learn more about this dining experience.

How long have you been in business?

Two Years.

Who/what was the inspiration behind your business?

Since I struggled with anxiety, I wanted to create a space where anyone and everyone would feel included and welcomed. A space filled with positive messages all around while serving food that not only taste good but is good for your health. I wanted to serve food that in a sustainable manner while supporting local farmers and small businesses as much as we can. I had a vision where we would donate our proceeds to different charities that was close to our hearts every month. And so, ZenFish was created. ZenFish is a combination of everything that I care about, delicious and health food, environment and community.

How many employees do you have? How many were hired in the last year?

We have 21 employees total and we've hired 16 last year.

What business or community need does your business meet?

Sustainable, healthy eating.

What is the biggest business challenge your company/business has had to overcome? How did you do it?

Our biggest challenge is how to keep sourcing locally and sustainably which leads to higher costs while giving our team a good wage, being able to donate to different charities and making a profit. We're addressing this by expanding our brand so that although we may not make a lot at one location, but with a few, we will be able to reach more customers, raise more money to donate to nonprofits and make a solid profit with the combined stores.

What is your business’ greatest need?

Brand awareness so that people know the love and heart we put into our decision to purchase the higher cost, but sustainable ingredients and gluten-free house-made sauces.

What are you most proud of about your business?

I'm most proud of ZenFish because it aligns perfectly with my core values because I believe that if we eat meat, we should choose to eat responsibly, creating as little negative impact on our environment. That is why at ZenFish, we source everything as responsibly and sustainably as much as we can and provide something for all dietary restrictions such as providing house-made, gluten-free sauces.

Another of my core value is positivity and inclusivity so that everyone feels welcomed and at home and I believe ZenFish does that with our friendly staff, our signature bowls such as "Grateful", "Kindness" and "Compassion" bowls, positive messages throughout the restaurant and also our mission to donate a portion of our sales to different nonprofits that are close to our hearts.

In what ways do you hope your business will grow in the next two years?

I hope we would be able to grow and open more locations and in return be able to donate more proceeds to charities that we hold so close to our hearts.