Eating healthy is not a fad anymore, and more and more people are aware of what they are putting into their bodies and reading labels while they are at the grocery stores. If you haven’t tried tasty vegetarian, then you are in for a treat with Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli. Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli is a great place to get your kale on during Houston’s Black Restaurant Week.
The Bourgeois family not only loves food, but they love to cook. A native Houstonian, Arga Bourgeois, who runs the restaurant and health food store with her father, grew up in a house that was always serving up something fried, boiled, fresh and tasty. Her father’s roots are in Louisiana, and he used to work at NASA, and on his way home on Friday’s, he would stop in Kemah to buy fish caught fresh off the boat from the local fishermen. He would bring it home and cook it and throw it on the kitchen table on top of some newspaper, and the family would eat it up. Then Friday night, he would head outside to the pit and start smoking some meat for the next day. The following morning, Arga’s mother, a native Houstonian, would take the fish heads and cook up some stew. There was always a variety of well-seasoned food on the table.
And, then Arga’s Grandmother died of Diabetes, and this was the wake-up call for Vergis, Arga’s Dad. He was already a bit overweight and was borderline diabetes with high blood pressure, but was ignoring it and realized that no one should have to suffer the way his mother did, so he decided to change his diet and the diet of his family. The first step was he cut out all meat and pork. With this small change in his eating habits, he lost weight and lowered his blood pressure and got rid of his diabetes. He realized that he was onto something with eating healthier.
Arga’s experience was a bit different. She thought her dad was crazy because pork was in everything that they cooked, but Arga starting to get her visits from Mother Nature, and Mother Nature was giving her bad cramps. Her father suggested she give up dairy for 30 days and see if it made a difference. So, she did, and her cramps went away, and she gave up dairy right then and there, and she was a Blue Bell addict, but she was sold on the idea of having no cramps versus having Blue Bell ice cream. This was at a time when eating healthy and giving up dairy was not the thing to do. Arga and her dad were on the cutting edge.
When Arga went to Southern University in Louisiana, she went back to her old eating habits because she couldn’t find the healthy eating options and came back from college and had fibroids and the doctors wanted to do surgery. Arga didn’t want to have surgery, so she did a detox, gave up dairy and started to eat healthy again and got rid of the fibroids within 90 days.
At this time, her father was selling herbs and vitamins and offering free workshops at community centers to show people how to eat healthily, and Arga had a nail salon, and her father started to place his products in the salon and eventually hold his meetings there. Eventually, the health food products and workshops grew larger than the nail salon business. As they converted the business to a health and wellness business, Arga introduced her own workshops, but being ahead of the curve, it took a while for it to catch on and by 2005, people were enjoying the food that Arga was preparing and the herbs that they were selling.
Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli
Officially, Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli started in 2000 and then they moved to their new location at 3102 Old Spanish Trail in January 2016. The food they serve is tasty, and it is vegetarian. Whether you get a burger, sandwich, wrap, salad or smoothie, you are sure to leave their satisfied. They check that the food is well seasoned, and even the customers that haven’t eaten vegetarian can come in, sit down and find something on the menu that they find yummy, delicious and satisfying.
Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli creates food with flavors that satisfy cravings for dairy without the milk and the need for meat without the meat because Arga was determined to satisfy her own cravings. Her entrepreneurial spirit has what has created the whole empire of Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli because it is not just about the food or the herbs and vitamins that you can buy there, it’s also about the classes and the knowledge you can gain.
In the food workshops, you can learn the basics. From all different types of vegetables and how to cook them to the nutritional value of each of them. These workshops are geared towards everyone, but in particular for those that eat out all the time so they can learn how to eat and cook at home in an easier and less expensive. Arga shows them a different way to shop and save money in the process. She shows you how to buy with just $50 in cash and how to use that $50 and make that food last a week by purchasing all fresh produce and using it.
Go and visit Arga at Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli during Houston Black Restaurant Week during April 3 – April 1o! You can catch her there between taking care of her kids, taking a dance class and tending her herb garden!