Wynwood Yard founder Della Heiman and restaurateur Ken Lyon are opening a new health-conscious food hall this spring.
Jackson Hall, located in the Civica Center at Jackson Health District, will offer five different food concepts and a small marketplace in its 10,000-square-foot space. In addition, a hydroponic garden by Cincinnati-based 80 Acres Farms is planned for the third floor of the venue.
Heiman explains that the project began when business partner Ken Lyon found out about a vacant food court space in the hospital campus from a chef at the Wynwood Yard. “A couple of hours later, Ken called me. We are already committed to open a second Yard in North Beach and Ken thought he would have to sell me on the idea, but I got it in 30 seconds.”
Heiman, who is passionate about finding ways to make healthy food more affordable and accessible, thought opening a food hall at Jackson was an opportunity to do something interesting with a unique demographic. “It’s more than creating a wellness-focused food hall. It’s about creating community and warmth in an environment that’s very sterile.”
Unlike Wynwood Yard, which offers space to individual owner/operators, Jackson Hall’s concepts will all be owned and operated by Heiman and Lyon. Miami chefs Julie Frans and Nicole Votano will head the culinary program, with Votano developing recipes that include plant-based and gluten-free choices. Items will feature foods free of hormones, antibiotics, partially hydrogenated oils, synthetic colorings and preservatives, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and other highly refined sweeteners.
Frans is establishing an educational component that will work closely with the various hospitals and medical centers at the Jackson campus to help provide nutritional offerings based on the dietary needs of outpatients. First up is Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, where Frans is developing color-coded menu options for patients undergoing different treatments. Heiman says she wants patients to feel comfortable eating foods based on their specific recovery process.
The five concepts at Jackson Hall include Della Bowls, Charcoal (featuring meats cooked on a Josper rotisserie), Leo & Bloom Delicatessen (offering soups, salads, and sandwiches), Island Poke, and Levant (a Middle Eastern concept serving kabobs, shawarma, and mezze).
In addition, the Radiate Apothecary + Bar at Jackson Hall will offer freshly made juices, smoothies, kombucha, elixirs, tonics, beer, wine, and spirits. The beverage program will be directed by Susan Duprey, a certified nutritionist, former bartender, and founder of Radiate Miami.
The space will also offer a petite market with grab and go items, and a mobile app where busy healthcare professionals can order meals to go for their entire families. Says Heiman: “I know so many doctors that eat pizza and bagels because they’re too exhausted to even think about shopping for themselves after a 12-hour shift.”
In the works is a retail component where people can buy gifts and flower crowns for patients, and a positivity library where people can borrow or buy books that make you laugh or provide comfort.
Jackson Hall will also offer an event series that will include yoga, nutrition classes, wellness lectures, and happy hours with live music in the afternoon. Heiman says the event schedule won’t be as robust as at the Wynwood Yard but feels an educational and entertainment component is important. “We hope that this will be a refuge where people can recalibrate.”
*This story was originally published in the Miami New Times by Laine Doss and can be found here*