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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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New vegan eatery offers haven, health

Eli Raikhel
In the Sundrip café, a vegan restaurant new to Hyde Park, an employee works at the cashier. This is Sundrip’s second location at 1109 East 55th Street.

When Jeremy Jones’ family found out that his father’s colon cancer was terminal, his mother, Carole Jones, turned to an alternative form of treatment: food as medicine. Mr. Jones’ father died from the disease, but the family took that personal journey and turned it into a business. 

Last month, the Jones family — Carole, Jeremy and his wife, Kaitlyn — opened their second location of their vegan eatery, Sundrip, which serves healthy fare like noodle bowls, smoothies and salads. The Hyde Park location, at 1109 E. 55th St., beside the University of Chicago campus, is the second of the family’s permanent locations; the first opened in 2020 in Fulton Market. 

Since his father’s illness, Mr. Jones said he found himself following a path of health and wellness, keeping the memory of his father alive while also connecting with the community, through food and drink. 

Sundrip café, he said, offers a place for people on any step of their personal journey through health and wellness to immediately feel welcomed and accepted. 

“It’s just a place where people feel joy,” Mr. Jones said. “There’s a really good vibrational space here, and it’s a space that people can recognize themselves in.”

Sundrip café is a vibrant and welcoming spot with bright, enthusiastic decor and a sunny interior aesthetic. (Eli Raikhel)

The restaurant, he said, is not meant to exclude anyone. Customers should not feel as though they need to or should be vegan. Rather, he said, that aspect should merely be viewed as another part of the restaurant’s commitment to health and wellness. Health experts say that eating a plant-based diet has many health benefits, including lowering the risk of diabetes and improving life expectancy.

Sundrip’s Hyde Park location seats up to 20 people, but the owners are still in the process of purchasing furniture. 

Mr. Jones said that he viewed Hyde Park as an ideal place to open up a new Sundrip location.

“We really wanted to reroot in the mission of being intentional of where we show up in spaces,” Mr. Jones said.

Colon cancer is among the leading causes for death among Black men in America, Mr. Jones said. Providing healthy options in a diverse community is something Sundrip always viewed as core value, he said. That was one reason opening in this neighborhood felt essential, he said.

“Hyde Park, especially, is this really cool intersection of a bunch of different folks,” Mr. Jones said, “a bunch of different communities, and that was really attractive to us.”

Last month, the second location of a bright vegan eatery, Sundrip, which serves healthy fare like noodle bowls, smoothies and salads, opened up in Hyde Park. (Eli Raikhel)

Mr. Jones said he hopes the restaurant can connect to many different communities through Hyde Park, the university and surrounding neighborhoods. The restaurant has exceeded the Jones’ expectations in Hyde Park.

“People love it,” Mr. Jones said. “I think they’re enthusiastically receptive, which we can only hope for but we weren’t really banking on. People have been over-the-top excited about what we’re doing. People really like the product, the environment, the space. It’s all been positive.”

Ultimately, he said, his long-term hope for the restaurant is to help overcome some of the socio-economic divide of the city with options for a healthy lifestyle. He acknowledged that the goal was no simple task. 

“We try to really be smart about our product offering,” Mr. Jones said, “where we can obviously be profitable but also do it in a way that doesn’t unnecessarily alienate a lot of folks.”

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About the Contributors
Zara Siddique, Sports & Leisure Editor
Zara Siddique is a member of the Class of 2024 and serves as the sports and leisure editor. She joined the journalism family in the 2021-22 school year as a sophomore. Her favorite part of journalism is getting to meet new people. Her favorite story she has written is “Qatar sparks controversy as World Cup host.” Outside of journalism, she enjoys playing tennis, reading and listening to music. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, San Francisco convention: Superior, commentary writing
Eli Raikhel, Photographer
Eli Raikhel is a photographer and a member of the Class of 2025. His favorite part of photojournalism is taking pictures of school events. Outside of photojournalism, Eli enjoys playing soccer and playing with his dog.

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