Located in the heart of Kalispell, Food for the Soul Café was birthed in honor of Forrest, who passed away from child abuse. Forrest is the grandson of owner Cindy Juntunen and son of Takara Juntunen. Cindy was living in North Dakota when she received the call that Forrest had passed away. Cindy said, “I sold everything I owned; moved back to Montana and secured a $3,000 loan to open Food for the Soul, which has helped our families grieving process.” When Forrest was born, he had to be life flighted to Seattle where he stayed for two months in the giraffe ward of the hospital. The giraffe has become a symbol for the family to connect with Forrest. When he passed, his mother Takara said, “We started seeing giraffe’s everywhere, and thoughtful people began randomly giving them to us.”
The Juntunen mother/daughter team have not only weaved together exceptional gastronomy, but they also choose to give to the community by employing some homeless folks and some folks who are in recovery for substance abuse. They give dignity to those who need someone to believe in them and offer them an opportunity to help themselves. This establishment transcends its role as a mere dining venue, transforming it into an experience that touches the soul.
Food for the Soul is more than a restaurant. The menu, carefully crafted, showcases a fusion of local ingredients and global inspirations, Mexican, Greek, and American dishes that are all original recipes of the Juntunens. The dishes tantalize taste buds while evoking a sense of place.
Beyond the culinary offerings, the café’s ambiance is a testament to its commitment to nourishing more than just the body. The Juntunens have relied on their faith to see them through the horrific loss of Forrest. They have a private room in the café that seats up to 18 that is used for weekly Bible study and can be reserved for parties and meetings. This family run business fosters a sense of togetherness and turns strangers into friends. Food for the Soul stands as a reminder that dining is more than sustenance; it’s an art that nourishes the senses, fosters community bonds, and feeds the soul.
200 East Center Street, Kalispell
Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. (closed Saturdays and Sundays)
Flathead Foodies are not critics, rather a group of folks who share their experience with incredible entrepreneurs and the flavorful culture that they add to our valley. For more content and pictures on Facebook, search “Lorena Sullivan Swenson – Flathead Foodies” page.
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