If you’re a vegan lover, the Garden Grill Café in Wichita, Kansas is for you. Three years ago Chef Miguel Larcher opened the Garden Grill Café as an alternative for the predominantly meat-eating clientele in Wichita. He says the response from customers has been very positive and sometimes people dine without even realizing their meal was vegan.

Yet for Larcher, whose restaurant is the only vegan eatery in the state of Kansas, this café is not just where healthy meals are served. He considers this a ministry.

“We have lots of ministry through our restaurant. We’ve had baptisms, people are taking Bible studies and we offer free Bibles and literature. Adventist tracts are placed on each table,” Larcher said. “Each day our staff sings, studies the Bible and prays before opening the doors to customers.”

One could order a Mediterranean Grilled Portabella and read the tract titled Life after Death while waiting on the entrée. Other menu items include salads, pizza, sandwiches, soups and stews, smoothies and fresh squeezed juices.

During lunch hour the most popular item is the buffet, consisting of (the day this interview took place) salads, soup, pizza with mixed veggies, baked potatoes and muffins. The café’s slogan is Eat Better, Live Well.

“One customer said, ‘There is something different about your restaurant.’ We have hymns playing and they often see us praying,” Larcher said.

Born in the Caribbean country of Martinique, Larcher attended culinary schools in his native land as well as in Southern France, training under some of the top chefs in those countries. He is also a skilled pastry chef.

Opening cafés like this one in Wichita is nothing new to Larcher. He has opened similar restaurants in California, Oklahoma and South Africa. His vision is to one day open a mobile soup kitchen to serve the less fortunate with free meals. For now, he offers free cooking classes to the community.

Larcher also offers catering, but has to decline most requests due to the event being held during Sabbath hours. “I do get questions about why we are not open on Saturday. I’m always happy to explain,” he said.

As a member of the Wichita Cornerstone Church, Larcher wants to support the church any way he can. “I feel like I’m a pastor. Each day I am ministering to hungry souls.”

John Treolo is communication director for the Kansas-Nebraska Conference.