Jayne and Michael Clifford found the secret ingredient to outlasting COVID by serving up healthy food at Sealantro British Cafe & Market, an updated version of their popular eatery. The couple has been cooking up a storm in Indian River County since 2016 and, after three years of running their cafe out of McKee Botanical Garden, decided to set the table on 6th Avenue.
After opening almost exactly a year ago, their plans to offer seated meals at the restaurant in addition to their grab n’ go offerings came to a screeching halt when the state went into lockdown due to the coronavirus.
Fortunately, their menu of keto, vegan, paleo and gluten-free prepared meals and traditional British baked goods was just what the doctor ordered in the way of positive food choices.
“During the pandemic, we tried to do our part in educating people to eat healthier. A healthy diet means a stronger immune system. A stronger immune system means less susceptibility to COVID,” says Jayne Clifford, co-owner and wine director with her husband, Chef Michael Clifford.
“More people are taking an interest in healthier options, especially post-COVID. Everybody has become a bit more conscious of their weight because it was so difficult to be grounded [during the pandemic lockdown],” Jayne said.
The vision for Sealantro British Cafe & Market is the result of Jayne’s realization that her health wasn’t what it should be after traveling for 25 years in her role as a travel magazine publisher.
Her journey to a healthier lifestyle led her away from the publishing industry to train as a Pilates instructor and study integrative nutrition and functional diagnostic nutrition, which launched a new chapter in her life.
Jayne coached people who traveled frequently, wrote “Mile High & Healthy,” a book about staying healthy on the road, and consulted for organizations like NASA to help keep their traveling employees healthy.
When Jayne realized that her clients wanted to make healthier choices but didn’t want to cook themselves, she conscripted her then-boyfriend, Michael Clifford, to prepare meals for her clients.
Michael Clifford, a Vero Beach native, started his career at Grand Harbor Beach Club as a dishwasher and then moved on to the Black Pearl Brasserie, Manatiki, Cobb’s Landing, and Aquarina Golf and Beach Club.
“Vegan food shouldn’t taste like cardboard. Healthy food shouldn’t be boring,” says Jayne, attributing their “adventurous” healthier food options to the palate she developed living in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
With COVID in the rearview mirror, Jayne says they are ramping up the British and Italian market offerings so that customers can come in and grab dinner to-go, dine-in or pick up favorite items to prepare dinner themselves.
Sealantro British Cafe & Market is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday until 4 p.m. and Mondays for grab n’ go only.
Photos by Brenda Ahearn