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Uplifters Kitchen co-owner Elizabeth Spaulding (above) has created a farm-to-table approach for the newly opened café.
Photo by Corina Mun
Uplifters Kitchen co-owner Elizabeth Spaulding (above) has created a farm-to-table approach for the newly opened café.

Life And Arts, Dining, Ocean Park, Seven Days, Santa Monica

Uplifters Kitchen Elevates Casual Cafe Experience In Santa Monica

Some of the delights at Uplifters Kitchen in Santa Monica.
Photo by Corina Mun
Some of the delights at Uplifters Kitchen in Santa Monica.

Posted Jun. 26, 2014, 8:17 am

Jesse Merchant / Mirror Contributor

For anyone interested in a hand-roasted cup of coffee, a fresh-out-of-the-oven scone, or a friendly place to sit in, Uplifters Kitchen has just opened up on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica.

Co-owner Elizabeth Spaulding describes the mission of the café as meaning to provide a “different” type of food: farm-to-table.

Both Spaulding and her business partner, Tara Amiel, saw an increasing demand for unpretentious, delicious food, and they decided to fill it.

Spaulding recalls that her passion for organic ingredients comes from a childhood memory of picking a fresh strawberry off the vine in her backyard garden.

She describes such ingredients as “irreplaceable.”

One way this is exemplified in the cafe is by sending a staff member to visit the farmers’ market twice a week to pick up fresh ingredients.

This can include blackberries from the Blackberry Thyme Scones, figs for the Walnut Fig Scones, or cheese for the Tomato, Goat Cheese and Basil Tart, Bacon Cheddar Scones, or Fra Mani Ham, Cheddar and Greens Breakfast Biscuit for breakfast. For lunch, this can include vegetables for the Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel Flatbread, Mango BLT Sandwich, or Potato, Onion, Thyme and Comte Flatbread.

Spaulding and Amiel strive to put these local products forth simply.

Spaulding said that she wanted to “do the minimum,” not out of laziness, but out of maintaining the integrity of her ingredients. She said that neither she nor Amiel want to “mask the taste of the food.”

The café embraces the idea of artisanship even with its aesthetic: wood counters, minimalistic stools, and a chalkboard menu, as well as utensils and napkins wrapped in twine and hand-written signs marking “Cream” and “2% Milk.”

Spaulding described the appearance of the shop as, “clean and minimalistic,” but also “warm.”

Going along with the cafe’s philosophy, Uplifters Kitchen also serves Stumptown Coffee.

Uplifters Kitchen was drawn to them because, like themselves, “they focus on attention to detail, and flavor.”

Stumptown roasts to order, so the coffee is always fresh. This parallels Uplifters Kitchen constantly preparing fresh food in small batches.

Also available for their customers’ convenience include Art of Tea, Better Booch, and Juice Love pressed juices, all brands that fit the bill for high quality, simple products.

Uplifters Kitchen is also doing more to support the community than offering delicious treats. They are employing food-enthusiasts who may not have professional experience in the industry, but who are passionate about it.

Spaulding added with a smile that she wanted to encourage everyone she can to “stop by.” It will be difficult to leave.

Uplifters Kitchen is located on 2819 Ocean Park Boulevard. For more information, call 310.664.8868 or visit

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