Most new businesses struggle to get started, but a new health food bistro in Killeen is working hard to keep up with customer demands.
PureFit Foods on West Veterans Memorial Boulevard opened in late September.
The restaurant was overrun with business during its soft opening, which is typically a time for new businesses to test their products on a limited flow of customers and become acclimated to customer demands, said co-owner Alex Lomeli.
“On the first day, we had 40 soldiers lined up for breakfast,” Lomeli said.
The family-owned business is owned by brothers Alex and Edward Lomeli, their sister, Veronica Lomeli, and longtime friend Mike Serna.
The Lomelis also own a tequila distillery in Houston.
Alex Lomeli said they originally planned to open their restaurant in New York, but came to Killeen instead to serve the military, “because we know soldiers are interested in physical fitness.”
The PureFit menu is made up of fresh, healthy meals, most of which are packaged “to go.” Fifty-two menu items are cooked fresh on the premises, packaged and ready to eat. Alex Lomeli said 20 more items will be added within the next few weeks. All items are weighed, portioned, and labeled with carbohydrate, calorie and protein counts.
The restaurant has seating for about 30 diners, but 80 percent of its business so far has been cash and carry, Alex Lomeli said.
The PureFit kitchen prepares food 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep up with demand.
Plans are underway to double the size of the kitchen.
Currently, 10 workers are employed at PureFit, with four more to be added when a future cash-and-carry site is opened in Harker Heights.
Matt Finto of Lampasas and Steven Trevino of Copperas Cove eat at PureFit two to three times a week.
“It’s healthy food at fairly reasonable prices,” Finto said. “It’s a little more expensive than fast food, but it’s better for you. ... I have high blood pressure and have to watch it. When I eat here, I don’t feel heavy.”
Trevino eats healthy foods and has lost more than 80 pounds over three years.
“I come (to PureFit) because it is like what I would cook at home,” he said. “You can see right into the kitchen, and see your food being prepared and know that it is fresh.”
PureFit can cater to customers’ health concerns, Serna said. It also can provide weekly menu options and adjust meals to individual needs.
“We want to provide an energy level to keep you going whether that’s taking care of your kids or taking an Army PT test,” Serna said. “We’re here because we want our customers to have the best results possible in health and fitness. Ultimately, we are here for the soldiers.”