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A tech-centric, gluten-free fast-food chain opens in southwest Vegas

Updated March 4, 2024 - 6:41 pm

She has her power. She wants you to find yours. Smoothies will help.

On Friday, Dina Mitchell debuted PowerSoul Cafe in southwest Las Vegas, the first of what is expected to be three PowerSouls to open this spring in the valley. The cafe offers a certified gluten-free menu of smoothies, bowls, pizza and other items made in house.

PowerSoul (powersoulcafe.com) grew out of Mitchell’s professional experience — for almost 15 years, she led the expansion of Tropical Smoothie Cafes on the West Coast. PowerSoul also grew out of Mitchell’s desire to create a fast-food restaurant that catered to (and even celebrated) people’s dietary restrictions, preferences and healthy eating commitments.

In short: the power of choice, on the go.

“My life is not about me; I want to help others. That’s why I created PowerSoul Cafe,” Mitchell said. “It’s an extension of my values and my trusting investors and a mirror of our employees and who I believe our customers are. Powerful and soulful.”

Health meets tech

The restaurant does not have a traditional dining room or indoor seating. Instead, there is a drive-thru with a digital menu board, an outdoor walk-up window (scan the giant QR code on the wall for the menu), and self-serve food lockers that hold orders for pickup after they’re placed on the website or via the app.

The menu incorporates what Mitchell calls the Discover My Power tool, which allows people to filter items based on dietary goals (such as keto or vegetarian), a list of more than 60 allergens or avoidances (including aged cheese, garlic and peanut oil), and a list of more than 30 spice allergens (caraway, fennel and turmeric among them).

Mitchell said she had signed more than a dozen nondisclosure agreements with food manufacturers so she could learn about the ingredients in their products.

Gluten-free pizzas have been a passion project, prepared in the PowerSoul kitchen with a raised crust. The pizza involved extensive recipe testing and development and visits by Mitchell to the factory in Italy where her gluten-free flour blend is made.

“I knew I could do smoothies from before, but I knew I needed a food component,” Mitchell said of the menu. “I wanted to give people alternatives, so they never have to ask questions about the equipment we use. So they can order anything off the menu and let their guard down.”

National expansion

Through March 7, the new PowerSoul, at 8180 W. Warm Springs Road, is offering free smoothies and food (varies daily) to anyone who provides at least $1 to the donations the cafe is collecting for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada.

The southwest cafe will also be the central kitchen for the PowerSouls set to open March 15 at 3501 S. Valley View Blvd., in Chinatown, and in May at 1469 E. Lake Mead Parkway, in Henderson. All three will be open 24 hours.

Mitchell said she was planning to take PowerSoul Cafes into wide release. “I’m not taking a breath until I reach 1,000. I have eschewed all men for at least the first five years. I will fight for this because I feel I’m doing this for other people.”

She’s got the Power.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @JLWTaste on Instagram and @ItsJLW on X.

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