Ferndale vegan and vegetarian restaurant Om Cafe is closing after more than 33 years


Om Cafe file photo.
  • Om Cafe file photo.

Longtime Ferndale vegan and vegeterian restaurant Om Cafe announced on Facebook on Monday evening that it will close in two weeks.

Owners Madu Helsel and Jessica Norwood wrote that financial challenges facing the restaurant at 23136 Woodward Ave. led to the decision.

After many years of tireless dedication, it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you that OM Cafe will be closing its doors.

I wish to communicate that this was an extremely hard decision, one that I delayed for as long as I could. I love OM Cafe and everything it represents to the vegetarian community, and am so thankful I got to experience so many wonderful things because of it. Mournfully, it just doesn’t make sense financially for us to keep it open any longer.

I could write pages and pages about everything I’ve learned, experienced and treasured throughout the years, but no words can give it justice. The OM was a gem, one of a kind, and irreplaceable to many.

In future days, we plan to be open for about 2 more weeks. We will be featuring a different rotating menu possibly daily, as we cook our hearts out and give you everything we can. Please be patient with us as we do our best, as we have done all these years to give you the excellence you deserve. We will keep you updated as more develops.

I love you all more than I can express. Please remember the OM in your hearts as I and my staff cherish it in ours.

It's not clear whether Norwood and Helsel own the building — city records show it's not in either of their names — and whether rising rents contributed to the issues. It's also worth noting that when it opened over 33 years ago, Om was one of few games in town for vegan and vegetarian fare, but there's much more competition in 2018, even if there's more demand. 

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