Zetland Street of Bellbrook offers a chance to enjoy the foods you love in a manner that is compassionate toward humans and animals alike. Zetland’s owners are avid about serving their patrons safe, delectable food while supporting the local community.

“The food we eat affects our health,” says Kim McCarthy, vegetarian and co-founder of Zetland Street. 

McCarthy is an Australian who permanently removed meat from her diet at age 22. Her favorite dish at the restaurant is the Epic Quinoa burger. While this burger does not contain meat, many of Zetland Street’s dishes do, such as the Ginger Miso Salmon and the Roasted Ed Hill Chicken. 

“A lot of my passion comes from being a tree hugger,” she laughs. 

McCarthy and her business partner, Mike Wilcox, are advocates for utilizing the local farming market. 

“Local farmers will contact us at the end of week and tell us what’s coming up next week. Our chef takes this information and decides what to make. Essentially, your dish can be served the same night,” she says.

McCarthy explains that by working with local farmers, they are able to better maintain productivity and transparency regarding the treatment of animals and crops, as well as the nutritional value. This then stimulates the local economy.

“When we support local farmers, it helps support a local business, a family,” McCarthy says. “Farmers who are going against the grain are taking a big risk and accruing extra costs.”

As with most endeavors, there are risks involved when not relying on farms with the funds to offer genetically modify food (GMO) to prolong shelf life, or on food flown in from various areas during local droughts. However, the rewards for local farming and clean eating are even greater, according to McCarthy. 

“These people have a more important reason to be in business than making money,” she says.

In addition to advocating health and offering clean cooking, the restaurant fosters the local community’s creativity.

In the back room, Zetland’s new chef Don Warfe (of Hell’s Kitchen fame) has artwork on display. Other local artists are encouraged to showcase their work, too. 

McCarthy champions creativity. Her passion for transparency in the food market sets her apart from other restaurant owners in the Miami Valley.

“When you eat at Zetland Street, you can feel confident that what you’re eating is fresh, ripe and grown in a sustainable way,” she says. Tues-Thurs 5-9 p.m., F-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m., Zetland Street, 129 W. Franklin St., Bellbrook. 937-709-9055, zetlandstreet.com.