When Lori Pope opened Harvest Kitchen & Bakery, she said she knew she found her calling.

The owner and executive chef at the restaurant, which opened in June 2020 and offers modern comfort food, said cooking and serving people are her ways of showing love to others. Opening the restaurant has allowed her to do just that.

“This is what I’m meant to do,” she said. “It’s a dream come true.”

Pope ran a bakery in Katy for several years before deciding to take the leap and open Harvest Kitchen & Bakery. Thankfully, opening during the coronavirus pandemic was a blessing more than a challenge, Pope said, because it allowed the restaurant to control its growth.

The minimal growth did not last long, however: The line to order is often out the door at lunchtime and on Sunday at brunch.

The restaurant has three menus—one classic and gluten free, one vegan and vegetarian, and one keto and sugar free—to offer something for every customer, Pope said.

Each dish is made with love, and most have an extra element of flair, Pope said. Among the most popular menu items are the “famous” hot chicken tacos and the vegetarian OMG goat cheese burger, which consists of a grilled portobello mushroom, sherry onions, arugula, espresso aioli, fried goat cheese and an over-easy egg on a pretzel bun. On the dessert side, customers have raved about the eatery’s carrot cake and keto cheesecake, Pope said.

“We have a flair that no one else in town has,” Pope said.

Everything from the kitchen is handcrafted and made from the best ingredients possible. Meats are sourced from Texas farmers, and whenever possible, herbs and produce are sourced from local growers.

Down the road, Pope said she hopes to expand the restaurant’s hours and move Harvest Kitchen & Bakery into a bigger location suitable for more customers and with a better kitchen. Above all, Pope said she has two goals for the restaurant: to cook good food and to make people feel loved, welcomed and cared for.

“We’re going to keep doing that because it’s what we do best,” she said.