(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The ‘Aloha’ spirit is growing throughout the City of Colorado Springs through local Hawaiian favorites that will soon open as a brick-and-mortar location.

  • Say 'Aloha' to Roots Café's brick-and-mortar location
  • Say 'Aloha' to Roots Café's brick-and-mortar location

Those around town may have noticed Roots Café operating in a bright yellow food truck that’s been “seasoned with Aloha.” Since 2021, Mama D has gathered quite a following from catering around the city, including Peterson Air Force Base.

“To spread the culture of Hawaii is like spreading the love you have for it to other people,” said Mama D. “Then maybe other people will come out of their boxes and spread their love of their culture.”

Mama D’s food truck business started as a way to support Living Roots Christian Fellowship, a church established in 2020 by herself and her sister who is a pastor. The plan was to cook out of the food truck for church guests as well as open their doors to more community members.

“Our motto is to ‘feed the bellies as we feed the soul,'” stated Mama D. “If we could feed the people with good food, maybe [we] can share the word of God.”

Named after the church, Roots Café will now open up a permanent location in Downtown Colorado Springs that will be just as homey as her food truck.

“It’s only 700 square feet,” stated Mama D. “I’ve never wanted big. I wanted enough. The space that I have is perfect.”

Roots Café will feature food from local Hawaiian favorites such as spam musubi, hamburger steak loco moco, Kalua pig nachos and more.

Say 'Aloha' to Roots Café's brick-and-mortar location
Courtesy of Roots Café

Mama D said the transition was “no struggle at all,” because of her “backbone of support,” from those in the community, which includes the previous owners of the location, the Aguilar family. From one mom-and-pop shop owner to another, the restaurant will soon replace El Taco Rey, a local staple that’s been around since the late ’70s.

“I’ll honor them [with] a little picture frame that I’m going to put up in my cafe because they were there for 45 years,” said Mama D.

With its grand opening slated for April 15, Mama D has also been planning on moving her church services to the Café since having to close her church. Her church will now be held at the Café located at 330 East Colorado Avenue, every Sunday before it opens at noon.