Menu Home

Celebrating Pride Month with Floret's Nat Stratton-Clarke

July 7, 2023

The Diversity in Contracting team is honored to celebrate LGBTIA-owned businesses during Pride month. As part of that celebration, we spoke with one of our LGTBQIA-owned small business partners: Nat Stratton-Clarke, owner of the Flora Restaurant Group which includes Cafe Flora, The Flora Bakehouse, and Floret. Floret offers a tranquil and relaxing dining experience at SEA Airport and is located in Concourse A near gate A1. Below, Nat shares his story about owning a business, challenges as a transgender business owner, and some excellent advice for other small businesses and Airport Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBEs).


Background and History

Please tell us a little about yourself and your professional background, including why you went into business for yourself. 

I live in the Madison Valley neighborhood of Seattle with my wife and five year-old twins. I own the Flora Restaurant Group, which consists of Cafe Flora, Floret, and The Flora Bakehouse. I’ve been in the restaurant industry for the past 20 years. Seventeen of those years were at Cafe Flora, two as General Manager and 15 as owner. Floret came to life at SeaTac in 2018, followed by The Flora Bakehouse in 2020.  

Please tell us more about your concession business at SEA Airport, and the products/services you provide.  

Floret at SEA is both a full-service sit-down restaurant and a grab-and-go coffee counter. It has been such a joy to bring our passion for local, hyper-seasonal, vegetarian cuisine and excellent Pacific Northwest coffee to guests at SEA.

Being in the concession business is extremely competitive, what do you think makes your business stand out?   

What we do is unique and represents the best of what Seattle restaurants have to offer. SEA is the first place people see when they get to Seattle and the last place, moment, and meal they have here. So at Floret, we strive to make that last experience a fantastic one. We have worked hard for Floret to feel like you are at a great Seattle restaurant that just happens to be in an airport, and I think we have succeeded.


Words of Advice

What advice do you have for other LGBTQ/small businesses when it comes to finding opportunities and bidding for Port projects?  

I know that bidding can seem overwhelming but it is absolutely worth it. Utilize the great resources that the Port offers to support small and ACDBE businesses in the bidding process. There are so many incredible opportunities at the Port. Don’t think that you are too small to be part of Port projects.  

What advice do you have for other LGBTQ/small businesses who have just secured their first Port project and are about to begin work? What are things you wish you would have known before you began working as a ACDBE business at SEA?  

Reach out! Truly, I am always so thankful for the amazing community of small businesses that operate at or work with the Port. People are so open to sharing their experiences and giving guidance to folks who have just become part of this great community.  


Celebrating Pride Month 

As a transgender business owner, what does Pride Month mean to you? 

Pride is such an important time to celebrate our history and to be out and proud. It seems especially significant this year when there were 576 anti-trans and anti LGBTQ+ bills introduced around the country, of which 88 were signed into law.  

What experiences or challenges have you had that are unique to being a transgender business owner? 

There are challenges, big and small, that many people wouldn’t think of. For example, when I went to get a bank loan and they pulled my credit history, they thought my identity had been stolen because my previous name came up. So I had to give a trans 101 session with the banking officer right there in the bank. 

How do you and/or your business celebrate Pride month?  

We do an annual fundraiser called “Cinnamon Rolls, Not Gender Roles” every June where we donate $1 from every cinnamon roll sold throughout the month to trans nonprofits.  

How can people and organizations better support LGBTQ-owned businesses? 

There are wonderful resources out there where you can find LGBTQ-owned businesses in your area to support. Intentionalist has populated a great list on their site and GSBA is the largest LBTQIA chamber of commerce in the country.  

Back to Top