By Kelsey May
Last year, sophomore Nate Schindler, and his mother, Yvette, were considering opening a vegan restaurant when they stumbled upon a raw foodist at a vegan dinner party.
“He had such high energy,” Schindler said. “He told me it’s by far the healthiest thing for the environment. It reduces garbage, sustains the earth and its supernova health. And I was like, what are you talking about?”
But that conversation got Schindler interested in the raw food subject, which advocates not cooking food to keep the high nutrient and enzyme levels, and has now given birth to a new restaurant, the Precious Moment CafÃ© and Juice Bar.
Opening on Oct. 1 on West King Street, the menu includes items like organic fruit smoothies, freshly made guacamole, and sesame coconut noodles.
After that earlier talk, Schindler was curious enough to pick up the book “Nature’s First Walk.”
“The authors sounded sane, reasonable and intelligent. So I gave my mom the book,” he said.
Ms. Schindler was skeptical at first.
“The first couple pages into it, I said this is too radical. We can’t do this,” Ms. Schindler grinned.
However, her son persuaded her to keep reading.
Schindler said after about 30 pages his mother told him, “Nate, we’re not doing a vegan restaurant anymore. It has got to be all raw food.”
Her eyes were wide, Schindler said, and she was convinced that a raw food cafÃ© was crucial.
The family learned that when food is cooked over 115 degrees, it begins to lose nutrients and the raw food diet produces far less environmental waste than any other diet.
They decided to do more research and set off to California’s coast to visit 15 different live food cafes. They saw numerous plans for their new cafÃ©: specific kitchen layout, decorating inspirations and an idea of the type of chef who would fit in well.
They found their location on West King Street, which originally was “The Friendly Bar” back in the 50s.
The inside of the cafÃ©, which is still under final renovations, has a cozy feel with couches and standard cafÃ© style tables and chairs (all of which were purchased from St. Vincent De Paul’s thrift store and reupholstered).
The dÃ©cor is aged European with stained glass windows and textured yellowish gold walls, contrasted with dark wood molding. On one side of the cafÃ© is the huge juice bar, of which about half is made from real bamboo. On the left sits a stage area for speakers and poetry readings.
While restoring their new business, the family got in touch with Chad Sarno, who wrote “The Vital Creations Workbook” and who was also Woody Harrelson’s personal chef. He is now the cafÃ©’s full-time chef.
“He does it right with the love and compassion aspect of it,” Schindler said. This is important to Schindler because he feels the attitude of the person preparing the food is just as important as their talent and ability.
“We’re doing this more for life and peace than money,” Schindler said.
His mother agreed and said that they are going to try to keep prices as low as possible and stay in business at the same time. She also stressed they are doing this for the health of the community.
“If I was out to make money, I’d be selling burgers and fries,” Ms. Schindler said.
They will be giving 10 percent discounts to those who ride their bike to the cafÃ© and almost everything used will be recyclable.
Some menu items:
A Taste of the Middle East
A mezze selection of falafel, stuffed grape leaves, minted tabouli, fresh pickles and an assortment of sauces.
Salad at the Moment
Field mix with assorted herbs tossed with raspberry vinaigrette, caramelized onions, dried tomatoes and candied pecans
Cocoa & Drunken Banana Parfait
Creamy cocoa mousse layered with rum stewed bananas and topped with bucket crispies.