A wise woman once said, “Accept the bumpy roads in life; they seem to lead to the best places.”
Isn’t that the truth! The past few weeks have been the craziest of my entire life. My sanity has most definitely been put to the test. Nothing great ever comes easy, right? Even when running Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe gets the best of me and all I want to do is scream into my pillow, I’m so beyond thankful that I’m doing exactly what I love. My career gives me such a sense of purpose. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
So how did I ever get involved with Alchemy, you ask? Well, I met my great friend Abed in a nutrition class at Ohio State. We spent long hours studying carbohydrate metabolism and memorizing lengthy enzymes we could barely pronounce. In grad school, I started helping with the menu and serving at one of his family’s restaurants, The Crest. I met inspiring people like Dustin Brafford, The Crest’s executive chef, and even worked alongside him to create a five-course plant based dinner.
A&R Creative group, started by Abed and his brothers, is truly an incredible company. They don’t just create innovative restaurant concepts that thrive; they use their restaurants as platforms for social change. Not only do they foster relationships with local farmers while supporting the earth, the community, and the environment with their sustainability initiatives, but they also put Columbus on the national food scene. If you haven’t laid mouth on a wood-fired pizza from the new Market Italian Village, you’re in for a serious treat!
They do a ton in this city, and they do it all so well. They empower me each day to step back and put others first.
So when Abed said he had a business proposal for me, I was floored. I knew I never wanted to work in a hospital, and in all honesty, I was really worried about not finding a job I was passionate about after graduating. It was like the stars were aligning. Alchemy was born!
Having the opportunity to help create a health food space from the ground up has been by far the most rewarding and challenging experience of my entire life. Everything from using recipes from this very blog to create the menu, negotiating with distributors and architects, and learning how to effectively run a food space has been nothing short of amazing. I always wanted to create a healthy restaurant but I never in a million years dreamed that I would be able to help make it a reality.
But above all, what I’m most excited about is giving you all, giving the public, giving Columbus access to this delicious, healthy, sustainable food. Finding healthy choices when dining out can be a huge struggle. At Alchemy, our passion stems from our holistic approach to preventative health and food systems with a commitment to the earth and community. Alchemy integrates health care and wholesome food giving you a simpler path to a more nutritious lifestyle.
Alchemy makes nutrition accessible. We want it to be a space where people can question nutrition and delve into conversations about how to better the local food system. As Alchemy’s Director of Nutrition and Communications, I also provide on-site nutrition counseling for those interested in a more personalized approach. The beauty of Alchemy is that we are all teachers and we are all learners.
If you are interested in personalized counseling, I would love to work with you! I also teach Nutrition 101 classes at the Fitness Loft twice a month, so keep in touch on Facebook for updates!
So what exactly can you find at Alchemy? We offer cold-pressed juice made in house, smoothies, healthy sandwiches, salads, toast, snacks, soup, and full service coffee. Nearly everything is made in house, including our almond milk, almond butter, hummus, pesto, soup, salads, and chia pudding. We also sell lots of plant-based protein powder, grass-fed whey protein powder, house made chia pudding, locally made hummus, and some other great retail items. I like to think of it as fairly priced healthy food and drink that not only tastes delicious, but also nourishes the mind and body. You’ll also notice a minimalist, clean, modern aesthetic. And if that’s not enough, you can head up to The Fitness Loft, a beautiful new gym located right upstairs!
While the menu has tons of plant-based and gluten-free items, we definitely have something for everyone, like the popular tuna kraut or jalapeño turkey sandwich. All of our options are loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables along with superfoods like micro kale, chia seeds, sprouts, raw cacao, goji berries, and acai.
I’m clearly obsessed with the whole menu, but my favorite menu items are the avocado, toast, tuna kraut sandwich, banana avocado cacao acai bowl, pumpkin pie smoothie, and curried brussels sprout salad.
Wondering what a typical day looks like? Read this post for a detailed description! I’m usually in to open by 5:45am. Sometimes I spend the morning prepping salads, pesto, hummus, and almond butter. I also usually help with making smoothies, toast, and acai bowls for customers. Then I prepare for my nutrition appointments for the day. We get pretty busy around noon, so I’ll usually hop in and help with the lunch rush. In the afternoon, I may talk to different distributors about products we need and brainstorm new recipes. Then I’ll work on next week’s schedule and prepare for other nutrition appointments or nutrition 101 classes. It’s super busy, and the time FLIES. Creating blog content ahead of time on my days off has been a life saver!
So stop in and say hi! If you’re interested in personalized nutrition counseling, email me at AlexisJosephRD@gmail.com. I can’t wait to see you at Alchemy!