Alchemy is defined as the seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination. That description feels more fitting now than ever before.
In case you haven't heard, I've been off in restaurant land helping open our second location in Grandview! We had a friends and family pre-opening last weekend and opened to the public last Tuesday. What a wild ride it's been!
As a refresher, we opened our first location on the South Side in October of 2014. It all started in college where I met my friend Abed Alshahal in a nutrition class. His family has a restaurant group called A&R Creative that operates several locations around the city. When I finished grad school and my dietetic internship, I had no idea what was next for me career-wise. We'd always talked about opening a wholesome smoothie bar but never talked about it seriously. Little did I know, Abed had a juice bar cafe concept in the works. He proposed the idea to me and the rest is history!
I used to think of Alchemy as having a stroke of good luck, but I know it's so much more than that. Alchemy holds an extremely special place in my heart. It's a symbol of passion, hard work, and doing good in the world. It brings my story full circle.
The idea to open in Grandview has been in the works for years. It's our first stand alone location (the current one is in the lobby of a gym) and it's actually really different than our sister spot. We worked with our architect on a bright, airy, and fun Nordic-inspired design. The biggest difference is that we have a full kitchen here in Grandview which means a brunch menu on the weekend complete with carrot cake waffles and eggs Benedict with beet hollandaise.
During week day mornings we offer a breakfast menu featuring organic coconut cream yogurt, turmeric bagels with cashew cream cheese, and egg sandwiches. In addition to the smoothie bowl, toast, and sammie favorites from our Parsons Avenue store, we also have new hot lunch and dinner items like jackfruit tacos with charred pineapple and a kale caesar salad with cashew parm and lemon toasted chickpeas. You can check out the full menu here!
The new, more chef-driven menu was a collaboration between our Alchemy team and Chef Tyler Minnis of A&R's sister concept, The Market. Our initial vision for Alchemy as a health-centric, fast casual spot combining health care and food has definitely evolved to be more well-rounded and more of a restaurant or cafe than a juice bar. We have big dreams for the Alchemy concept and the immediate success of this location has just fueled the fire. We're looking at one or two more locations in Columbus and also a couple locations out of state. We'll continue to adapt the Alchemy concept to the neighborhood it's in. That's the beauty of having a fluid vision.
In the nearly seven years I've had this blog, I can count on one hand the number of times I felt like it was unsustainable to maintain both Hummusapien content and Alchemy duties. This has been one of them! The past couple weeks have been tough. Amazing and exhilarating and fulfilling beyond belief, but tough. I think I worked more this past week than I ever have, spending pretty much spent every waking hour at the restaurant. I didn't answer emails, work out, cook, or really do anything I normally do. And man, has my body felt it!
But it's all made me so grateful for my usual routine that allows for time to take care of myself on a regular basis. Being a business owner means making a lot of sacrifices. The ironic thing is that since I didn't have much time to be online and on social media, I felt more present and clear-headed that I have in a long time. What a lovely, unexpected side effect that was!
I'm proud that we brought something that this area really needed. I'm proud that we know so many of our customers by name. I'm proud that we operate on a foundation of authenticity and passion. We have a small but mighty hella engaged team that believes in our mission above all else.
We couldn't be happier to be in Grandview and to continue expanding our vision for Alchemy---to create wholesome, innovative, FUN food that's sourced with care and that supports the community. Seeing your faces in the space brings me an insane amount of joy, so thank you so much to everyone that's come in! Ain't no doubt about it, Alchemy is going places!
Click here to read the full press release. Thank you so much for your patience and support on this journey!