Happy Places: collaboration a la carte

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A few of my favorite entrepreneurs and sociopreneurs have joined efforts under one roof:  Keziah and Michelle Hernandez with My Tea Soul, Amos Lozano with  Famous Juice Company, Christine Sauve of Munch On & Beyond,  Fred with The Vegeria (formerly next door to Viva Books), and Kaz Sephton with the Golden Horn of Plenty thrift store benefiting rescued dogs.

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Image:  (left-right) Michelle, Amos(back), Kez, & Chris making funny faces

None of these like-minded individuals could quite afford to make their dream jobs happen alone so they teamed up and the result is magical.

I visited their spot in the universe a few weeks ago to place some art for sale on the walls alongside some other fun-funky pieces and had a blast!

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image:  Keziah (left) and Michelle of My Tea soul

Yes.  I had fun but I also had a BLAST of unique, energy-filled, tasty, plant-based, fresh foods and juices each vendor makes on site and serves a la carte.

When Michelle asked if I wanted to “do a shot,” my mind did a little jig.   I haven’t done that in the traditional sense of the words for thirty-plus years and thankfully not since that kind of juice makes me dance on the tables (naked).  But then I realized, she was offering freshly juiced lemon and ginger in a shot glass from the Famous Juice Company.  WHOA!  This stuff burns all the way down, but in a good, strangely addicting, satisfying way.  Plus, doing this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach then waiting thirty minutes to eat will super alkalize your system and serve as a powerful anti-inflammatory.

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image:  Amos, the famous juicer

Amos, the famous juicer, has a contagious smile and an effervescent personality that is just as delicious as his juices.  Multiple juice combinations of all colors are freshly-juiced daily and available in 16 oz. glass bottles to carry out for $8.  Yes.  I said glass bottles!  If you bring the bottle back, you get a discount on your next juice purchase.  I am exceedingly impressed with the Eco-consciousness of this young business-owner and I love his business tag-line:  Eat plants, Move often.  Plus, the juice combos are satisfying and tasty.  I tried “Popeye” (kale, spinach, ginger…) and loved it!

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Though I am an omnivore, I found plenty to eat for lunch by grazing through the interesting choices available from the several vendors.  From Munch On and Beyond, I sampled the jalapeño/cilantro hummus and the mango/pineapple fruit roll-ups.  From My Tea Soul, I chose a quinoa salad and Oh! My Brownies.

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image:  me eating the OTHER two of three OH! MY Brownies at home the afternoon I bought them…YUM!!

Everything was exquisitely delicious, especially the moist, flavorful brownies, as you can see.  And this is no small feat, since everything made by each vendor is plant-based and gluten, dairy, & egg free.  I know this because, having been GF since 2000 and for the past year now practicing a Paleo lifestyle, I’ve baked my share of brick-heavy lumps that I had to trash.

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image:  trail mix from Munch On:  almonds, walnuts, pumpkin & sunflower seeds with raisins

This restaurant is not exactly sit-down with service though there are two tables and chairs for eating-in and a sofa and chairs on which nibblers can settle comfortably should they so choose.  The vendors do offer catering for events and parties, especially for the Paleo/Vegan/GF communities and grab-and-go munchies for the work-a-day folks including cupcakes, tarts, pies, trail mixes, salads, tamales, teas, juices, and so much more.  There is no coffee for sale at this time and neither is there a microwave in-house, as some object to microwaves.

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Eating my quinoa and loving the vibe of this cool enterprise, I overheard someone say, “This is a happy place!”   I must say, “I agree!”  And besides that it is good.  Yes.  The food is good, but beyond that, the intentions and actions of these individuals is good, socially and environmentally pro-active and positive!  These are #formidablePeople and I am pleased to tell my audiences about them.

Please do visit them at  13469 Wetmore Rd,San Antonio, TX 78247 in the Wetmore Shopping Center (on Wetmore Rd. near Thousand Oaks).  Or give them a call (210) 592-8366 to know more.

Have some tea.  See some art. Buy something fun from the thrift store.  Eat. I promise.  Once you’ve found this place, you’ll be as happy as I am!

d. ellis phelps is the author of Making Room for George, Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, 2016.

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