Kale’s on wheels
Corporate life in Atlanta didn’t appeal to Jessica Hogan. So like so many other Charlottesville natives, she packed up her life and her newly acquired nutrition degree, and headed back home to start over. Her original idea was to open a health food café of sorts, but with the help of the Community Investment Collaborative, she founded FARMacy, a “superfood smoothie” delivery service.
“A superfood is something that is super nutrient dense, and in some cases even rare, like maca powder,” she said. “It’s a food that packs a lot of punch.”
Hogan sets up shop in her own kitchen, slicing, grinding and mixing 23 ingredients together in a standard-sized blender, making five 16-ounce smoothies at a time. The most fascinating thing she learned in nutrition school, she said, was the importance of maintaining a balance of raw and cooked food. The right balance can be beneficial for the body’s immune system, she said.
She created a raw smoothie recipe that provides vitamins, minerals, probiotics, enzymes, protein and fiber, and she managed to come up with something that doesn’t taste like chalk. Ingredients include a few things you may expect to find in a smoothie, like organic frozen strawberries, coconut water and organic kale. But goji berries? Cacao nibs? Maca powder? She chose every ingredient deliberately.
“Goji berries have more carotene than carrots, more potassium than bananas,” she said.
Right now Hogan only produces one smoothie blend, but she also offers a custom blend service. As a certified health coach, she’ll sit down with you one-on-one to discuss any specific health issues you may have, and come up with a smoothie recipe specifically concocted in response to your wellness concerns. Her menu and more information is available at FARMacy.guru.
She also makes vegan, gluten-free, no-bake brownies. Those aren’t available by delivery yet, but FARMacy is on the non-reserve vendor list for the City Market, so swing by on Saturday mornings. Get there early, though—she sold out of brownies completely last weekend.
Food writers are an insufferable bunch of selfish snobs. So normally they’d shy away from documenting another food writer’s exploits. But when a writer the caliber of David Lebovitz rolls through your town and lavishes it with praise, it’s hard not to take notice.
“Charlottesville is one of those perfect little American cities; clean, with free shuttle buses, lots of trees, and people who say ‘Thank you, sir,’” Lebovitz wrote in his blog at davidlebovitz.com.
Lebovitz, a onetime chef and baker at California’s Chez Panisse and a writer of such kitchen-shelf staples as My Paris Kitchen and The Sweet Life in Paris, reports he was in town to share thoughts on French culture with a UVA group. And if his blog is any indication, he found plenty of time to visit local eateries.
In addition to feeding his apparent obsession with fried chicken at Wayside, Lebovitz reports he visited Albemarle Baking Company, Gearharts Fine Chocolates, MarieBette Cafe and Bakery, Mudhouse, Milli Joe, J.M. Stock Provisions, Citizen Burger Bar, Lampo and Feast!. For the most part, he had good things to say, and apparently, he found Charlottesville très French.
“It was nice to see French and American cultures coming together in Charlottesville, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson,” he wrote. “But also by the cooks, chefs, and bakers, practicing la cuisine du marché, using what’s fresh and local in their cooking, growing their own grapes and producing local wines, and baking breads and pastries.”
Hmm. Guess he’s right.
The time is finally here. You no longer have to get out of your car to retrieve a grande soy vanilla latte. Last Friday, the area’s first drive-thru Starbucks opened on Pantops Mountain. Oh, and soon you’ll be able to pick up a burrito without battling the crowds at Barracks Road—a Chipotle is scheduled to open in the same complex on June 1, according to Ed Kimple, vice president of Thalhimer, the company leasing the property. A Jersey Mike’s Subs is also on its way, and we can’t help but wonder if any local spots will make their way into the remaining 3,500 remaining square feet.
“We’d love to have local restaurants, but only a few have expressed interest thus far,” Kimple said via e-mail. “I feel ‘national chain’ sometimes gets a bad rap. Jersey Mike’s…will be owned by a local entrepreneur and will naturally hire local people. According to [Chipotle’s] website, they serve more local produce than any restaurant in the U.S.”
We’ve also heard rumblings of a Chick-fil-A on Route 250. We’ll keep you posted on that.