Transformational Eating Reinventing health food at Alchemy Juice Café By Stephanie Wapner • Photography by Robin Oatts
hen Alexis Joseph and Abed Alshahal, the collaborative team behind Alchemy Juice Café, were undergraduates studying human nutrition, they discovered a shared passion for food as key ingredient to health. Their shared love of healthy food and entrepreneurial inclinations, however, led them on a much different journey than expected.
After graduation, Alexis earned a master’s degree and became a registered dietitian and Abed began preparing for medical school. In October 2014, their passion for food and health united and culminated in the opening of Alchemy, a juice bar and restaurant that seeks to “demystify health food and make nutrition accessible and affordable” according to Alexis, the self-described “director of nutrition, head of communications, chef, dietitian, and manager” of Alchemy. As a registered dietitian, Alexis combines her clinical expertise with original recipes, which she features on her blog. Her clean, minimalist creations taste like the indulgence one expects at a restaurant but are also deeply nourishing. “This is a restaurant that caters your order to meet your specific health needs,” says Alexis. Alchemy’s staff shares a similar background to Alexis in nutrition sciences and can all make informed recommendations particular to each customer’s health concerns. The café also offers classes on topics ranging from understanding food labels to stocking a home refrigerator and pantry. The food is prepared in what looks like a home kitchen, with open shelves that feature large jars of beautiful ingredients, inviting customers not only to experiment with new flavors but also inspiring them to bring what they learn at Alchemy into their own homes. All of Alchemy’s food is made in-house and their cold-press juicing technique preserves the vital nutrients and enzymes of ingredients like apples, pears, cucumber, celery, spinach, fresh ginger, and lemon. Alexis starts her day early, doing kitchen prep work such as creating sandwich spreads like hummus, hemp pesto, and cashew mayonnaise. She also meets with cusAlexis Joseph of Alchemy Juice Café