VENTNOR – Another new eatery opened her last week, and from the looks of the line of customers, there are lots of people who like to eat well in Ventnor.
Ventnor residents Nicole Jacoby and Lambros Psounos opened their Greens and Grains Juice Bar & Eatery May 15, and have been serving up meals for between 60 to 80 people a day – mostly take out. The casual eatery offers fresh juices and smoothies, along with plant-based foods, including salads, wraps, entrees and sides.
“People have been coming in and saying thanks for having real food that’s good for you,” Psounos said.
On Wednesday last, it was fresh-cooked kale and beans, quinoa salad and an acai bowl that beckoned young women in yoga garb, middle-aged vegans on bicycles and elderly vegetarians on foot. The kale was perfectly cooked – tender with a still-fresh bite – and the beans were creamy with a touch of garlic and a hint of spicy red pepper.
“I love it here,” said Ventnor resident Lauren Connor, who has been at the store several times since it opened. “I like it because it’s grab and go. It doesn’t take long; you can pick it up and go on your way, and everything is healthy and fresh.”
“We are starting out with a small menu, because we want everything to be fresh-cooked and perfect,” Jacoby said. “We will add new things after we get settled in.”
Jacoby said there has been a mix of clientele – locals, summer folks and fans of her offerings at area yoga studios, coffee shops and doctors’ offices.
“We are the largest distributor of juices in the South Jersey area,” said Jacoby, who started her juicing business a little more than a year ago.
She became a vegetarian when she was 12 because she didn’t believe in eating animals, and became interested in holistic healing in 2006.
She started the business in January 2014 in hopes that folks would realize that good nutrition without meat and dairy products is not as difficult to manage as most people think.
Since going to a plant-based diet, she has never felt better, the 33-year-old said.
She started with juice cleanses, and in-home chef services, and branched out to supply local yoga studios, such as Bee Well Boutique and Spa in Linwood, with juices and salads made from locally grown and organic produce.
“I’m staying with the Bee Well coop, and my distribution business, and will be opening a second location near Stockton University by November,” she said.
The Ventnor store will be a summer venture, she said, turning into a production center in the fall when she will open a year-round store in a brand new building on Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway.
“Ventnor is a great location because we live here. The new place will be like the Redding Terminal Market, with a food court and a communal seating area.”
Greens and Grains at 7307 Ventnor Ave. is near the Margate border and in good company with Cookie Till and Kim Richmond’s new whole grain bakery, No. 7311, just steps away, and Hannah G’s, Uncle Gino’s Pizza and Mrs. B’s Boutique across the street.
The old Salt Ayre restaurant site, between No. 7311 and Greens and Grains, is just waiting for a new operator.
Jacoby said being so close to the beach is a good match for her health food business, and her concern for the environment is reflected in the compostable eco-product containers she uses.
“People will be taking our food to the beach, so we wanted to be as close to a zero footprint as you can get in the food service industry,” Psounos said.
Greens and Grains recently contracted with a delivery company, HeyWeDeliver.com, to make deliveries anywhere in Atlantic County.
Juices include Recharge, with beets, carrots, apple, ginger and lemon; Refresh, with carrot, orange, cucumber and lemon; Reset, with filtered water, lemon, organic maple syrup and cayenne; Renew, with kale, cucumber, celery, apple, melon and lime. Smoothies include Beet It, with a blend of banana, apple juice, and beets; Viva la Vegan, with banana, almond milk, cacao powder or peanut butter, and coconut sugar; and Green Phene, with banana, kale, spinach, avocado, almond milk and almond butter.
The place also offers fresh bagels daily with homemade avocado spread, almond butter, hummus or veggie cream cheese.
Daily specials include hummus and pitas, chickpea salad, chipotle bean and sweet potato dip and hand-cut French fries.
“You gotta have something to live a little,” Psounos said.
Greens and Grains is open daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entrees range from $5 to $9; soups sold in 8-, 16- and 32-ounce sizes, $4 to $10; salads $7.50; wraps, $8; juices in 12- and 16-ounce bottles $6.95 to $8; and breakfast bagels from $3.50 to $5.50.
For more, visit greensandgrainsnj.com or call 609-246-7276.