Cheektowaga does not have a reputation as an epicenter of health food.
The Raw is Life Juice & Smoothies Café may start to change that. The café opened at 1238 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga, in October. It’s a rare retail provider of raw foods, which in a restaurant context means much more than carrot and celery sticks. “It’s food that’s in its natural state, providing the natural enzymes and vitamins for maximum nutritional content,” said Cheryl Howard. She owns the store with her husband Charles.
The café offers juices and smoothies, which aren’t cooked, of course. But it also offers kale chips, and chips and crackers made by dehydrating vegetable pulp and grains. The key is not raising the temperature of the food above 117 degrees, which can damage its nutritional content, she said.
Raw crackers come in flavors like tomato cilantro. The Howards also turn post-juicing carrots, celery, beets, apples and more into raw food products. “We don’t waste the pulp, we add ingredients to it to make it into crackers,” she said. The green one with a celery, romaine lettuce, cucumber base has been dubbed The Incredible Hulk.
Herbal teas, organic coffee and Teeccino alkaline coffee, which has a lower acid level, are available. They have desserts that are never cooked, or baked.
They wondered if Cheektowaga would be interested in health food, Howard acknowledged. “You wouldn’t believe. It has been amazing,” she said. “When we came here we had so many people coming from the neighborhood, making up a part of the routines after their walks, so happy we are here,” she said. “We have been doing excellent here.”
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