We had a great time visiting with Stephanie at Pure, chatting over a green juice. One of our favorite places to eat and hang, we loved catching up and getting to know more about this gem. Go visit them or check out their listing here!
VH: From where do you hail?
I was born in southern California. When I was 6 we moved to a small town in eastern Washington, and I grew up on the family farm that was started by my grandparents in 1949.
VH: How did you land on Vashon?
My mom and step-dad bought a fixer upper on Vashon in 1992, and I would come home to visit from LA where I had moved after studying dance at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. I was trying different things, dancing, acting and music , I was in a garage band in LA that decided to take a break from the scene, so we moved to Vashon in 2006. We got really into writing and recording at the time and made a new wave inspired recording on reel to reel tape. The plan was to start the cafe to support the band …. the band broke up, and the cafe lived on.
VH: Tell us all about your business – what you offer, what you do, etc.
Pure Organic Kitchen & Juicery is a small, natural foods cafe, we are located in the little white building on Bank road, next to Vashon Bodywork. In 2009 the space became available, when I saw it I had stars in my eyes and thought what Vashon needs is a vegan gluten free organic cafe with Juice Bar! We opened on a shoestring budget in the spring of 2010. My husband, Stephen, and I run the business; he is also our amazing chef!
We serve healthy organic salad bowls, vibrant fresh vegetable juices, raw smoothies, seasonal soups and specials, and desserts. Our menu is plant-based, gluten-free, and pretty simple.
Our specialty is making food for people with food intolerances, but I always say what’s great about Pure is that it’s truly food for everyone. Most of our customers are not vegan or vegetarian, but are looking for clean, simply prepared, unprocessed food. Some come to us because they are celiac, lactose sensitive, or in treatment for various illnesses. What sets us apart is that we use many high quality, organic ingredients: cacao, dried coconut sap, carob, spirulina, and more. Our kitchen has always been entirely gluten-free and we don’t use refined white sugar. Being a plant-based cafe has allowed us to get really creative with our menu. We bake hearty gluten free muffins and pies sweetened with apple juice and pumpkin, and make nutrient rich raw desserts. Some unique things we do are pressing lemons, raw ginger, celery & fresh cut wheatgrass, and soaking our brown rice, beans, nuts & seeds. We have become known for our delicious, super fresh, homemade Tahini dressings & dipping sauces and for making our one of a kind, raw vegan seed-crust pizza that is served on Saturdays. Our pizza was featured in Seattle Weekly! If you’re craving something spicy, Steve makes a super hot chili paste that will blow your mind!
In the summer, we have outdoor sidewalk seating, and in the winter we serve hot soups and comfort foods such as local squash curry bowls for those who want to cozy up in our little cafe.
A unique aspect to our cafe that people are often surprised by is that we utilize quite a lot of modern technology. Preparing healthy food takes time; technology enables us to keep our high quality of food and provide better service with our shrinking available workforce, which has been reduced by the rising housing and living costs. In April 2017, we started taking orders online. Customers can order from our website, Facebook or Yelp page or use our mobile app for an easy skip the line experience. We also installed a couple of cool, space age self-ordering kiosks that are fun to use; they are cool because they remember your favorite order and help us get the food out quickly during the rushes and in the heavy tourist season.
VH: What inspired you to start your business?
I wanted to create a place for people eat where the nutritional value and quality of ingredients were the focus. I wanted do something that was going to help and heal people by making food for health and well-being. We already have enough of all the other stuff. Growing up, my mom had an outdoor dehydrator. I remember as a kid, she would make homemade granola, and handmade apricot fruit roll ups that were kind of lumpy and funny looking, and weird cookies from the giant zucchinis in her garden. Maybe it rubbed off on me, those are good and funny memories for me. When I moved to LA, my friends introduced me to southern California health food cafes and markets that made fresh beet-cucumber juice and veggie-burgers with avocado. I loved the bold flavors of clean, unprocessed foods and most of all, I loved the way I felt when I ate those kinds of foods! Full of life and creative energy!
VH: What is your superpower? ‘
I would say my superpower is a combination of tenacity, and die hard optimism. I’m a dreamer, always writing down my next big idea. I don’t give up easily, I can adapt to working with many types of people to make things happen. I look for other people’s superpowers to join forces and build a great team.
VH: When you have company visiting the island, where do you like to take them?
Pure Organic Kitchen & Juicery! Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie Front Porch or Burton Coffee Stand, Home Sweet Home, The Wild Mermaid, Vashon Public Library, a moonlight drive to the water, Pollard Coffee and ‘O Sole Mio!
VH: What’s next for your business?
We are beginning to Bottle and sell our Tahini salad dressings wholesale, currently sold at Thriftway. Upgrading our kitchen equipment to optimize our systems and expand space for customers. I would like to buy the building and add another story. I would like to find a mentor, investor or business partner to help the business blossom. I recently started taking business classes and I love it! Im learning a ton and I feel like I’m headed in the right direction
VH: What’s the best thing you ever bought at Granny’s?
Vintage tupperware and a 1960’s autoharp