At around 7pm a few weeks ago a well known Sales personality in my office scurried in a fluster past my desk. “Whoa whoa whoa!” I said, intrigued by the fire causing the rush. “Where ya going?” As he frantically scanned his blackberry he belted that he was going to his good friend’s new specialty food store opening. Little did he know how interested I’d be, and after he directed me to their website, I wanted in. I put a weekend stop-by on my to-do list right away.
Well, after a few weeks of trailing up and down 5th Avenue looking for the place (I had forgotten the name, so couldn’t look it up), I finally stumbled across a big sign that said “Food for Humans.” I knew it was the right place. Interested and hungry, I walked in eager to sample. The smoothie bar looked delicious..as did the fresh yogurt station, the baked goods, the salads, the roast chicken, and the Dean & Deluca-style display case. In the mood for breakfast, I asked the smoothie-barista to mix up her favorite, which turned out to be the banana almond smoothie that came with almond milk, almond butter, bananas, and salt. The first round wasn’t so good. The smoothie was incredibly salty to the point of being inedible. But the service people were kind enough to whip up another batch, and unlike most organic, non-traditional food shops, they were happy to remake the order (or at least looked like it). The second batch was a dream. I also tried a carrot raisin muffin, which was gluten and sugar free, and actually quite tasty.
Despite a slightly bitter motto on their site (“It’s time to get back to the way humans ate before industry ruined food”), I really like what they’re doing. And the owners are smart. They found an unmet need (healthy food in a clean and stylish setting), and solved the problem in an ideal area – where shoppers on lower fifth ave need a quick bite to eat. I will definitely be back in that context, whether for a salad or a smoothie. Delivery will be key in helping this business grow.
Location: 78 Fifth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets