Getting juiced; Vegan umami for the masses; Ice cream by trike; Eli's (sustainable) kitchen

By ecoRI News staff

Main Squeeze

The Local Juice, Buzzards Bay, Mass.

The Local Juice is the product of a 5-year friendship between Nicole Cormier, a registered dietician, and Jen Villa, a community advocate and Hyannis, Mass., gallery owner, who joined forces to launch the company this past spring.

Clear-glass bottles with minimal labeling allow the juice inside to speak for itself. With names such as Rooted (beet, fennel, kale, pineapple, lemon and cayenne) and Flourish (cucumber, apple, mint, lemon) and no unpronounceable ingredients, The Local Juice is the real thing.

Fifty percent of the ingredients in The Local Juice come from nearby farms, and the juice itself is pressed at Bay End Farm in Buzzards Bay using a cold-press juicer, which juices the vegetables and fruits evenly and slowly without over-crushing or creating unwanted heat.

The clear-glass bottles were an intentional and sustainable choice; by offering a bottle return program, The Local Juice washes and reuses its bottles. "We’re doing our best to connect local produce to our community, but we're really about the sustainability piece of it too,” Cormier says.

The Local Juice composts all of its juice byproducts. What isn’t composted is fed to chickens or used to make veggie burgers. Juices can be found at The Farm Fare Market in Sandwich and at farmers markets in Plymouth, Osterville, Hyannis, Orleans and Barnstable Village. Plans are in the works to build a brick-and-mortar store this fall.

Bringing Umami to the Masses

Ooh Mommi, Providence

Tatianna Muniz, a recent graduate of Johnson & Wales University, could hardly contain her excitement when talking about the imminent launch of Ooh Mommi Foods' food truck to an ecoRI News reporter on a recent July weekend.

Muniz is the manager of Ooh Mommi, a vegan food truck founded by Phyllis Affra, owner of Blaze East Side in Providence. Affra, who, for health reasons, embraced a whole foods, plant-based diet, wanted to reach a larger audience with the diet that put her on a path to better health. Voila, Ooh Mommi.

Featuring local ingredients whenever possible, Ooh Mommi made its Providence debut at AS220’s Foo Fest on Aug. 9.

Menu offerings include barbecue pulled port-obello, vegan TLT (tofu, lettuce, tomato) burritos and a Po’ Boy made with oyster mushrooms. The colorful food truck runs partly on recycled cooking oil, and the team uses to-go ware that is compostable and recyclable. Any food scrap generated during food prep goes to Ooh Mommi’s partnering farms.

Trike-Powered Ice Cream

Tricycle Ice Cream, Providence

The idea to combine a great artisan ice-cream sandwich and a tricycle delivery system can be attributed to the genius of David Cass, 33, and Giovanni Salvador, 21, co-founders of Tricycle Ice Cream.

While the two officially started peddling and pedaling in June, Cass and Salvador spent months devising how to update a childhood favorite using the highest quality and freshest ingredients they could find.

Each batch starts off with organic dairy, which they then infuse with flavors from produce found at the farmers markets where they sell their frozen treats.

"Our menu is dictated by what is currently seasonal and available at local markets, because we believe in the multiple positive outcomes of sourcing locally," Salvador said.

The ice cream in Tricycle Ice Cream's desserts is produced at Farm Fresh's Harvest Kitchen, a culinary and job-readiness training program.

Feeding Lifelong Passion for Sustainability

Eli's Kitchen, Warren, R.I.

(Eli's Kitchen)

(Eli's Kitchen)

 

When he was young, Eli Dunn's mother paid him a penny for every cigarette butt he picked up off the street. Later, he watched as she saved all the food scrap from her restaurant (Phoebe's Fish and Chips) to give to a local pig farmer. These early lessons stuck with Dunn, now 36, who opened Eli's Kitchen this May with the help of his wife, Pamela.

"These (early) values resonated with me. ... They continue to influence the way I live, cook and interact with others," Dunn says.

Located on Market Street, Eli's Kitchen boasts a comfortable interior washed in serene blues. Warren-based O & G Studios crafted the barstools and chairs. Even the lettering on the restaurant's sign is the handiwork of a local sign artist. Pendant lights hang from a tin ceiling and illuminate tasty offerings made with ingredients from nearby farms. Entreés change with the season, and almost all the protein is sourced locally. Trace and Trust, a cooperative of local fisherman out of Point Judith, delivers fish every Friday.

On the menu now are smoked fish cakes with roasted-pepper cream sauce and a cornmeal-fried Point Judith Oyster BLT. And save room for dessert: Honey-Ricotta Cheesecake with Cook's Valley Farm blueberries.