Not sure what to actually do with the explosion of lemon-cayenne-agave juices at Whole Foods? You’re not alone. “Everyone’s going on detoxes, because a friend told somebody on Facebook ‘I did this cleanse,’” says pharmacist Michael Altman. “But, do they know what they have to do before they go on it, and after?” Hence Altman’s newest endeavor, Organic Pharmer (Rye Ridge Shopping Center, Rye Brook; organicpharmer.com), a grab-and-go organic café.
“There are more juice companies opening than you could shake a stick at, but none of them are based on education or medicine,” he explains. “Our key is education, on why you should eat certain foods, and what are your goals.”
In addition to his own 10 years of experience recommending natural-healing products as owner of Greenleaf Pharmacy in Hastings-on-Hudson, says Altman, the “dream team” behind the clean-nutrition destination includes Susan Blum, MD, of the Blum Center for Health in Rye—one of Dr. Oz’s Fantastic Four functional-medicine experts—and Lee and Darlene Gross, the chefs who taught Gwyneth Paltrow about macrobiotics. (“When foods are cooked a certain way, you kill all the little bacteria, good and bad. Macrobiotics accentuates good nutrients, so you’re really getting what you’re eating.”)
Fare includes a delicious almond-milk chai, cold-pressed juice (like beet with horseradish, or carrot that “tastes like you’re drinking milk, it’s so creamy”), fresh and frozen soups, and loaves of gluten-free bread. “Our whole idea is that the best medicine is eating healthy.”
And the convergence of complementary wellness-focused businesses in Rye Ridge isn’t lost on the store’s ownership, says Altman: “We have SoulCycle around the corner from us, SLT two doors away, and RIPPED Fitness across the parking lot. We’re looking to create an ecosystem for the mom that needs to grab something to bring home after she goes to SoulCycle that she feels good about, and that her kids are going to like the way it tastes.” More for mom to look forward to: a detox and meal delivery service, and regular online health seminars.