A bagel shop seems to be an unlikely spot to purchase organic grab-and-go cuisine. But underground movements often crop up in the most unexpected places – and this one is no exception. Nestled into a corner of the Upper Crust Bagel Co. in Old Greenwich, you’ll find Grass Rxoots (Roots), a mini in-store cafe that creates inspired organic meals and cold-pressed juices. And, while their food is outrageously delicious, owners Rob and Amy Guerreri have bigger goals in sight– they aim to start a revolution in the way we approach food and nutrition.
With a “food as farmacy” philosophy, the Guerreris (who also own the bagelry) launched Grass Rxoots in early spring with the help of Dr. Steven Murphy, a Greenwich-based physician who specializes in weight management and genetic medicine. Dr. Murphy had assisted the Guerreri family in overcoming their individual health issues through food-based therapies instead of pharmaceuticals. Grass Rxoots was born out of their desire to educate the public about the benefits of nutritional therapies.
Together, they recruited holistic nutritionist and professionally trained chef, Heidi Fagley, to come on board as a partner. With more than 25 years of experience, and armed with two culinary arts degrees (one in Natural Foods from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City and the other in Raw, Living Foods, obtained from Living Light International in California), Fagley’s elegantly prepared, nuanced cuisine appeals to a variety of lifestyles and palates: vegan, paleo, vegetarian, and raw, with special consideration to those with food sensitivities and allergies – all foods are gluten, soy, peanut, corn, GMO, and dairy free. Her menu of contemporary, mostly plant based cuisine, is inspired by local and seasonal offerings and made fresh daily in a separate kitchen on-premises at the Upper Crust Bagel, Co.
Fagley’s elevated, vegetable-centric cuisine is nothing short of nuanced and is completely satisfying–even to omnivores. Her sunflower nori roll contained a delicately seasoned pate crafted from sunflower seeds, fresh romaine lettuce, and diced tomato was – dare I say it…better than sushi. A colorful salad of vegan-friendly “Floba Noodles” featured spirals of organic zucchini, slivers of yellow and red peppers, and shredded carrot, all tossed in a delicate Asian-inspired dressing and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Fresh and delicious, it was almost indistinguishable from its buckwheat laden doppelganger. The Farmer’s Market “Pizza” made with a nut crust, a squiggle of emerald spinach pesto, and topped with diced, fresh tomato was as pleasing to the eye as the palate. For dessert, Fagley presented a Mason jar layered with paleo lemon curd, fresh blueberries, and topped with walnut-coconut crumble that was completely outrageous in all the right ways – including the fact that Fagley was basically spoon feeding me health in a jar.
Fresh, cold-pressed juices with clever names: Cell Service (orange, carrot), Natural High (a medley of greens), Lean and Green (cucumber, chard, spinach, ginger, lemon), maintain their dense nutrient values for up five days – and are super-easy to just grab and go. Rich with flavor and dense with nutrients, Fagley can also create personalized, supervised (she is a nutritionist, after all) cleanses ranging from 3 day juice “feasts” to five day juice cleanses. She said that it’s essential for people to consult with a professional like herself or Dr. Murphy before embarking on a treatment, “People are not educated and the experts are leaving people stranded. We offer pre and post-cleanse suggestions. People are not paying attention to their bodies – we get them to notice what’s going on and help them to transition to a healthier lifestyle,” she explained.
In addition to the healthy take-away foods and juices, Grass Rxoots will also be offering a lifestyle component, Grass Rxoots Mind+Body+Soul – which will incorporate the medical expertise of Dr. Murphy as well as another physician, Dr. Kathy O’Neil-Smith, a holistic medical doctor who utilizes various modalities to treat the whole person in an organic, preventative way to achieve optimal health. The Grass Rxoots Mind+Body+Soul center will reside at 187 Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich and will provide a community fostering whole living. A variety of classes, meditation groups, yoga, and other resources will be shared there.
Catering, special-orders for pick-up, and bulk food purchases are also available by request.
Grass Rxoots, Located inside Upper Crust Bagel Company, at 197 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich, CT
Hours: Monday – Friday 6-4, Saturday 7-4, Sunday 7-3 203.637.4343 www.grassrxoots.com