They crack open fresh coconuts every morning and sell them for $5, icy cold for drinking. They sprout almonds to make "milk" and add fresh vanilla beans for yummy and silky smoothie bases.
We're talking about Choice Health Bar at 1087 Limahana Place in Lahaina. Owners Emily Kunz and Kathyrn Dahm used to be managers at the farmers market in Honokowai, and now they've kicked it up a few notches with acai bowls, vegan soups and more.
"Everything is locally sourced," says Emily, who is originally from Philadelphia. "We don't call Choice Health Bar a vegan restaurant, but it just so happens that we don't use any animal products."
Kathryn Dahm (left) and Emily Kunz are founders of the powerhouse Choice Health Bar near Mind’s Eye Interiors in Lahaina.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"We just try to make the healthiest, freshest drinks and soups that make you feel great," says Katherine, a former investment banker from San Francisco.?"We're taking it to the next level and using amazingly fresh and local ingredients in our menu."
The fresh local and organic ingredients include noni, a healing fruit used by ancient Hawaiians, and kale, one of the best sources of vitamin K.
"We massage the kale with lemon juice. You don't even have to cook it," says Emily. "We just give it a little love. We never make the same salad twice."
Right now, they are incorporating star fruits into salads and such, because they're in season. "We want our food to taste good to the average person. We don't want them to think they're eating health food."
Savor soups such as Russian borscht with faux chevre; and red pepper and Kula corn chowder along with collard wraps; nori rolls; living snacks; and raw pizzas, desserts and even vegan "oyster" shooters, served on shells.
The business partners also like to incorporate other health ingredients into their dishes, such as maca, a super root from Peru; sea buckthorn, a shrub indigenous to Scandinavia; antioxidant-packed Goji berries from the Himalayas; and blue-green algae from Klamath Lake, Ore., which is known for its photosynthesis.
The dessert sunrise bowl is packed with acai, strawberries, maca, banana, cacao, honey, house-made almond milk, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, vanilla and coconut.
"We also have the green buzz bowl and the super fresh bowl. We can make any bowl a smoothie and any smoothie a bowl. We'll top it with granola and fruit and can even add raw or gluten-free granolas for extra."
Health elixirs and shots are plentiful and you may try the?"roots beer" of sassafras and sassparilla; and the innerspacial facial drink, cleansing and delicious.
Choice Health Bar boasts bar stools overlooking the bright and cheery exhibition kitchen. It also offers couches and magazines for a living-room feel. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. Call 661-7711.