Healthy options plentiful at superfood cafe

Kale Me Crazy opens in Roswell

Photo provided by Kale Me Crazy
Photo by suzanne pacey/staff
KMC Shot; Weatgrass, ginger, cayenne and lemon.
Photo by suzanne pacey/staff
Philip Wahl, Kale Me Crazy owner.
Photo provided by Kale Me Crazy
Vegan-wrap sandwich; Kale, quinoa, cabbage, red onion, avacado and hummus wrapped in a spinach tortilla and served with tahini.
Photo provided by Kale Me Crazy
Beet Salad; Spinach, arugula, tomato, raw beets, walnuts, cucumber, sunflower sprouts, goat cheese, hemp seeds with honey dijon balsamic vinaigrette.
Photo provided by Kale Me Crazy
Wrap Tray from catering menu; Choose from Salmon, Turkey, Chicken Pesto, Tuna and Vegan wraps.
Photo provided by Kale Me Crazy
Photo provided by Kale Me Crazy

It was a chance conversation with Starbucks founder Howard Schultz years ago that led Philip Wahl to his “sunset career.” Today, the recently retired executive with Georgia Pacific has traded selling paper products to restaurants to actually owning his own.

Last April he opened superfood café and juice bar, Kale Me Crazy, in Roswell, where Wahl now spends his days espousing the benefits of clean eating.

“Howard told me he loved being able to provide an ‘experience’ for the customer,” said Wahl, a native of Canada who moved to Milton 14 years ago.

“After I retired I was looking for something I would enjoy and that would also be a positive for the community.”

Wahl is the first “outside the Perimeter” franchise owner of Kale Me Crazy, a fast-growing business started in 2013 in Buckhead by the founder of the Yogli Mogli frozen yogurt chain.

Currently there are eight Kale Me Crazy locations in the Atlanta area, and the success of his Roswell location has Wahl already eyeing more locations in North Fulton and Forsyth County.

Don’t let the words “kale” throw you off, noted Wahl. While the popular, uber-nutritious cabbage is front and center in many sandwich wraps, salads and smoothies, the cafe’s menu is a vast array of all things healthy.

Slide up to the counter and enjoy your choice of shots, including The Painkiller (ginger, lime, turmeric and raw honey) or the KMC (wheatgrass, ginger, cayenne and lemon). Or keep it simple with a straight shot of locally sourced wheatgrass, squeezed fresh daily, or simply a ginger shot loaded with essential nutrition.

Try one of 12 juices, including tropical mixes with watermelon and pineapple, or get more adventurous with the Green Factor, a mix of kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, chard and apple.

A dozen smoothies are also on the menu, which include the Recovery (banana, cherries, cashews, coconut, yogurt, almond milk, vegan protein) and Refresh (kale, celery apple, banana, mint, coconut meat, coconut milk, maple syrup).

For a more substantial meal, Kale Me Crazy has an extensive menu of salads including a quinoa bowl, Greek salad and, of course, a kale salad, as well as six varieties of wraps with choices including smoked salmon, chicken pesto, tuna and vegan.

Wahl opened the Roswell location off Holcomb Bridge in April after carefully researching the demographics and business mix in the area. From day one, he knew he had hit upon a concept that was welcomed enthusiastically in the area.

“We are surrounded by a healthy lifestyle [here] and were inundated with customers from the first day,” said Wahl, who noted his son, Brendan, works alongside him as a manager at the cafe.

He was confident the superfood concept would draw millennials, but he was surprised at the wide range of ages and customers who are simply seeking a better alternative to the food they eat.

“Eating clean is not for everyone, but I see more and more people interested and aware of what is in their food,” said Wahl.

A conversation with Wahl is a lesson on how he believes the food industry in general has let profits rule over health and sustainability, pointing to the documentaries and science behind the scene.

At Kale Me Crazy, Wahl said everything is organic, GMO-free, made fresh that day, never fried and rarely frozen. In fact, the one small freezer in the back is filled only with items which must remain frozen per health code.

For those who wish to take a healthier lifestyle home with them, Kale Me Crazy has one- and three-day juice cleanse programs to kick start your health routine.

Wahl invested thousands on a cold-press juicer, as opposed to those which use heat which can kill off important nutrients and enzymes. Cold pressing fruits and vegetables also avoids adding oxygen which quickly breaks down the fruit and starts decomposition.

Wahl describes Kale Me Crazy as his “sunset career,” and laughs when he starts adding up all the hours his new post-retirement venture requires.

“I don’t think I’ve ever worked this hard in my life... and enjoyed it even more,” said Wahl. ■


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