Vegetarians and vegans and clean eaters rejoice, The Stand Juice Company has opened its 3rd location and is now open in Westport.
Carissa and Mike Hvizdo are passionate about what they do and passionate about the plant based juices, snacks, sandwiches and baked goods they serve at The Stand. Their commitment to “providing good food and a better earth using the land to do so,” has paved the way to their newest and 3rd location.
Mike and Carissa met at a farmer’s market. They will tell you that their connection was profound - brought together by her passion for living life off the land and Mike’s first-hand experience with conquering a rare blood disease through natural healing methods, which ultimately led to him earning his holistic educator certification and his work with the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL.
“We had no idea what we were doing, “ admits Carissa, “All we knew was that we believed in our product and we had an opportunity to introduce this concept to people who were hungry for a healthful food alternative.” This healthy food substitute featured GMO-free, sustainable and vegan-based.
The Stand’s produce and other ingredients are sourced locally and Carissa and Mike have worked hard to cultivate close relationships with local farmers and artisans throughout the state. Hideaway Farm, the couple’s own 15-acre farm on the banks of the Connecticut River, is a working organic and sustainable farm that is a zero-waste, no-dig farm. The farm uses the pulp and scrap produce from the juice company to feed the herd of rescued farm animals.
The Stand first became known for their juice cleanses which started at a time when this relatively new method of detoxification was somewhat misunderstood and often misguided. Together, Carissa and Mike educated their clients about the many and varied health benefits the juices possessed. They did no advertising and relied only on the power of word of mouth. Before they knew it, their quirky little juice stand was enjoying a steady stream of clients searching for foods that lifted them up, rather than dragging them down.
I went to the new Westport location to experience their restaurant and lifestyle first-hand.
The decor, which is similar in all the locations, has an urban yet slight bohemian flair - warm and embracing. All locations offer freshly made juices and blended drinks, as well as prepared foods to grab and go such as; gluten free baked goods; seasonal hummus with veggies, nuts and olives; a variety of soups. To accommodate various dietary restrictions all locations are peanut-free and offer gluten-free options. I had the opportunity to try a few of their newer menu items.
The roasted chickpea roll-up with fresh ginger, local maple syrup and tamari, onion and kale was delicious and would please even the staunchest carnivore. Bursting with flavor and satisfying, I have no doubt that this sandwich will fast become a favorite. Next I tried something unique, a Broccoli Reuben Panini and I admit to being completely skeptical about this - one bite and I was sold! Made with roasted broccoli stalks, local sauerkraut, arugula and a sweet and spicy carrot top sauce, this sandwich really had that Reuben vibe. I‘ve only very recently become a fan of the avocado, and The BOC, avocado toast with sea salt and cayenne pepper, tomato, basil and olive oil was wonderful - perfect for a late morning snack or lunch.
The Caesar-ish salad made with romaine, toasted pumpkin seeds and cauliflower “croutons” with a Caesar-ish composed dressing of capers, lemon, kelp, olive oil and sunflower seeds was very good, but don’t expect a Caesar salad when you’re eating this. I also tried the Green, a wonderful marinated kale and collard greens salad with currants, ancient grains, nuts and a slightly sweet fig dressing. I found this salad to be satisfying but not overly filling. How can one go to a juice stand without trying a juice? I sampled two, The Stand(ard) made with kale, cuke, celery and apple and The Sunny, made from golden beets, carrot and turmeric - I really liked the sweet earthiness of the Sunny. My night ended up with their version of “Pumpkin Pie” a pudding-like blend of seasonal squashes and pumpkins with a granola “crust” at the bottom. It truly tasted like Thanksgiving in a bowl!
For those of you who make clean eating a way of life, or simply like to dabble in it from time to time, The Stand absolutely should be on your radar.
The Stand is now open at 1200 Post Road (behind Crate & Barrel)
Westport CT 06880