FRESH TAKE A vibrant new juice bar popped up at 1133 Garden Street in downtown SLO. Serving up cold-pressed juices made in-house, acai bowls, yogurt parfaits, smoothies, and kombucha, there’s always a new flavor (and health benefit) to discover. PHOTOS BY DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN
Published in SLO New Times
A female honeybee lands on a wild flower, its stamen full of seductive, powdery pollen. With the help of a dab of honey brought from the hive, she moistens and scrapes this delicious dust with her legs, securing it to her thickly bristled undercarriage.
It’s been a long morning, buzzing from flower to flower, and her cargo hold is full. The mound of microscopic dust has now transformed into a tiny collection of golden granules—the kind a human can see with the naked eye. Back at the hive, that pollen is devoured by young, hungry bees; the extra is stored away for a rainy day. Of course, that “rainy day” never comes. A beekeeper collects the excess granules, which eventually end up at Seeds Juice in downtown SLO.
Yes, you can top your Greek yogurt parfait with a dash of nutty, nutritious bee pollen (packed with protein, it is a true superfood), organic blackberries, or energizing chia seeds. The natural world buzzes at the heart of Seeds, where house-made cold-pressed juice flows freely, and everything from acai bowls to smoothies are crafted with your health in mind.
Seeds co-owners Rammy Aburashed and Zak Khan know that living clean isn’t necessarily easy. Over the past few weeks, they’ve found themselves working into the wee hours of the night to create their signature juices, which incorporate beets, kale, carrots, herbs, and a whole lot of love. As the owners of the only cold-pressed juicery in SLO, their goals are threefold: educate, satiate, and delight.
“It gets messy; that is without a doubt,” Khan said during an interview held on the breezy Seeds patio. “The cold-pressed method is different than centrifugal, which is more about grinding the juice. Through our process, we are extracting more nutrients, especially out of our leafy greens. What we want to do is get it pressed, bottled, and into the hands of the public right away.”
Craving a boost of energy? Looking for a clear-headed way to tackle that hangover? These bright, tangy juices are a vibrant alternative to your typical ho-hum latte. Green tea Kombucha provided by Santa Barbara-based company, Conscious, is also on tap for a quick splash of invigoration.
Khan, a Santa Monica native who graduated from UC Davis with a minor in nutrition, and Aburashed, a SLO local with six years of experience managing his family’s restaurant, Petra, have wanted to work together for years. Now in their mid-20s, they’re doing just that. Khan is the social face of the company while Aburashed is more of the numbers guy. Both are passionate about changing lives.
“We both met at a gym, at Kennedy Club Fitness,” Khan said with a laugh. “At Davis, I had a life-changing experience. I was a junk food junkie and I needed to switch my lifestyle. I’m more than a believer in this. I am this.”
With a change in diet and exercise, Khan was able to shed 70 pounds and create a fresh start for his life. Cold-pressed juices, minimally processed foods, lots of fruits and veggies, and superfoods became the new norm. Khan’s mom, a type II diabetic, introduced her son to Chia seeds, now all the range at trendy restaurants, health stores, and smoothie bars.
“I learned a lot from my mom and her transition from eating whatever she wanted to eating more fresh greens and veggies. Seeing that transition really spurred a change in me,” Khan said.
Above all else, the guys want to create a product that isn’t just healthy. It needs to taste great. Aburashed said he gauges flavors against a tough criteria.
“We want to create a product that we, ourselves, would want to eat every day,” he said. “I usually juice half the day; we love acai bowls, and we love parfaits.”
They also love cleanses—a word that can strike fear into the hearts of many. Don’t worry: Seeds’ one-, two-, and three-day cleanses offer way more than lemon, cayenne, and maple syrup. Stop in and taste for yourself. Seeds’ un-snooty juice masters are happy to explain more in detail.
“We are creating a product, per ounce, that is the most affordable it can be,” Khan said. “We decided from the beginning that we wanted to over deliver. We want this to really catch on, where people to come in once a week, not once a month.”
It may be too soon to tell if the craze is catching fire, but one thing is for certain: Everyone has noticed the transformation at Seeds. The spot, once Downtown Boba, is clean and calming with one wall covered in wood salvaged from California wildfires. The menu is easy to read, encouraging patrons to pick their flavor, toppings, and nutritional aspirations.
“When people ask if we’re a chain, that’s when we know we are really onto something,” Khan said. “We took a lot of pride in creating this business for SLO. We want everyone to know that this is your Seeds.”
We all know that a single seed can lead to something transformative, and one healthy decision usually follows another. January is over, and 2016 is roaring on. Khan and Aburashed’s question is a simple one, with the potential to change lives.