You’ve either heard of it, seen it, or smelt it in the office. RAW Pulp + Grind is now open in Westboro, located at 307A Richmond Road, and we couldn’t be happier to have them in our neighbourhood!
They are a growing fresh and healthy concept that offers more than just novelty – RAW Pulp + Grind boasts the mouthwatering normalization of vegan food in mainstream Ottawa. They opened their first location last October on Preston Street, and in just over a year, opened their second location in our lovely Westboro neighbourhood, on October 4th of this year.
We recently sat down with one of the RAW Pulp + Grind’s owners, Melissa Shabinsky to chat about everything RAW and vegan – from their new location, to their rapid expansion, to what their food philosophies are as a healthy restaurant grab and go chain.
Q&A with RAW Pulp + Grind Part-Owner Melissa Shabinsky
Q: Who/What is RAW?
A: RAW Pulp + Grind is a new concept that we created, that combines healthy plant based juices and foods (the pulp), with a full espresso bar (the grind), offering not just a full coffee menu but also innovative lattes made with ingredients like turmeric, ginger and beets.
Q: How did RAW start?
A: Three of us came from the restaurant industry (Fratelli, Robertos Pizzeria, Morning Owl Coffee House, Dumpling Park) and one from the natural beauty / branding side, however juicing and healthy living is what we all had in common. We all love to travel, and in so many of the cities we visited, we saw that there were so many healthy juice / food options to choose from than what we have here in Ottawa. We also agreed that we wanted to create a concept that was inspired by the places we visited, but to also make it innovative. We locked ourselves in the kitchen for 6-8 months working on recipes while developing the branding side too, and the result is what is our new store. We all have different skills and that is why it works so well!
Q: How has the first month been?
A: Our first month in Westboro has been truly amazing. We have been embraced by the community who have shared with us, just how excited they are to have us in the neighbourhood. The weather has been a bonus too and our mini patio has been put to good use!
Q: What inspired you to start the RAW concept?
A: We all felt that there was no place that offered healthy grab and go – a fast-fresh option for people who didn’t want a restaurant setting but still wanted healthy, fresh items. We started with just a juice bar concept and realized that we could offer so much more – acai bowls, smoothies, salads and power bowls –healthy, sweet and savoury options for any time of the day.
Q: What is RAW’s vision?
A: Our vision was to create a space that was fresh, with an energetic vibe, and also educational about healthy ingredients and their benefits. Our staff are trained to answer any question from the benefits of turmeric and acai to the production process of cold-pressed juices.
So many people are skeptical that healthy is not tasty. We offer a lot of samples and once people sample, they are hooked and realize that some healthy changes to their diet can be easy and delicious.
Q: Why did you choose Westboro?
A: Westboro had been on our radar for a while now – it combines the best of destination and neighbourhood businesses and all of the things that speak to our brand – food, wellness, art, fashion and fitness. We knew that it was the perfect fit for us, and we just had to wait for the perfect spot to open up.
We are delighted to have RAW Pulp + Grind in the Westboro BIA, and wish them a warmest welcome to the community. From the fresh feel of their grab and go store concept, to the energetic nature of their staff, and their tasty selection of healthy and vegan shots, smoothies, juices, grinds, bowls, and snacks – it is no wonder why people are lining up out the door to get their bellies full of RAWs many nutritious options. We personally love the Peanut Butter Acai Bowl Crunch, and as a matter of fact, we’re crunching on one right now!
Check out RAW on social: