How long have you lived in the area?
Six months. And before that, we were in Buena Vista. I’ve been in Miami for about seven years total.
What brought you to Miami?
My family. I grew up in Connecticut and slowly my siblings and parents all migrated down. I was living out in California, in Sonoma County, and my family was all here and I had a newborn and I thought, well, this just stinks. So I came down to Miami.
What keeps you busy during the week?
My weeks are crazy. I do a lot of different things. First and foremost is Radiate Kombucha, which has grown faster than I can catch it. And, I have a private practice as a nutritionist and holistic health coach. And, I am also am the beverage director at Jackson Hall.
How do they fit together?
The bar at Jackson Hall is part of the Radiate concept. About three years ago, I opened up the fermentation apothecary at the Wynwood Yard. A lot of my nutrition clients and yoga students were asking for more and it was a fun idea to start a fermentation CSA. The pickup point was the Yard, and then it grew into an apothecary. Last year, we added a tonic bar with bulletproof coffees and bone broth drinks sourced largely from local farms. It was a way for me to really focus on education, build community and put my clients in touch with farms to get people understanding where their food is coming from. I closed that space when the Radiate Kombucha business took on a life of its own and opened the beverage concept – off the same idea – at Jackson Hall. Excited to say, we’re opening the North Beach Yard soon!
What is Jackson Hall?
Jackson Hall is the nation’s first wellness focused food hall in an institutionalized setting. It started with the intent of building community and making really good quality food accessible at a price point that everyone can find something. The area near the hospital is a food desert. We noticed that in a hospital setting, people experience emotional highs and lows and they had no place to process either. Hospitals have no heart, no community and certainly no fresh food options. The mission of Jackson Hall is to provide all that not only to the hospital patients, families, Dr’s, residents but really to everyone adjacent to the district. We deliver to downtown, Edgewater, Brickell, the area around the hospital and beyond.
What type of work do you do with your private clients?
I primarily work with women who are working through different health situations. I specialize in the microbiome and the gut. I work with everything from weight loss to auto immune dysfunction to fertility issues – the whole gamut. Initially, I worked in the traditional way – where I would look at blood work and give a protocol. But, as I started practicing yoga and became a yoga teacher, I learned that it’s a lot more than that. So, I went back and got a degree in coaching and counseling. Now it’s nutrition based coaching or counseling and educating around the microbiome and how to eat locally sourced food. This work really supports anyone looking to take their wellness into their own hands and create regularity and health centric practices.
What advice would you give our readers to consider about their nutrition?
The most important thing anyone can do is eat as locally as possible. That’s going to ensure that the body has all the essential minerals to process the microbacteria and to stabilize the microbiome. The thing we miss by eating conventional or industrially farmed food is the nutrition in the soil. We need to eat food that is grown in healthy soil and the best way to do that is to support our local farmers and eat as locally as possible.
Tell us a little about your family
My partner is Tico Aran. We have a 7 year old, Mela, and a newborn, Lusine. She’s coming into our fold. We’re both entrepreneurs, so adding another one to the mix certainly makes us a little crazier, but we’ve always been crazy.
How you did you and Tico meet?
He has a tea company, Jojo Tea. When I was first opening the space at the Wynwood Yard, I was looking to source some teas for my Kombucha and was familiar with his business partner. I went to do a tasting at their tea room and met Tico. Our first conversation was about soil health and how to localize our food systems… can you say love at first sip?
How often do you come to the Pinecrest market?
What’s your ritual?
We head to you guys for a Jackson smoothie – first and foremost. Mela, our older daughter, will definitely not leave the farmer’s market without her Jackson.
And then we head over to the veggie people opposite from you guys.
How did you get introduced to jackfruit?
From Adena, when you guys came and did a workshop at the Wynwood Yard a few years ago. I was doing a pop up dinner and trying to source all of the food 100% locally. I was really hung up on what dessert I was going to do. And then, you guys came and did the workshop at the yard about sourcing locally in the summer, which really blew my mind. I learned so much that day. I made a raw, vegan jackfruit tart and from then I’ve been totally obsessed. It was right around when Tico and I started dating and I made him the tart. I think that’s what really sealed the deal.
Can you tell us how to make a Jack Fruit Tart?
Sure. For the crust, I use macadamia nuts and blend them up to make a flour. Add a little bit of coconut oil and honey and press into a crust. Then I whipped up the jack fruit with some coconut cream for the filling and topped it with some goji berries and chopped up macadamias to make a little crumbled top. They’re super simple, but they’re amazing. And then, serve with some raw vegan jack fruit ice cream.
Where are you going out to eat and what do you like to order?
My favorite is definitely Ghee. We go there a lot. Their green millet is awesome and the sticky date cake. And, of course, Jackson Hall. My old standby is always a green bowl at Della Bowls.
Where do you go for a special occasion?
We’re always a fan of Michael’s Genuine.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
I really think that it’s the tasting room at JoJo Tea. Am I allowed to say that? That’s always how I’ve described it. He has a tasting room in an old office building on 8th and Le Jeune. You’ve never noticed it from the outside but when you walk in, time stops, and you’re immediately pulled into the beyond. They do traditional Gong Fu style tea tasting for up to 10 people. Sometimes I’ve gone with groups of friends and sometimes I’ve gone with just one friend and met complete strangers there and we leave the best friends. It’s an amazing educational experience. Tico works a lot on the sourcing and where the tea is coming from. He’s a student of permaculture and he’s working hard to instill holistic farming methods to these traditional farms.
What’s a worthy splurge?
Anything that’s going to provide me time with my family.
Do you participate in any community or philanthropic events that you would like to share?
Our daughter goes to the Sunrise School of Miami, which is the Waldorf school in Palmetto Bay. I would love to just kind of share it. The Waldorf education is amazing and its executed so beautifully there so we spend a lot of our time with that community. Anyone who’s really looking for a more holistic style of education for their children, I think it’s worth looking at. It’s right by the Deering Estate.
Would you share a pitch about your company?
I guess I’ll focus mainly on the Kombucha because that’s what’s growing rapidly. Radiate Kombucha is 100% organic, locally sourced, small batch made. It’s in over 50 locations around Miami so if anyone is interested in carrying it a a retailer or restaurant just let me know! I also want people to know that I offer a Holistic Health Coach Certification a few times a year. Its an immersion for anyone looking to begin doing this kind of work and taking clients of their own.
Is there a question you would like to ask the LNBs?
How, how do you guys recommend people start growing their own food? I mean like what are the first steps? What do you, how do we, how do you approach that?
(A+W) The first thing that comes to mind would be starting your own worm garden. It’s a great way to start composting everything from kitchen waste to cardboard boxes. The output is worm castings which are great for making nutritious soil and worm teas to treat your plants.
Is there a question that you would like to ask the community?
What would make it more helpful for you to start growing your own food?