As Andy’s Pure Food owner Andy Ozgur talks about buying local, eating healthy and keeping that neighborhood feel.
Andy’s uses primarily local, seasonally available foods. So how does that sort of commitment affect your menu—especially your customers’ favorites?
Our menu does not change radically month to month. We offer a wide variety of vegan dishes that satisfy through flavor and freshness. There are dishes we make every day that our customers love and order consistently. Our most popular offering is made of kale leaves with an avocado dressing. There has been one big addition to our menu, however; we now offer sandwiches, made with gluten-free or whole-grain bread.
Do your juices and cleanses change with the season? What are some of the healing juices you sell?
Our juices don’t change seasonally, although there are certain seasons when people tend to want to cleanse, like before summer or in the fall. Most of our customers become regulars, and as a result they’ll use a juice cleanse more routinely to get back on track quickly if they eat something unhealthy or if they want to get more energy.
Right now we are researching components to put into juices based on their effect—we want to maximize the nutritional benefits in a juice for a very intense cleanse. This is something we will offer customers who are very used to cleansing and looking to step up the results.
I love your celery root salad. That’s a trendy vegetable with people who do cleanses. How do you come up with the dishes on your menu, and who is your chef?
When we created our menu, the goal was to offer complete nutrition through pure food prepared with delicious and complementary flavors. The idea is to provide all the nutrients our customers need so that they enjoy the benefit of complete sustenance without the labor of shopping and preparation. Andy creates the menu and recipes himself. And I’m glad you like the celery root! That’s a very satisfying food, because it’s chock-full of nutrients that it gets from good soil.
You have such a large variety of dishes. What percentage of your menu is raw? Obviously the quinoa salad is cooked, but most things look like they could be raw dishes.
I’d say 60 to 75 percent of our menu is raw. It really depends on the season and what’s good locally. We buy locally whenever we can and strive to be 100 percent organic.
You seem to have a lot of “regulars.” Is it common for your customers to eat here several days a week?
Absolutely. We have customers who buy food to eat at home plus eat in one of our stores three to five times a week. We have a friendly atmosphere where people like to chat, meet friends and gather to share meals. Each store has a neighborhood feel, although our menu is the same. Our Larchmont location is next to the train station, so lots of our customers are commuters who enjoy a juice on their way to work and then pick up dinner on their way home.
Do your customers talk to you about their health and ask your advice about different foods and juices?
Yes, customers ask what’s best for them to eat or how to cleanse for specific issues. The food recommendations have come with experience, over time; as we’ve seen the good results people have had with certain conditions or issues, we’ve learned what food to suggest. We often recommend juice cleanses … the type or duration really depends on the customer and their overall health.
Your takeout and delivery service covers a lot of ground. Do you find that those customers eat your food as a large percentage of their diet? Are they people who are undergoing cleanses or have they just changed their diets to cut out processed and unhealthy foods?
Yes, we go all over Westchester and Fairfield, Connecticut, parts of New York City and lower Putnam. This is routine for us because you’re right—once our customers get used to having delicious food prepared for them and brought to them, that’s all they want. And once they’ve done a cleanse, it’s easier to transition, to change their diet and stay with the program. Even when they eat off the program, they’ll come in for a cleanse to feel great again. Because a lot people who change their diet for the better see a radical improvement in their health.
You have three locations now—one in Rye, one in Larchmont and your kosher store in Scarsdale—and you’ll soon be opening a new location in Mt. Kisco. How have you planned your growth as a business?
We started in Rye, and we open new stores based on demand from our customers. Yes, we deliver, but people also like to have a physical place to congregate and gather to eat. The social aspect is very important—it “feeds” people just as much as our food does. We are excited about the new store, which is opening in Mt. Kisco. Since we have many delivery customers in Chappaqua, Armonk and Bedford, we hope they’ll appreciate having an Andy’s locally so they can enjoy coming to the store.
You also cater, right?
Yes, we cater a lot of parties and events. We also have many corporate clients who hire us to provide healthy menus for their employees, which of course leads to better health and productivity.
What’s new at Andy’s?
We will soon have water filtering in all our locations—alkaline filtered water that we’ll use for washing and provide free with our food.
And what’s next for Andy’s?
Intense cleanses—for the seasoned juicer who wants results more than taste.
Read article at Natural Awakenings