New Orleans has been bombarded with a health craze featuring juice bars, vegetarian restaurants and vegan cooking demos. One of the most popular trends is the Paleo diet, which has made its way to Magazine Street in this year’s new health food specialty shop, FARE. FARE’s delicious and healthy treats are bursting with flavor in the soups, salads, sandwiches and decadent desserts, not to mention the fresh juices bottled each day. Some items are vegan and even raw, and all are Paleo. Owner Alicia Murphy discusses her inspiration behind FARE with Where Y'at.
1. What inspired the idea of FARE?
AM: My children! My youngest has an autoimmune disease and I never felt comfortable giving her medication that could have serious side effects – so I started researching other ways to help. I was cooking everything from scratch, spending several hours a day in the kitchen. I soon realized that I couldn’t afford this time and needed help. After unsuccessfully looking everywhere for a shop to buy prepared foods like this, I ended up created my own. One of the best feelings was when I first brought my daughter into the shop and told her that she could have a treat. One at a time, she pointed to the cookies, then brownies, then cupcakes asking, “Is that something I can eat? Is that healthy?” Each time that I told her yes, it was healthy, her little eyes got bigger and bigger with excitement. That a 4 year old can now have options, is the best example of why FARE exists.
2. Why paleo?
AM: When I first put together our family’s anti-inflammatory diet, I knew that it was healthy and good for us but I didn’t realize there was a name for it. The more I read, I realized that the Paleo diet overlapped with what I had already established. Now, when I explain how we eat or if I want to search online, it’s easier to have a name for it.
3. Why do you think healthy options like FARE are important in New Orleans?
AM: People want and need healthy options no matter where they are but the biggest difference in New Orleans is that we know good food and won’t settle for anything less. I’m so proud that people love our food whether it’s healthy or not! (and it is!) Since opening, I have had so many people tell me how happy they are that something like this exists. Whether trying to control a disease, recover from illness, avoid allergens, lose weight or just take good care of their body, our customers are excited that there is a great-tasting option for them.
4. What is your favorite menu item?
AM: That’s like asking to choose my favorite child! I love a flaxseed muffin and green juice for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch and chocolate chip cookies for a treat!