Organic Avenue: Menu Development Project

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Organic Avenue is a small yet fast-growing organic juice and foods retailer in the New York Metro area. They have 12 stores but have plans for significant expansion in the near future. In June they hired me to consult on a menu development project for them. ¬†Organic Avenue’s current products are focused on their amazing line of organic, raw juices and soups with a few other items such as salads, wraps and grain bowls – foods that can be organic, vegan and gluten-free (and a few other rigorous parameters that I am forgetting at the moment) as well as being delicious. Using this as their foundation, Organic Avenue wanted to expand their line of non-juice offerings to menu items that responded to the seasonal availability of the best produce as well as being creative and exciting to their consumer audience. So they hired me to do some menu development consulting and work with their team to create and develop new seasonal menu items for the upcoming Fall menu.

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While I am not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, I do eat way more plant-based foods than meat. Pretty much in line with the Michael PollanEat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ethos. With strong Mediterranean-ish affinities.And I am certainly not (nor will ever be) gluten-free. My love affair with Italian pasta and pizza burns too torridly. Maybe I could be classified as a ‘promiscuous Vega-terranean’? Generally seasonal and leafy but once in a while woo-ed by the savory flirtations of animal protein. Whatever. I like to eat good food and I like to cook good food and I spend a lot of time trying to learn how to do both.

Regardless of self-label-gazing, I welcomed the Organic Avenue parameters. I feel that programmatic and contextual restrictions can help to catalyze creative thought process. So this project for Organic Avenue was a lot of fun. I worked in their production facility over several days and we developed and tested several salads, a few side dishes and a soup for the new seasonal Fall menu. some delicious stuff. Look for it on store shelves any day.

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Organic Avenue has a lot going for it. First and foremost, they sell great products – all centered around their amazing (and amazingly beautiful) juices. The brand engages with the consumer on a deep level, at once both aspirational as well as promoting -and branding- personal lifestyle change. Two aspects that create ,and keep, long-lasting customers. The bright orange Organic Avenue canvas bag, probably filled with the day’s juice cleanse regimen, broadcasts to those that see it, a lifestyle message about the carrier. Much like the latest Apple product, a Hermes bag or an American Express ‘Black’ card. The Organic Avenue brand has tons of potential for development and growth. Lots of oportunities to develop more products and services that will broaden and enrich the brand’s appeal to high-end consumers. I look forward to working with Organic Avenue again and being a part of helping the brand grow into the future.