Natural food market teams up with church to open Simply Fresh Cafe – Livingston Daily

Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:46 pm


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With plans to take over operation of the cafe at 2|42 Community Church, Shaun Himmelspach, The Simply Fresh Cafe director of operations, and Simply Fresh Market co-owner Tony Gelardi display some cold-pressed raw juice offerings Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.(Photo: Gillis Benedict/Livingston Daily)

A natural,organic food market and a church near Brighton are partnering to open a new cafe that will serve both of their missions.

Simply Fresh Market will take over an existing cafe in 2|42 Church's Community Center at7526 Grand River Ave. in Genoa Township.

Market co-owner Tony Gelardisaid they plan to open The Simply Fresh Cafein January.

"The mission of Simply Fresh from the start is to provide healthy, nutritious food options," Gelardi said. "Our missions for our impact on the community are aligned."

Angela Hardesty, the church's controller, said the cafe will further the church's mission to uselocal partnerships to better the community.

"Having the cafe gives us an opportunity to provide nutrition in a safe place," Hardesty said. "The church's mission is about helping people take their next steps. In this case, it's about eating healthier."

The market, at7300 Grand River Ave. in Genoa Township, sells organic and locally-sourced groceries. They started selling customers fresh, humanely-raisedcuts of beef, porkand other meats andfish from anew butcher counter in February.

The Simply Fresh Cafewill serve made-to-order hot sandwiches, grass-fed beef burgers, salads and other meals. They will also sell prepared meals to-go, like wraps.

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Gelardi said the cafe's menu will include "a cool twist on French bread pizzas, soups, sandwiches, gluten-free items and vegan options."

He said all proteins, like grass-fed ground beef and cheeses, will be sourced fromMichigan farmers.

"We know where all our food comes from," he said.

The market has been selling a line of its own cold-press raw juices for a few years. One variety contains organic carrots, apples, pineapples, ginger and turmeric. They will offer several varietiesat the new cafe.

Juices that will be offered at The Simply Fresh Cafe at the 2|42 Community Center include Exhale (in the center), which relaxes muscles, and Maintain, which is rich in vitamins and minerals, shown at church 2|42 Community Church in Genoa Township Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.(Photo: Gillis Benedict/Livingston Daily)

The cafe will be open to the general public for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"It's going to be a fun, world-class experience, with food that nourishes the mind, body and spirit," said Shaun Himmelspach, the cafe's director of operations.

Himmelspach said they will serve organic, free-trade coffees.

"We'll have the basic ones, espressos, lattes, macchiatos and seasonal options as well," he said.

A portion of proceeds from the sale of bagsof specialty branded2|42 Brew coffee will benefit organizations that fight hunger in Livingston County.Gelardi said they will determine which organizations will benefit at a later date.

"It's about personal connections, beinga person in the community they can trust," Himmelspach said. "We don't serve anything that we wouldn't serve our own kids."

Simply Fresh Market opened in Brighton Township in 2009and relocated to its current location in 2016.

The market sells products free of additives, pesticides, toxins and genetically-modified food.

Cece Bright, Simply Fresh Market's chef de cuisine, stands behind the market's locally-sourced meat counter, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.(Photo: Livingston Daily file photo)

2|42 Community Church opened its Brighton location in 2013 and expanded its footprint in 2016. The church, which features communityspaces, indoor soccer and basketball facilities, a three-story playscape and events spaceused for concerts and other gatherings, is now about 120,000-square-feet.

"In 3 John 1:2 he starts with this prayer 'I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you,'" the church's lead pastorDave Dummitt said in a release. "Our mission at2|42 is to help people take their next steps with God. Simply Fresh helps people take their next steps with health. This partnership will allow people to 'enjoy good health' in a convenient and delicious tasting way. Simply Fresh Cafe will not only help provide healthy meal options but teach customers what healthy food can do for a body."

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ContactLivingston Daily reporterJennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at jtimar@livingstondaily.com.Follow her on Facebook @Jennifer.Timar99 and Twitter @JenTimar99.

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Natural food market teams up with church to open Simply Fresh Cafe - Livingston Daily

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October 28th, 2019 at 10:46 pm

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