The 500 block of Baker Street doesn’t often see a lot of foot traffic.
Shoppers, diners and visitors spend a lot of time circulating around the busy Josephine to Stanley street businesses.
But entrepreneurs like Brenton Raby, Kara Laur and Giovanni Pinzon who own and operate Grasshopper Juice Bar are helping create an inviting atmosphere in a typically quiet end of Baker.
Laur and Pinzon began by selling their juices and raw food desserts at the local markets.
After seeing the couple and tasting their products, Raby, who had purchased the building that used to house Holy Smoke, approached Laur and Pinzon about opening a juice bar.
“None of us had ever done anything like this, so it was really just a collaboration of all of our thoughts and ideas,” said Pinzon.
Laur said Grasshopper could possibly be the only kitchen in Nelson that doesn’t use white sugar or flour.
In the back of the kitchen they are also growing a common superfood used in juices, wheatgrass.
“Wheatgrass itself, no one else is selling that in Nelson,” said Laur. “We would like to offer alternatives to coffee and wheatgrass is a great substitute.”
While it is the goal of Grasshopper to make foods and drinks that taste great, Pinzon hopes they will go beyond just filling your “belly.”
“We’re trying to use as much local produce as we can, which means we change our menu seasonally,” said Laur.
Grasshopper opened for their first season in 2011 and recently opened their doors with a beautiful new patio for the summer of 2012.
Laur came to Nelson from Ontario where she pursued interior design.
“I came here and really had a change of life,” she said. “I started doing the farmer’s markets selling superfoods we were importing.”
Laur and Pinzon said the market in Nelson seems to embrace healthy eating habits and alternative diets in a different way than other communities.
“A healthy lifestyle just seems to be a way of life for people in Nelson,” said Pinzon. “Customers seem eager to try new things.”
Grasshopper is still developing their menu and is hoping to introduce crepes, ice creams and frozen snacks to help cool off during the hot summer months.
The Juice Bar is located at 512 Hendryx Street but can be accessed from Baker Street and Herridge Lane.