LAKEVIEW — The coastal juice trend is headed to Lakeview — and the husband-and-wife team behind City Harvest Cafe swears by the health benefits of their all-organic, cold-pressed juices.
Angela and Anthony Maicki are opening City Harvest Cafe, 2931 N. Broadway, this spring with recipes that they developed over the last two years after drinking juice that helped the couple manage personal illnesses.
The two had been juicing fruits and vegetables for a while at home, but it wasn't until Anthony contracted foodborne illness hepatitis A last year that the couple truly started believing in its healing power, they said.
Anthony was bedridden. His symptoms included rheumatoid arthritis and jaundice. His doctor told him to eat only white bread and white pasta and gave him three months to recover.
The couple had long been vegetarians and health-focused, and Angela did not want to see him lose that part of his diet for so long.
"I was watching him wither away," she said. "I was like 'This is absurd.'"
He drank a variety of pressed juices instead. Five days later, he was walking, and two weeks later, a doctor said that his liver had recovered, Anthony said.
"Your body can heal yourself," he said. "You just have to allow it. I'm living proof of it."
Angela, who was diagnosed with celiac disease last year and has suffered from asthma and eczema for years, said a healthier diet with more raw foods and regular juicing has helped her chronic symptoms, too.
She went from using an inhaler twice a week to twice a year.
"I just believe food can heal, and food should be a medicine," she said. "We want to share that with other people."
Juicing has become popular as an easy way for people eat big servings of fruits and vegetables, and the Maickis aren't the only ones to swear by its healing benefits. Doctors still recommend including whole fruits and vegetables as part of a diet for fiber, and the benefits of juice cleanses have been questioned.
The Maickis acknowledge that people cannot live on juice alone.
But they swear by the benefits of an occasional cleanse — "Hey, I did it, and I got healed immediately," Anthony said — so they will be selling juice cleanse packages for $45 a day, which include five juices.
It will come in one-, three- and five-day packs.
City Harvest Cafe will be offering salads and a raw food market with nut cheeses and raw entrees like plant-based ravioli. It will also feature a wheatgrass bar, a casual setting that Maickis hope will encourage locals to socialize with each other.
The focus, though, will be on the couple's favorite juice recipes, either cold-pressed or blended but with no added sugars and only with organic ingredients. Whenever a vegetable or fruit isn't available organic, they'll be switching it out.
Juices will range from $7-$10 for 16-ounce glasses, each made from 4-5 pounds worth of produce through a time-intensive cold-press process.
Ultimately, they want to give the community the opportunity to see health benefits, too, they said.
"So many of my symptoms have been alleviated," Angela said. "We just really feel passionate about it."
The Maickis hope to have a soft opening of City Harvest Cafe, 2931 N. Broadway, by mid-May, with a grand opening in June.