Come in for a coffee or wheatgrass shot, walk out with an organic body scrub, lavender sleep aid or the latest diet book.
Artisanal coffeehouses, juice bars and "conscious" restaurants are increasingly morphing into mini emporiums of all things healthful and wholesome, be they T-shirts made from sustainably grown cotton, eco-conscious glass drinking bottles or probiotic-infused beauty powders. The idea, say the operators of these drinking-and-dining establishments, is to perpetuate the healthy lifestyle once the customer has left the building.
"We wanted to offer 10 or 15 cutting-edge products that are good for you," said Lisa Bonbright, chief executive of Cafe Gratitude, the popular all-organic and plant-based restaurants in Venice, Larchmont Village, downtown's Arts District and its newly-opened upscale eatery, Gratitude, in Newport Beach. "People are so much more focused on their health, and we want to make it easy to pick up something good for them when they're here. It's the way the world is headed."
Still, the new healthy dining-shopping hybrid model isn't giving Whole Foods a run for its money just yet.
At Beaming Cafe in Brentwood, known for its superfood smoothies, sales of the ancillary products — which include Ekatala skin care and Kris Carr's popular "Crazy Sexy Diet" book — account for less than 7% of total income, although that number is growing, a spokeswoman said.
Here are some healthy dining venues across town that offer holistic shopping options while you're waiting for the check.
In early January, the three cafes each bowed a "Discovery Wall" in conjunction with organic beauty boutique the Detox Market. The selection will rotate every month or so but will have a green bent, including beauty products from One Love Organics and Kypris, all-purpose cleaning products from Sapadilla, and BKR water bottles. Prices: $5 to $149. cafegratitude.com
The Santa Monica cafe known for its creamy, butter-swirled coffees and ketogenic menu (steak, salmon, pasture-raised eggs, bacon) carries just about everything needed for those who want to pursue aspects of the Bulletproof lifestyle, created by author and entrepreneur Dave Asprey. The cafe sells an eclectic range of products: sprays designed to rid the home of toxic mold, activated charcoal supplements to help the body detoxify, and gadgets to help build lung strength or to reduce electromagnetic fields. Prices: $3.50 to $1,500. (That hefty price tag is for the "Vibe" — a Whole Body Vibration Plate that claims to fortify the immune system and stimulate brain function as it boosts fitness and bone density.) bulletproof.com
At its locations in Brentwood, Santa Monica and West Hollywood, plus two more in San Diego, this sophisticated juice bar and cafe offers a curated selection of beauty products from Coola and the Body Deli as well as diet and recipe books. There is also a bulk bar where customers can make their own trail mix from an assortment that includes cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds and coconut shreds. Prices: $5 to $40. livebeaming.com
This light-filled vegan restaurant in Silver Lake opened by musician Moby keeps a stash of tempting gift items by the door. So once you're done with your broccoli arancini and farro walnut salad, check out the books (Justin Van Hoy's ode to Californian contemporary art, "Milk and Honey"; "New Treehouses of the World" by Pete Nelson), pewter tea sets, scented candles and home fragrances by Juniper Ridge. Prices: $5 to $60. The restaurant also recently opened an "etail" site specifically for the offerings: shop.littlepinerestaurant.com
This juicery in Culver City also has luscious almond-milk-based smoothies (Mint Cacao Mylk, Turmeric Spice Mylk) on its menu. But it doesn't stop there. It also sells eco-chic organic tank tops from Clover Cloth and cozy pullovers with slogans like "Acai what you did there" from Truth Balance Virtue. There are also herbal elixirs from Pure Potions, cleaning products from Murchison-Hume and Shiva Rose's signature Rose Face Oil. Prices: $9 to $85. renewjuicery.com