How about a sprout burger?By Michelle Ramos
A sprout burrito? At this
Kapahulu eatery, nothing
Off Kapahulu's main drag of fast-food eateries, there sits a small brick building serving homemade burgers, sandwiches, cookies, brownies, fresh juices and other morsels that, besides being edible, have one thing in common. They are all raw.
Instead of ovens and microwaves, the store uses dehydrators and sprouters. Instead of chemically processed ingredients, the store uses living plants, which can be seen growing out of black plastic containers sitting on wire shelves behind the cash register.
"Everything is sprouted," said Suzanne Handal, owner of Wild and Raw.
Burgers and burritos consist of sprouted seeds and nuts, spices and vegetables. The store also sells two sandwiches: sprouted hummus and sesame pate. And there's a pine-nut quiche, goulash bowl and California rolls.
"If you eat a plant immediately, the energy goes into the body," Handal said. "When you cook the food, it is like putting your body onto a stove. It destroys you, it destroys much of the mineral content."
Handal, a licensed acupuncturist and health practitioner, also has a master's degree in clinical psychology and has a marriage, family and child counselor's license. In her 20s she worked as a marriage and family counselor.
But Handal said she gets more gratification out of preparing and selling nutrient-dense foods. "I make a difference in people's lives," Handal said. "People are happier."
Handal inadvertently started her business 14 years ago when a friend asked her to grow wheat grass for several people who didn't have the time or knowledge to do it on their own. She had already been growing wheat grass and sprouting seeds and nuts for herself. For several years she made nutrient-dense foods for friends and friends of friends, until she was unable to continue doing everything by herself.
"I saw how much I was helping people, so this (the store) is the culmination of a goal I've had ever since then," Handal said.
It was then she decided to become a health practitioner. She took a job at Down To Earth to get background in working in a health store and enrolled in a program to become a licensed acupuncturist.
"We're still kind of a work in progress here," Handal said. She plans on eventually sprouting all the ingredients in the 1,050-square-foot store.
The store, which opened five weeks ago, has a limited menu. Handal plans on adding pizza, poi, sorbet, kim chee, shaved ice (using purified water), pies and smoothies soon. She just needs the rest of her machinery to arrive.
For now though, Handal sells her deli items and desserts. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables can be found in baskets inside and outside the store and in refrigerators. There are also packaged teas, grains, beans, oils, soaps and cleaners. The more ambitious may also purchase juicers, dehydrators and sprouters to take home and make their own foods.
Wild and RawAddress: 3046 Monsarrat Ave.
Prices: Sandwiches, $4.50-$5.50; desserts, 70 cents to $5