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    Fresh Face: Green Vida Co.

    When Jackie and Wilson Rueda’s son Santi was diagnosed with autism at age two, the hours of therapy he had to undergo didn’t seem to be helping. When Santi turned 4, Jackie decided to start a preservative-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free diet that she had read about. Santi said his very first word two weeks after starting the diet.

     

    Changing his diet greatly improved his health and development. He’s now 10 and continues to be on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. “It was life-changing for us. Then I started getting into juicing and making smoothies myself. I said, ‘I want to have a smoothie and juice bar one day,’ and I put it on my five-year bucket list plan.”

     

    Two years ago, Jackie and her husband had the opportunity to start a smoothie and sandwich shop in her father’s convenience store in Bangor. This fall, they opened their first standalone store in Forks Township, with a smaller sister store opening soon in NuHouse, a wellness center located in downtown Easton.

     

    Green Vida’s mission statement is “Real food made with love and transparency,” and they deliver in spades. The team serves fresh, whole, organic, non-GMO, local, and minimally processed foods whenever possible.

     

    “The transparency part is important, because we want people to know what they’re eating and where it comes from,” Jackie says.

     

    And their healthful menu doesn’t stop at smoothies and cold-pressed juices. They are proud to serve Devoción coffee (devocionusa.com), sourced from small farms in Colombia, dry milled, roasted, and arriving within days. (“The freshness and taste is incomparable,” says Jackie.) You’ll also find the popular “bulletproof” coffee—with its addition of grass-fed butter and MCT oil—organic salads with house-made dressings, quinoa bowls, sandwiches, wraps, gluten-free and vegan friendly and more, all of which delight the eye as much as the palate. “That’s why we have an open-kitchen concept,” says Jackie. “We want customers to see their food prepared fresh and in a clean environment as they order it.”