Health food, smoothies, acai bowls and other healthy alternatives have popped up at small Tehachapi businesses, with a good number to choose from as an alternative to the many fast-food joints.
Some five or more local businesses offer these healthy alternatives, all with their own specialties.
Acai You There
Acai You There recently opened at 107 S. Mill St. inside the SAS Petroleum Inc. gas station. The shop serves acai bowls and smoothies with ingredients sourced from locally grown organic produce. Family business entrepreneur Neha Bhambi started offering these treats as a way to become healthier and present a new product to the community.
“The fact that I offer locally grown fruits and use nondairy products make it a healthy alternative and the acai is not pre-made, I make it myself,” said Bhambi.
Bhambi also makes five types of panini sandwiches and is experimenting with different types of acai bowl creations.
Her business has grown by word of mouth and advertising on social media. It is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To Your Health
To Your Health, a locally owned shop for six years, makes smoothies and teas to aid in weight loss and provide protein and nutrients to aid in the improvement of a person's health. The smoothies and teas are made with ice, Herbalife powder,and some fruit.
The products are comparatively priced to eating at a fast-food restaurant, said Tracy Fagan, owner of To Your Health.
“The biggest mistake people make is not eating in the morning. You should eat within 30 minutes of getting up,” Fagan said. A healthy shake is recommended to boost a person's metabolism.
She added, “We are like a little hidden secret, but when customers find out about us, they come here.”
The business is located at 785 Tucker Road, Suite I. It is open Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tehachapi Natural Market
A health food store, Tehachapi Natural Market offers fresh fruit smoothies, juices, acai bowls and other health food goods. Nondairy products are offered and cater to those with allergies. The store has been open for almost a year at 20221 Valley Blvd.
“Our juice bar is really popular,” said owner Teresa Dunlop. “You get real fresh juices, fruit smoothies and we are willing to explore new flavors and support people’s healthy paths in life.”
Dunlop continues to help customers requesting whole grain products, gluten-free snacks and bars, granola cereals or rice, pasta sauces, oil and vinegar, nuts, health and beauty, essential oils, and stocks local yearly produce free from chemicals or sprays. The store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Traveling to work early in the morning? The Coffee Mill at 120 S. Mill St. serves up espresso drinks, coffee, tea, real fruit smoothies and food —really early in the morning. It's open Monday through Friday from 4:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Three fruit smoothies are available using real fruit, 100 percent juice, and vegetables; breakfast burritos, sandwiches, veggie scrambles and other healthy alternatives are also offered.
“We have a lot of commuters coming in,” said owner Dave Tillman, who runs the business with his wife, Amber. He added that they've recently opened earlier, at 4:30 a.m., to accommodate people who travel out of town to work and like purchasing products at the locally owned establishment. The business has been open for three years.
Some products cater to those with food allergies; soy, almond milk, coconut milk and gluten-free products are available.
Downtown Yogurt Junction
Visitors and locals alike who enjoy yogurt or sorbet can go inside to mingle with friends and to choose from six daily rotating flavors at Downtown Yogurt Junction at 117 E. F. St.
“It’s something different, it’s healthy, you create it yourself and you can get as little or as much as you want,” said owner Kandi Smith. She added, “Ounce by ounce, frozen yogurt has fewer calories, and is made with cultured milk, instead of cream.”
Smith said every year as a business owner she travels to yogurt conventions to try the best products and flavors.
Downtown Yogurt Junction is open Tuesday though Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.