There is a little revelation on the corner of India Street and Kent Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It goes by the unassuming name of 3 Roots, but to those who venture inside, it opens a world of bold vitality, breathing an even newer life to the healthy living movement.
The passion project of Samantha Hew, a convert from the finance world, who wanted to take her healthy enthusiasm for an organic, vegan lifestyle, and make it something accessible (and delicious) to everyone. The results of her, and her terrific 3 Roots team’s, efforts is so much more than just a café or juice bar.
To be sure, the juices and smoothies are incredibly good, but 3 Roots has a unique combination that is at once familiar neighborhood joint, chic apothecary, and sophisticated re-imagined bar. Case in point: sidle up to the counter and order what they call Jun, which is served like in a bar, as a shot, but presented in a glass vial on a wooden holder, like an art nouveau curiosity.
As you sip, or shoot, your invigorating elixir, you can peruse the comprehensive booklet on hand, describing all the ingredients they employ at 3 Roots, their various histories, origins, and what curative properties they offer. It’s difficult to resist the urge to sample as many of them as possible in one visit. And, since they’re so good for you, why bother resisting—especially when they’re mixed into delightful, inventive smoothies, wonderfully comforting porridges, and all manner of delicious treats.
However one 3 Roots’ creation that is truly unique—and quite honestly what inspired this article—is their rich, super pro-biotic coconut kefir. Called with affection, “Mr. Happy Gut,” this pudding meets yogurt concoction combines the bountiful health factors of coconut (essential fats, mineral density, carcinogenic-free-radical-fighting) along with the digestive benefits of kefir. Best of all, it is so incredibly delicious that I have found myself dreaming about its creamy, nutty, sweetness when I have depleted all my personal stores and have to phone in for another request.
As of now, Sam only makes batches of Mr. Happy Gut when enough requests have come in. The premium, organic coconuts and coconut water come in directly from a personal connection she has in Thailand (another reason this stuff tastes so blissfully good), so the product is expensive and precious enough to not waste a single ounce.
On a recent visit, Sam walked me through her painstaking, several day process of careful fermentation and blending to create the final product. I was amazed at the attention to detail required every step of the way, and the integrity to which she adheres her standards—not only to the quality of the exceptional ingredients, but her intimate knowledge of their sources and how they work together to make the incredible final outcome.
Back out front, as I spooned into the thick, rich kefir, Sam revealed to me of not only the nutritive properties of Duran, but also convinced me that the notorious, sulfuric-smelling fruit could also be delicious. So much so, that I agreed to let her make me a “Pine-ipple” smoothie with the stuff. Needless to say, she and I were both shocked when less than five minutes later the entire smoothie had disappeared, leaving only a sheepish smile on my face–and, dare I say, a remarkably healthy glow.
– Ava Fedorov
Photographs by Ava Fedorov for Socially Superlative
Hours: M-F 8am-8pm, S-S 9am-9pm