Photo by Katie Turpen.
Organic Harvest Cafe
Organic Harvest Store Manager Caroline Baxter stands with some of the store’s to-go selections.
1580 Montgomery Highway
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
For many Hoover residents, allergies and dietary restrictions can turn grocery shopping and dining out into a daily challenge. However, a unique local market aims to not only make the eating experience easier but also enjoyable.
Organic Harvest Café is a totally organic café and smoothie and juice bar. The store, located off of U.S. 31 in the Hoover Village Shopping Center, opened in 2005. The café is open during lunch hours and offers a variety of salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and beverages meant to satisfy even the most complex palate.
Customers can choose from a variety of not-so-average smoothie selections such as Coffee Delight, Strawberry Shortcake and PB&J. Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, a shot of coffee or extra protein can be added to any drink. If you are looking for an extra energy boost to kick start the day, a Wheatgrass Shot or a Shot O’ Ginger is in order.
Lunch entrees include an Organic Turkey and Jack Sandwich, Grilled Reuben or a Poppin’ Pesto Panini. Other specials are the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla Wrap, Harvest House Salad and Veggie Salvation Wrap. All wraps are served on the choice of whole wheat, sprouted grain or gluten-free brown rice tortilla. Desserts, soups and grab-and-go selections are also available.
“We like to offer a lot of options for people with allergies and dietary restrictions,” Store Manager Caroline Baxter said.
Organic Harvest operates as a full-service organic grocery with produce, meats, dairy and fresh bread. The store offers hard-to- find selections such as cheese for those with dairy allergies. Also sold are local beers and nutritional supplements and skin products.
In October, the store hosted an Organic Harvest and Health Fair. The company regularly presents events and seminars, and customers can read facts about organic foods as well as recipes to try on the store’s Facebook page. According to the store’s website, organic farming aims to reduce harm and pollution to the environment. Organic farmers do not use conventional methods to fertilize or control weeds. Instead of using chemical weed killers, they conduct crop rotations or spread mulch for weed prevention, the site says.
The store is undergoing an expansion that will allow for a larger emphasis on the restaurant. Baxter and her team are happy to reach loyal customers with unique food options that cannot be found anywhere else in Birmingham.
“We have a really great relationship with the community,” Baxter said. “We want them to be healthy.”