Behind the Counter: Ionie Bergs

March 1, 2013

Owner, Ionie Body & Mind Retreat

By Susan Burns

Ionie jwmdrv

Describe your business.

I’m a wellness center. I’m a Rolfer by trade, but seven months ago I opened a little café in my building—a cafete, I call it since it’s so tiny, only 12 seats—that’s all raw, vegan and organic food.

Why raw?

I read a book by Dr. Gabriel Cousens and that was it. I started a raw diet in June 2005. I’m not a zealot and don’t try to talk anyone into this, but it’s excellent for well-being. You feel better. I’ve gone off the wagon, but you just feel better being on the wagon.

Where do you buy your ingredients?

We use different local and organic farms, and at 7 a.m. on Saturdays, we go to Worden Farm. He’s just been great.

How many people work for you?

I have two chefs and one amazing volunteer. She likes what eating raw has done for her so she helps me. She’s my angel.

What’s your most popular item?

The lasagna. It’s made with zucchini pasta, marinara, and the cheeses are nuts instead of dairy. Most people can’t tell it’s raw. My favorite is the pizza—our crusts are dehydrated buckwheat, which is really seeds—mixed with carrots and other vegetables, herbs and spices.

How’s business?

I’ve only sent two emails out; the rest is just word of mouth. The last couple of weeks have been “Wow!” Most of my business is pick-up, and most of my customers aren’t vegan. But we have so much variety, they don’t feel like they’re missing anything. Of course, I’d like to make money—Rolfing still pays the bills—but I just love what I’m doing.

What would you suggest people start with if they want to try raw?

A smoothie. It’s so easy. I make a green smoothie for my husband every day. I put in kale, parsley, cilantro, a whole lime and lemon juice in a high-speed blender until it’s silky and then add a frozen banana, or maybe strawberries, apricots—whatever you have.

Next on the menu?

I want to start a lunch bunch program.

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