It’s no secret that food is often packed with preservatives and unnecessary ingredients. But here’s another secret: A new organic eatery called Real Food, Real People is looking to change that.
“The name represents everything we stand for,” said owner Lauren Lavoro, who opened the eatery in Huntington in September. “Everything is made with the use of whole food, real ingredients. We have replaced the chemicals with real food and the machines with real people. The name is sort of a play on that.”
About five years ago, Lavoro became a vegetarian for both health and moral reasons. Within the first few months of the new diet she noticed changes, but these bodily differences weren’t positive. “I noticed a dramatic increase in weight,” she said. “I also noticed inflammation—all over my body. I felt confused. I was shopping and eating only from the health food aisle in the grocery store. That is when I began to look at the ingredients in my ‘health’ food.”
The problem became obvious as she reviewed her eating habits: She’d been consuming packaged and frozen items (veggie burgers, protein bars).
“Many of these products are heavily processed and contain ingredients that your body can not even recognize as food,” Lavoro explained. “In turn, they fail at properly nourishing your body and you remain hungry.”
Pursuing her desire for optimal health, she came across what’s known to many as the vegan “raw” food diet, which consists purely of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes. “In just a matter of weeks my health dramatically improved,” she said. “I felt better than ever and have made it my mission ever since to share my recipes and insight with other people.”
Experimenting with diets led to the beginnings of her first business venture. She set her sights on Huntington Village. After scoping out potential locations, she found the place where the eatery’s currently situated (right on Main Street) and immediately called off her search. “It is so bright and the entire block is so lovely. I would park my car and stare at it across the street—daydreaming about serving people my food from this location.”
Lavoro designed the interior to be fresh, open, simple and minimalistic. “I wanted the interior to reflect the way the items on the menu made me feel,” she said.
Real Food, Real People prides itself on making each dish as “healthy as humanly possible—while keeping it fun and visually appealing.”
Nearly the entire menu’s raw vegan. “In my opinion, eating organic is not enough—eating an organic pretzel for instance, it isn’t healthy,” she said. “It is still a junk food whether it is organic or not. We focus on the real food aspect, while keeping it organic—for a super charged, superfood win-win.”
Some of the organic eatery’s best sellers include: pineapple acai bowl, Thai peanut zoodle bowl, mexi-sol salad bowl, rainbow salad bowl, pineapple “fried-rice” bowl, Thai blossom summer roll, vegetable garden wrap, almond banana pop, coconut water pop and salted caramel truffle.
In the coming weeks, more soups will appear on the menu along with some other surprise items. “When you do things a little differently sometimes you realize less is more.”
And what’s next for Real Food, Real People? Lavoro said, “A healthier Huntington.”