Joyist is Bringing Healthy Food to the Suburbs
- Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
Chia seed pudding, cauliflower rice bowls and smoothies packed with leafy greens are just a few of the menu items at Joyist, Kacy Erdelyi’s organic functional food destination in Montclair, New Jersey. “You have so many health food options in the city, it’s so saturated and you come out here and you don’t have anything,” says Erdelyi. “I think there is a really big opportunity being missed in the suburbs. We want to fill that gap and become a premium brand of organic food that is pushing the envelope of health.” With Joyist she is doing just that.
While Erdelyi’s background is in marketing and business strategy, nutrition has been a part of her life from day one. “My mom was very strict about healthy eating. She cooked at home every night and she didn’t use a lot of processed ingredients,” she says. ”It was sort of ingrained in me .I was always aware of nutrition.” Erdelyi's interest made her the go-to amongst friends when they had questions about what to eat and how to stay healthy.
At dinner with her husband one night in Montclair, they noticed a space for rent and the idea to start a juice bar was born. “When we first opened, we wanted to change the juice bar model and apply it to the suburbs,” she says. With a smaller population, Erdelyi knew their spot needed to cater to a lunch crowd in addition to the early risers grabbing a smoothie or superfood charged coffee on their way to work. Grain bowls were soon added to the menu, joining cold pressed juices, tonics and granolas. “The whole point of a juice bar to me is that you get vegetables easily and on the go,” she says. “Our philosophy is really about adding more positive things to your diet.”
Ahead of opening, Erdelyi spent time cooking from different recipe books to learn about different ingredients and how they worked together. And because her background isn’t in nutrition she spends a lot of time looking at the science behind ingredients and makes decisions, like what to include on Joyist’s new boost menu, based on studies in medical journals.
“If you really want to be healthy, you need something that can be a part of your lifestyle,” says Erdelyi. With a plan to open more stores and grow the brand, she hopes that Joyist can act as a guide for those on their healthy eating journey while also making the conversation around food be about what you need instead of what you can’t have. Joyist is all about making sure you get the good stuff in — and once you do, you’ll keep coming back for more.
Joyist, 617 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07043