After waiting to get business permits for nearly a year—yes, even in this economy—Andrew Perez finally realized his dream last week: Running an organic foods store in the heart of Eagle Rock.
Called Organix, the 1,100-square-foot store opened with minimal fanfare on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, on 1731 Colorado Blvd., on the eastern edge of the mini mall abutting La Roda Avenue. Although the grand opening is scheduled for the end of September, the store’s already attracting a steady stream of customers.
For those of you who haven’t been to Organix yet—or haven’t heard about it—here’s a quick primer: This is a full-fledged organic store where all goods are either raw, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or organic-certified.
That includes everything from vegan proteins and raw juices in the refrigerator section to nuts, rice, grains, pastas and cereals. The produce section has a variety of organic fruits and vegetables.
And starting Wednesday—when the majority of the store’s grocery items and a big shipment of produce and frozen goods will be coming in—the inventory will expand to include a range of vegan meals and gourmet raw-milk ice creams. Also available will be a large selection of kombucha, the popular fermented mushroom probiotic drink. (A starter kit will make it possible for purists to make the drink at home.)
What’s particularly remarkable about Organix is that it’s a store that will be driven by customers’ requests. Think the store should carry bell pepper crackers or a durian smoothie? Fill out a customer request form at the counter and Perez will be sure to follow up with you about it.
Perez is hoping to make the most of his store’s prominent location. “I don’t know if ‘historic’ is really the word, but we’re right next to the Italian Bakery, which has been around since I was a kid—it’s been a staple of the community for so many years,” he says.
There’s also the Blue Hen, just a few stores to the west, where, Perez notes, wholesome, home-cooked food at reasonable prices has been available for years.
Perez, who lives in Pasadena, was born and raised in the Highland Park-Eagle Rock area. (His father Ruben owns Figueroa Produce in Highland Park.) “Growing up, I went to all the mom-and-pop shops here,” he says, adding pertinently: “I’d love to reinvent that.”
Organix, 1731 Colorado Blvd., www.organix-la.com, (323) 254-0284