Organic Krush brings ingredient-conscious menu to Roslyn

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Organic Krush salad bowls. (Photo courtesy of Organic Krush)

Food purists, rejoice.

Organic Krush, a health food eatery, is expanding its reach this year with three new locations, and one of them will be in Roslyn.

The Old Northern Boulevard location opens July 13.

The Organic Krush menu offers all-day breakfasts including oatmeal pancakes and frittatas, customizable bowls, wraps, tacos and salads and an array of açaí bowls.

Behind it are Michelle Walrath and Fran Paniccia, both mothers from Long Island who grew frustrated by the lack of healthy food options on a road trip through the Northeast five years ago.

At that time, green juices and açaí bowls were only beginning to enter the public consciousness and supermarkets. Since they opened their first two locations in Woodbury and Amagansett, people have been traveling 30 or 40 minutes to visit, Walrath said, so the pair knew they wanted to expand about six months into the venture.

Organic Krush co-founders Fran Paniccia (left) and Michelle Walrath. (Photo courtesy of Organic Krush)

“We were just trying to run a restaurant for our families and for our community and then we had customers begging us to come to their communities,” she said.

Walrath’s passion for healthy lifestyles defined her choices for years before Organic Krush ever opened. 

Her parents raised her in a West Hempstead home “obsessed with health” and she studied health and women’s studies in college. 

Atlas Films, a production company she runs with her husband, investor and entrepreneur Michael Walrath, has produced documentaries including “Tapped” and “Fed Up” that cover topics like the bottled water industry and obesity in America. (The company’s most recent film, “Knock Down the House,” premiered on Netflix in May after a $10 million deal, according to Deadline. It follows four women as they seek seats in Congress, one of them being Queens Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).

Walrath and Paniccia committed to keeping Organic Krush 100 percent organic from the start, Walrath said.

Since then, they have accumulated a steady base of about 25 vendors that provide everything from organic flour to local fruits and vegetables. The bakery, with donuts and cookies and paleo muffins, is gluten free.

“I really have a mission to clean up our food supply,” Walrath said. “That is really satisfying from a disruption standpoint – where we’re able to source food.”

The decision to make a restaurant came after a summer of road tripping to concerts.

Walrath and Paniccia took their daughters to see Taylor Swift and One Direction across the Northeast in 2014 and struggled to find organic, grass-fed, GMO-free food, Walrath said. 

“Our biggest frustration was just not being able to find food that we were happy to feed our kids,” Walrath said. “On one of our last trips in August we kind of had a determined moment of if no one else is going to do this, we’re going to do this.”

Walrath said she thinks health-conscious eating has grown more popular because people have realized how much better it makes their bodies feel.

Organic Krush Executive Chef Alejandro Duarte. (Photo courtesy of Organic Krush)

By the end of the year Organic Krush will have five Long Island locations and one in Henrico, Virginia. It may branch out to New York City soon, but Long Island was the first priority, Walrath said.

Many of the customers at the Woodbury location have been Roslyn high schoolers, she said. The new Roslyn restaurant will host speakers and workshops in addition to the daily menu.

A Plainview location just opened and Rockville Centre’s Organic Krush will debut this fall.

“I think people have made the connection to how they feel after they eat something and committed,” Walrath said about health-conscious eating. “No one wants to feel bad if they eat anymore.”

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