Years of a fast-paced corporate work life and big city living was enough for Kristy Rachowski and her husband Trevor. She took a leave of absence from her job and soon decided they needed a lifestyle change. Both originally from Northern Ontario (she Echo Bay, he Sudbury), they wanted to make the move closer to home. Both love it here in Algoma and decided to build their new dream home on some property they owned on McCarrel Lake near Echo Bay. Recently, they welcomed their new son Noah to the family.
Kristy told me she was always interested in food, especially a plant-based diet lifestyle. She’s only been a vegetarian herself for six years, but really likes how much better she feels as a vegetarian.
When looking for a business opportunity, Kristy saw there was a gap in Sault Ste. Marie, for a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. So, she decided to open an eatery in the downtown area. Vibe Eatery and Juice Co. opened at the end of March, 2017. With careful planning of everything from the menu to the décor and positive “vibe” of the eatery, Kristy worked tirelessly to bring her vision to fruition. The food mantra at Vibe is “eat well, feel well, live well.” From the website, Kristy articulates her vision:
I asked Kristy where her inspiration comes from for the food offered on the menu. She said that two well-used cookbook resources gave her a lot of ideas; Oh, She Glows by Angela Liddon and Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward.
When the restaurant opened, Kristy quickly realized that she needed the assistance of a professional chef. She was thrilled to enlist the expertise of Chef Luke Couturier, a Red Seal certified chef, originally from Sault Ste. Marie, who moved back four years ago. “Chef Luke is incredibly creative,” said Kristy. “He comes up with unique vegan dishes on a daily basis. We are able to offer a set, as well as a flexible menu that changes everyday. I feel very fortunate to have Luke as part of our team, along with all of my fantastic staff at Vibe,” she added.
Vibe Eatery is proud to source many of their ingredients from local farms. A complete list of their partners is provided on their website, including Algoma District farms and businesses such as:
Kristy is always looking to add to their list of locally sourced products. She mentioned that when a certified organic ingredient is an option, that will be the first choice for her restaurant. She also mentioned that Vibe Eatery is 100% gluten-free, and that has been a big attraction for many new customers.
Because vegan and vegetarian restaurants are unique in the Sault, Vibe Eatery has attracted many Northern Ontario travelers. They have found that travelers will seek them out through apps and their website.
I asked Kristy about some of the key messages she would like to pass on to her customers. She highlighted the fact that Vibe Eatery not only offers their food for take-out and dine-in but also offers catering services for events, meetings or parties. It should also be noted that Vibe is environmentally conscience when it comes to their take-out containers and even straws, using compostable wherever possible.
Vibe Eatery and Juice Co. is open seven days a week, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their organic cold pressed juices are very popular, along with their freshly made smoothies like the “T Rex” (includes strawberry, banana, kale, orange and almond milk). The menu is full and varied and daily features reflect what is in season or what inspires Chef Luke.
With a new business, home and now new baby in the mix, Kristy is one busy entrepreneur, welcomed back to the Sault!
Due to COVID-19, Vibe Eatery & Juice Co. is available for take out and delivery only, however hours may have been adjusted. Please contact them directly for details.
Kristy was kind enough to share this recipe for the soup I enjoyed at the restaurant… it is so delicious!
Recipe: Tomato Basil Quinoa Soup
6 cloves Garlic
14 cups Diced Tomatoes
2 - 4 tsp Salt (to taste)
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 handfuls shredded Basil (cut into small pieces)
6 cups cooked Quinoa
Sauté veggies in the oil. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add basil and salt. Blend. Add quinoa and simmer.