Thursday, January 24, 2013
Origin Natural Food puts a new face on “fast” food
They start serving the full menu January 25.
DALLAS Dallas’ newest natural food hub, Origin Natural Food, aims to make eating healthy simple. Founded by a group of gym rats, the storefront on McKinney Avenue -- south of Knox Street -- functions as coffee shop but offers a variety of prepared meals that can be heated on site.
“Being healthy does not necessarily mean eating less food,” said Andrew Key, one of Origin’s managers and a regular weightlifter at CrossFit gym. “While portion control is important, there’s a personal responsibility in deciding what is nutritious.”
Their kitchen is an 11,000-square-foot building located in Addison and run by head chef Jeff Smith, who makes and packages a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options which are then brought to the store. Meals such as kale salad, pork tenderloin, and grass-fed beef burgers are housed in industry-size refrigerators that sit opposite the McKinney Avenue entrance.
The store itself is a modest space with concrete floors and white walls. A coffee bar sits like an island in the middle of the floor beneath a square trellis painted lime green. Aside from miniature succulent plants that decorate the tables and black and white photos of Dallas landmarks along one wall, Origin's decor is minimal. It's intended to give Origin a clean and polished look, but it also feels empty or unfinished.
On the day I visited, the fridges were nearly bare after what co-owner Jessica Myers said was an incredibly busy day.
“Everyone is looking for a quick option, but they’re not willing to sacrifice what they put in their body,” she said.
The group’s background in health and fitness played an instrumental role in transcribing a menu and the business’ goal of “taking everything back to its origin.” There is a direct correlation between a person’s diet and their health problems, Key said. For example, eating fewer carbohydrates, sugars, and processed foods can counteract obesity among other issues. Plus, he believes grass-fed beef tastes better than grain-fed.
Origin also uses the farm-to-table methodology in picking their products. Owners Russell Aldredge and Myers personally visited farms from which they get their produce, meat, and dairy. They made it Origin’s mission to be a reliable liaison between the producer and consumer.
“When the chickens are left free to roam and grab bugs out of the ground, that is natural,” said Key.
Origin is currently operating under restricted hours but will be open full time starting January 25: from 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, and 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. At that time, the store will begin offering a full menu, which you can see here. The menu rotates frequently, as it is based on seasonal ingredients.