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Alchemy shop offers community for plant-based lifestyle

By Kendra Caruso | Jul 14, 2019
Photo by: Kendra Caruso Amanda Peaslee sits with business partner Linda Prichard July 8 at the new Alchemist Plant Based Wellness Cafe in Belfast.

Belfast — Three women have taken their individual farmstand businesses to one shop on Beaver Street to make their products more accessible. The Alchemist Plant Based Wellness Cafe opened its doors July 3.

Amanda Peaslee with Pure Herbal Healing, Linda Prichard with Fancy Plants and Kate Hall with Graze growing microgreens, developed a farmstand following at United Farmers Market that had customers inquiring about where to buy their products outside the market.

By combining their businesses under one roof, they can expand and share their following and offer more ways to make their products and knowledge available to the public.

From natural skin care items to prepared foods that are vegan and gluten-free, each partner offers something different to customers. The majority of ingredients for products in the store are locally sourced and not processed with harsh chemicals.

They transform plants into healthy products for consumption similar to the way plants transformed them when they decided to eat a better diet.

Prichard sells prepared plant-based foods that are alternative options to snacks that tend to be highly processed. She makes a plant fudge that mimics the flavor and consistency of the sugary popular kind.

“I love making food for people, but I love making nutritious food. But I also love making food that’s kind of a surprise,” Prichard said. “I do an awful lot of sweets … like I make a lemon chia seed macaron that has whole lemons in it.

“It has chia seeds in it, there’s no sugar in it. It’s totally good for you but everybody goes ‘oh my god this is delicious.’ I love that feeling of, see this is plant food and it tastes like junk food.”

Peaslee offers skin care and makeup products that are plant-based. She started being more mindful about what she was putting on and in her body when she had a serious health issue.

She regained her health through a more mindful diet that consists of mostly unprocessed foods. She hopes to relay similar information to customers who want to make positive changes in their lives.

“I’m always working to make sure that it’s ethically harvested, fair trade, organic. Really making sure that the source and the energy of the product is in line with my intentions,” Peaslee said. “And for me, I also want to be very confident about the fact that I can’t do it on my own. It’s about community and it’s about being able to help people in what they do very well to be able to make their products accessible in ways they can’t do it themselves.”

Hall grows microgreens that she turns into juices and energy shots for a healthy alternative to processed sugar drinks. She bounces between the cafe, her farmstand business and teaching healthy eating classes at the hospital.

The women hope to grow the cafe into a self-sustaining business. They plan to offer classes on the information they have acquired about how healthy eating has transformed their lives, in an effort to help others do the same.

“I think it’s going to be a sense of community and a sense of where people are going to be able to find healthy functions,” Peaslee said. “But also be able to just learn about resources that they have available, that are here in our community already or ... farms that we work with or other herbalists that maybe are looking for avenues to get their information out."

“So, to kind of be a catalyst, you know, not for just ourselves but also for that community aspect.”

The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


Shelves are lined with plant-based products from prepared foods to makeup July 8 at the new Alchemist Plant Based Wellness Cafe in Belfast. (Photo by: Kendra Caruso)
Coolers at the new Alchemist Plant Based Wellness Cafe July 8 are filled with plant-based treats made by co-owner Linda Prichard. (Photo by: Kendra Caruso)
Plant-based juices and energy shots made by Kate Hall wait to be bought by customers at the new Alchemist Plant Based Wellness Cafe in Belfast July 8. (Photo by: Kendra Caruso)
Amanda Peaslee's plant-based skin care products on shelves of the new Alchemist Plant Based Wellness Cafe in Belfast July 8. (Photo by: Kendra Caruso)
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