Inside the pint-sized kitchen at REV22 Juice & Wellness Bar in Oakmont, 3-year-old James Taradash puts plastic fruit in a cup and pretends to whip up a smoothie. He pantomimes gulping the beverage and smiles.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard. Really, it’s child’s play.
James’s parents, Sarah Hummel and Jordan Taradash, and his grandparents, Lori and Lars Hummel, opened the business — the seventh location for the local Salud Juicery & Wellness Bar franchise — in September in the former Oakmont Bakery building.
Customers can get energized with a shot of wheatgrass and take a class at the family’s other business, Amazing Yoga, located next door. Then they can power walk down the Allegheny River Boulevard trail to Oakmont Bakery’s new location and grab a well-deserved pastry.
In her early 20s, Sarah began suffering from digestive health issues. Rather than take medication, she decided to change her diet and lifestyle. She became a vegetarian and took up yoga. Within a few months, her symptoms disappeared.
As a certified yoga instructor, she runs the adjacent studio, which opened at its current spot in July. Classes are offered three to five times a day. She believes REV22 is the perfect complement to it. Her family shares her enthusiasm, especially Lars, a native of Copenhagen, Denmark — often called the happiest country on Earth — where clean living has always been the norm.
“People are becoming more aware of what they’re putting into their body,” Sarah says.
The REV22 menu offers a variety of nourishing juices, smoothies, shots, bowls and hot drinks. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced and vegan-friendly. Not sure what to order? Tell the owners how you’re feeling and they’ll point you in the right direction.
“There’s a practicality to it,” Sarah’s husband Jordan says. “Every item on the menu is functional. There are no fillers.”
Want to boost your immunity? Try a Solar Ray shot, a potent mix of lemon, ginger, cayenne and turmeric served with an apple slice. Bothered by allergies? Add some bee pollen to a Green Anna Bread smoothie, one of Salud’s most popular items. It’s a combination of bananas, almonds, oats, almond milk, plant-based protein, cinnamon, flax and dark chocolate topping. (There’s spinach in there, too, but you can’t taste it.)
“It tastes just like banana bread, which, for a lot of people, takes away the fear of trying something new and healthy,” says Lori, who works as a real estate agent along with helping run the family business, and who sees a marked difference in her energy level after enjoying the beverage.
Patrons don’t have to eat and run. They’re encouraged to relax in the space, which has indoor seating for 20 and another 10 outside. There’s free Wi-Fi, a couch and comfy chairs.
For sugar-loving kids, REV22 provides great alternatives to traditional ice cream. The proof is smeared all over little James’s face and shirt after he devours a P-Bee Bowl with acai, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peanuts, cashews, bee pollen, agave, granola and chocolate.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, the juice bar will participate in the Oakmont Fall Festival. Held along Allegheny River Boulevard, the free event will feature live music, raffles, crafts, face painting and refreshments, including Salud’s espresso, French press coffee, almond milk lattes and other hot beverages.
The family has lived in the Oakmont area for decades and is proud of the community’s dedication to wellness. Lori credits two local companies with kicking off the neighborhood’s focus on healthier living: Health Horizons and Today’s Market.
She’s proud to continue the trend and hopes the opening of REV22 inspires an innovative restaurateur to bring a farm-to-table concept to town, adding another healthy option to Oakmont’s business district.