Fast and healthy: Simply Fresh Café coming to downtown St. Clair

Eat fresh with no regrets. That’s the motto of what is soon to be downtown St. Clair’s newest restaurant and gathering space, Simply Fresh Café.

It’s a motto that owner Emily Marriot lives by; Marriot developed much of the menu from her years of experience in clean and Emily Marriot is working hard to prepare her new cafe space for a mid-June opening.healthy living. She’ll be chatting with a nutritionist soon, too, she says, to gather even more ideas for her café.

Once complete, Simply Fresh Café will feature a range of health-conscious juices and smoothies, and wraps, sandwiches, and salads. Even the kid-friendly options, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, will feature healthier alternatives to store-bought ingredients, using nut butters and homemade jams to limit amounts of sugar.

The menu items she’s most recently excited about adding are the acai berries, bowls, and smoothies. Marriot characterizes acai berries as a Brazilian superfood, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Fresh, healthy food is on the menu at Simply Fresh Cafe in St. Clair."I like to focus on nourishing the people around me," she says.

"We’ll have vegan, gluten-free, and paleo options. There’s nothing like this around here."

Simply Fresh Café will take the place of the recently-closed Sue’s Coffee House in the St. Clair Riverview Plaza. The storefront’s former life as a coffee shop means that build-out won’t take too long. Marriot hopes to open by mid-June.

It’s a prime location, Marriot says, and one that will offer relaxing views of the St. Clair River. A new paint job will give the café a bright and sunny feeling, with free wi-fi enticing customers to stay and hang out for a while. And she believes that her location positions her to take advantage of traditional St. Clair summertime events, like art fairs, boat races, and movies in the park.

In the wintertime, Marriot will offer nutritional cooking classes.

The whole idea is to make healthy foods more accessible in downtown St. Clair.

"With all the fast food around here, there’s just so much processed food," Marriot says. "There are no healthy options when you just want something quick. We’ll be right in downtown St. Clair, and on the river with street access."

Though a first-time business owner, Marriot is feeling confident in the Simply Fresh Café concept, bolstered by 20 years of A fresh coat of paint will create a cozy atmosphere in Simply Fresh Cafe.experience in business at the corporate level, and 10 years in the food industry.

For Marriot, Simply Fresh is the next logical step.

"This is where my passion for people and cooking come together."

She’s been developing Simply Fresh for at least a year, though it’s been a quick turnaround once she inquired about the
space. Marriot called Riverview Plaza on April 3 and signed the lease on April 30. Now that she’s signed the lease, she says she’s ready.

"My excitement outweighs any nerves I might have," Marriot says. "Anything good in life comes with risks, but the good outweighs the bad."

Simply Fresh Café is located at 201 N. Riverside Ave. in downtown St. Clair.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

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