You May Also Like

Health advice from food experts

The biggest piece of advice 3 influential foodies say is most important for health

Horoscope this week for full moon focus

Full-moon fever? This month, it’s more like full-moon focus—here’s why

Well+Good - The one supplement you should take every day, according to a neuroscientist

The one supplement you should take every day, according to a neuroscientist

Sulwhasoo inscape event

Tap these 2 grounding rituals for an instant relaxation boost

Well+Good - 6 rules for living your best (and healthiest) life, according to Emma Watson

6 rules for living your best (and healthiest) life, according to Emma Watson

Irish women going #HomeToVote on abortion

Meet the women’s health heroes who are flying home for Ireland’s landmark vote

A smoothie bar sprouts amid Iowa cornfields


In tiny Grinnell, Iowa, in a storefront where a BBQ joint stood just last year, Midwesterners are now ordering Piña-Kale-Lottas instead of pulled pork.
(Photo: Jenna Holt for Well+Good)
The Purple Cucumber is set in the tiny college town of Grinnell, Iowa. Customers who bring back the mason jar containers for their next smoothie get a discount. (Photo: Jenna Holt for Well+Good)

In tiny Grinnell, Iowa, in a storefront where a BBQ joint stood just last year, Midwesterners are now ordering Piña-Kale-Lottas instead of pulled pork.

Located smack dab in the middle of the cornfields, Grinnell is home to about 9,000 residents and the small but highly regarded liberal arts school Grinnell College—and until now its dining options have not extended much beyond steakhouses and fast food.

But that didn’t stop Melissa Berman from opening a cozy smoothie bar, The Purple Cucumber, in March.

“Grinnell deserves a smoothie shop,” the former stay-at-home mom says. “I want to get people to look at food in a different way. A change needs to happen, and if it can happen through food, let’s do it.”

After years of struggling with health problems, Berman took an integrative nutrition class that inspired her to make serious changes to her diet, but she was frustrated by the lack of healthy options in Grinnell.

(Photo Credit: Jenna Holt for Well+Good)
(Photo: Jenna Holt for Well+Good)

So she set up shop with her Vitamix just two blocks from the college campus, where she created a menu that includes green smoothies with added superfoods like chia, ginger, and flaxseed and “gateway” drinks, AKA fruit smoothies, for those who may be new to sipping blended spinach. All have been taste-tested and approved by Berman’s three kids and her husband, who she claims is more of a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy.

The shop also supports local farmers and grocers and stocks as much organic produce as possible. And, so far, in this unlikely town, the Purple Cucumber is catching on. Says Berman, “People who haven’t been exposed to real food, locals, college kids—they’re all excited.” —Jenna Holt

For more information, visit www.thepurplecucumber.com

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

Energy vampires and how to keep them away

How to deal if someone in your life is an “energy vampire”

Sulwhasoo inscape event

Tap these 2 grounding rituals for an instant relaxation boost

Well+Good - The one supplement you should take every day, according to a neuroscientist

The one supplement you should take every day, according to a neuroscientist

New study says depression is linked to dementia

Depression may be an indicator of cognitive decline later in life, a study claims

Well+Good - 6 rules for living your best (and healthiest) life, according to Emma Watson

6 rules for living your best (and healthiest) life, according to Emma Watson

Health advice from food experts

The biggest piece of advice 3 influential foodies say is most important for health