LET’S BE honest, healthy food does not always have a good rep. People think that being health-conscious means their stomachs will perpetually growl and their choices are limited.
Even for those striving to eat better, clean eating may be considered a chore. Preparing fresh and whole ingredients is truly time consuming.
On top of that, we all have places to be and not enough time to get there. It’s definitely easier to grab food at a drive-through than cook it at home.
So listen up: If you are always on the go and determined to eat healthy, Good Greens was created just for you.
Owner Kelly Grenchik wanted to show people that wholesome eating it’s not about eating less or dieting. “Real food can be satisfying and still be good for you.”
“The bottom line is, people are busy. Everything is to go. That is why fast food is so popular.” So Grenchik established Good Greens, in June 2016, to provide fast food that is in fact good for you.
“I wanted it to be convenient and fast so it is not a hassle to eat healthy.”
Grenchik and her husband have always been self-proclaimed foodies. After spending years in the corporate world, working a full-time job, she decided that it was time for a career change.
As someone who is extremely health-conscious, Grenchik chose to establish Good Greens as a way to educate the community and supply nutritious food that is accessible to everyone. As a business owner, she also had the bonus of setting her own hours, thus providing a healthy work/life balance.
Good Greens is one of those Savannah gems that you may not find unless you are looking. It is located on Wilmington Island, on the right side of the Mercer Plaza, facing the CVS drive-through, across the street.
Green railings and a simple black awning, displaying the company name and logo, border the door that says, “Healthy fare to go.”
Grenchik looked downtown for spaces, however, she ultimately chose her current space on the Islands. “I have lived on the Island for about 15 years. It is a great small community with an intimate setting,” she says.
The Good Greens space is about 400 square feet and is primarily a kitchen with one high-top table and stools. Positive affirmation quotes, like “you can never have too much happy,” are scattered about the walls.
A hand-written menu, that changes weekly, is also posted. The bright space is truly set up for the convenience of stopping in and grabbing something healthy on the fly.
Good Greens offers fresh leafy greens, whole grains, seasonal farm-fresh vegetables, organic proteins, homemade dressings, handmade sweet treats and scratch-made soups. Each item is prepared by Grenchik daily and packaged in recyclable containers, ready to go when customers stop by.
Grenchik aims to incorporate different textures like crunchy, creamy, and chewy into her salad mixtures.
She found that it was important to choose petite dark leafy greens, like baby kale, rather than water-based lettuces, like iceberg, as they are more filling.
We have all had a leftover salad that gets soggy by the time we bring it home. However, with specific leafy greens, grains and dressing on the side, a Good Greens salad is made to last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. This allows for much more flexibility and convenience than typical salads.
The educational aspect of the business is the most rewarding for Grenchik. “It’s been fun teaching people how to build a good salad.”
As a way to disseminate her knowledge to customers, Grenchik offers recipe cards for homemade dressings and salads. “It’s all about sharing information,” she says.
We all recognize that knowledge is power and showing people how to make nutritious food at home is a great way to build a healthy community.
She also mentions that some of her customers have never heard of grains like quinoa or never tried leafy greens like kale. For them, Grenchik says, “Just put your fork in it, you will like it!”
She has certainly turned picky-eating skeptics into health-food believers.
As a “quantity eater,” Grenchik wants patrons to know that they are getting a lot of bang for their buck. While the salads are between $10-12 each, the portions are generous and she encourages people to split them in half.
Each salad is garnished with fine ingredients like organic chicken and Atlanta goat cheese as well as farm fresh fruits and veggies. Grenchik always offers a variety of seasonal fare, with vegan and vegetarian options.
When I stopped in to grab my salads, I was delighted to see that Grenchik was wearing yoga pants and sneakers just like me. It was a testament that she not only understands someone, like me, who is constantly on the go, but she is in fact on the go herself.
After having a pleasant chat about Good Greens’ cheerful space, Grenchik reached inside a refrigerator and handed me a few clear containers with spicy corn and black bean salad, bulgur with chickpeas and a cashew energy bite.
I was also given a rectangular cardboard box with a Good Green staple inside, the Harvest Bowl. Each item was available instantly and I brought everything home in a hand stamped Good Greens paper bag.
The bulgur salad with chickpeas had cucumber, fresh dill, lemon, red onion, pepper and olive oil. The dill, an under-utilized herb in my opinion, provided a bright vibrancy that complimented the chewy and tender grain.
The corn and black bean salad had a spicy and refreshing zest. It was made with fresh ingredients like onion, pepper, corn, black beans, and cilantro with a chipotle sauce. My husband and I shared it and I took the leftovers to work the next day.
The showstopper was the Harvest Bowl, made with kale, spinach, quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, apple slices, dried cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
The salad’s ingredients were layered on top of the lettuce, instead of mixed together, to ensure maximum freshness.
Dessert was a moist cashew bite, sweetened with date and combined with cashews, cashew butter, cinnamon, lemon zest and sea salt. It was an appealing nugget, delicately sweet with tings of salt.
Quite honestly, I want the recipe because it satisfied my sweet tooth while adhering to my diet.
So here’s the deal, although grabbing something fresh and healthy on-the-go is beneficial, Grenchik offers delivery to those that can’t make the trip to Good Greens. She will personally deliver to any place downtown, mid-town and the Islands, with one day’s notice.
Furthermore, Beetnix carries Good Greens’ salads in their refrigerated section. So there is no excuse to not eat healthy!
In the future, Grenchik plans to join the Savannah Food Truck movement and why not, she already has the commissary!
The “eat better, not less” campaign is sweeping our nation. Good Greens is on board, are you?