Metro, Food, Featured Story

Veggie Tales: Brighton Juice Bar to Expand Vegan Options

Nestled among the slew of restaurants already located on Washington Street in Brighton, Mass., Energize, a new fast food restaurant serving fresh juices, blends, and salads, is set to open in the next few weeks.

Ivo Dimitrov and three of his friends, all life-long athletes who immigrated to Boston from Eastern Europe, were looking for better workout recovery drinks and better nutrition in general when they conceived the idea to open Energize, Dimitrov said. The restaurant’s menu will incorporate locally sourced plant-based foods when possible, as well as “superfoods” like goji berries. The team started experimenting with different flavor combinations when they decided that opening a restaurant would be a smart idea.

“We were like, ‘Wow, this is working. Why not just go with it?’” Dimitrov said. “We took a hobby and decided to provide it to others.”

Dimitrov hopes to reformulate what “fast food” means, expanding beyond the widely-accepted, unhealthy connotation of the phrase. “What we want to do primarily is redefine fast foods,” he said. “We want people to think fast foods can be healthy.”

Dimitrov and his colleagues are focusing on hiring employees who generally care about healthy eating, as they are likely to understand how nutritious food works. Energize’s employees will be able to recommend certain juices and blends to customers, paying particular attention to pre-workout and post-workout drinks.  

According to, Energize hopes to appeal to all kinds of customers, not just those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.  

Dimitrov and his team want to spread health benefits to everyone, by serving freshly squeezed juices, juice blends infused with superfoods, and salads, using local produce as much as possible to incorporate into their plant-based, vegan menu.

Dimitrov mentioned that Washington Street is lined with restaurants serving pizza and other similar items, and hopes that Energize will bring something new to the table.  

According to the restaurant’s website, many people turn to convenience stores and coffee shops in search of sugar-filled, caffeinated beverages. Dimitrov and his colleagues believe that what the body is really in search of is energy, which one can acquire through the juices and blends offered at Energize.  

Madison Sweedler, MCAS ’19, is a practicing vegan, but admits that it is sometimes out of her price range to be constantly purchasing food off-campus.

“As a vegan, you have to be more aware of what is in your food,” she said. “Veganism requires a little more creativity, and if one is willing to apply this, than it is problem-free.”

Sweedler believes that the BC community will take full advantage of the new restaurant.

“Given BC’s student body, which tends to be pretty health-conscious, I absolutely think a good portion of BC’s students would be thrilled by Energize’s opening,” she said. Sweedler is excited to try the restaurant herself, especially because they cater specifically to the vegan lifestyle, she said.

The restaurant’s menu has a few pre-selected juices and blends, but mostly lists ingredients, allowing customers to be as creative as they please. Sweedler believes that the combination of creativity and nutrition will be popular with vegan and omnivorous BC students alike who struggle to find reasonably priced yet nutritious options that are easily accessible from campus.

Vegetarian Madison Hynes, MCAS ’18, says that there are a fair amount of restaurants in the Allston-Brighton area, but that there is still a lot of room to grow. “Energize’s emphasis on juices and smoothies is something new to the Brighton community, which is great,” she said.

In addition to the influx of college students Energize hopes to attract to its new restaurant, Dimitrov and his colleagues are excited to be a new addition to the Brighton community. “The people who are going to work at Energize are very passionate and understand how food works,” he said. “That’s how we’re trying to separate ourselves from everybody else.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Energize

April 7, 2016

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