Raw Meal Deal
“We all know it’s a good thing to eat fruits and vegetables. We’re just expanding people’s horizons,” so fruits and vegetables can encompass “chocolate cheesecake,” says Rebecca Irey.
Irey and her husband, Quentin, launched Pure Market Express in August, selling “gourmet raw cuisine.” Their Chaska start-up includes a storefront, online sales around the country (puremarketex-press.com), and wholesaling, so far to Lakewinds Natural Food Coop in Chanhassen and Minnetonka.
Irey says “raw foodists” eat only or mostly uncooked plant foods—nothing heated past 118º Fahrenheit—in order to keep enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals intact and at full potency. There’s also no meat, dairy, refined sugar, or preservatives in Pure Market Express foods.
The chocolate “cheesecake,” for instance, is made with coconut meat, coconut butter, agave nectar, maple syrup, cashew butter, cacao, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt ($8 a slice). A lasagna replaces pasta with strips of oregano-marinated zucchini and relies on a “mozzarella” made from pinenuts ($10 a serving).
Raw cuisine isn’t cheap: Pure Market Express sells a package including a week’s worth of meals for one person for about $175. On the upside, Irey notes, dessert is always justifiable. She says one customer wanted a healthy breakfast for her 18-month-old grandson: “I recommended banana cream pie, since it’s just as healthy as eating a bowl of bananas.”