All’s Fare in Love and Health
Alicia Murphy, Owner of FARE - Food Apothecary talks about how seeking a nutrition-based cure for her daughter lead her to open a business
Sitting on the corner of Magazine and Lyons Streets is a small, unassuming pink building with signs boasting smoothies, teas and juices and more. This little building and the business contained within are making a big impact on a city that loves its salt, sugar and fats.
New Orleans may have a reputation for being a town filled with food-lovers that throw caution to the wind for the sake of indulging in delicious eats. But as the city evolves and the food culture evolves with it, more and more New Orleanians are looking to eat healthier – especially as summer beach vacations loom in the near future.
“New Orleans is the perfect place to open a store like this,” says Alicia Murphy, owner of FARE Food Apothecary. “People won’t just say, ‘This doesn’t taste good, but at least it’s healthy.’ They’ll say, ‘I don’t like this, I’m going to go somewhere else.’ So, it’s a huge compliment when people come in and say the cookie they bought was the best cookie they’ve ever had and I get to tell them that everything in it is good for them.”
Murphy is a self-proclaimed foodie who is married to a chef and has always worked in the food and beverage industry. Her journey to eating healthier however, came about when the youngest of her five children was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Murphy was intent on finding an alternative to the harsh prescription medications suggested by her daughter’s physician.
“I started to research the drugs and the more I read, the more I thought, I don’t want to put this into my daughter’s system,” says Murphy “There was the possibility of eye problems or needing a liver transplant; these were just the possible side effects of the drugs and I thought, there has to be an alternative. So I did more research on the bottom line of her illness, and what I came to find out is that the root of most chronic illnesses is inflammation.”
Murphy says she started to first research the foods that caused inflammation such as gluten, sugar, and dairy, and then started to look into what kinds of foods nourished the body and brought down inflammation.
“I came home and did it cold turkey. I cleaned out the entire kitchen, getting rid of everything that didn’t belong, and filled my shelves with only the good stuff,” Murphy says. But then the challenge came. “It started out as me only thinking about what we couldn’t have, what we couldn’t eat and that became so difficult. But once I started looking at the situation in terms of what we could eat, then everything just opened up and it became sort of fun, like a puzzle.”
Murphy began cooking healthy versions of all of her children’s favorites. She made her own gluten-free pasta dough, her own Alfredo sauce out of cashews, she started making cookies and other treats all substituting traditional ingredients with things like honey, maple syrup and coconut flour. Within six months, her daughter’s blood work was exponentially better than it had ever been, and the doctor told her to keep doing whatever she was doing. Murphy realized how important her findings were and wanted to share the knowledge and her creations with others.
“I thought, there’s no one else doing this in town, and if my family really benefits from it and needs it, other families must too,” Murphy says.
She opened FARE just over a year ago and the response has been tremendously positive.
“The first week we opened, I had so many friends and neighbors come in saying they were so thrilled to have us,” Murphy says. “The neighboring businesses were also so welcoming to me. And a plus! Being on Magazine Street, I get a lot of tourists, who are strolling down the street, coming in. It’s been great!”
FARE offers a variety of cold-pressed juices, teas, smoothies, salads, soups, snacks and delicious sweets. Everything is made in house from gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free products, and everything in the shop is anti-inflammatory and Paleo-friendly.
The future of FARE is looking bright. Murphy says her next goal is to up their production to offer full meals to anyone looking to eat better who might not have the time or knowledge to cook that way; then she’d love to open a second location.
“My favorite quote about healthy eating comes from Hippocrates,” Murphy says. “It says, ‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.’ That’s the goal!”
To learn more about the delicious side of healthy, visit FARE Food Apothecary – open daily from 9am to 6pm. 4838 Magazine Street. (504) 302-9171