Emilie Blanchard was playing club soccer in high school when she made the connection between what she ate and how her body felt. But it wasn’t until the former fitness instructor was living in New York City after college that she was introduced to plant-based eating and began testing recipes in her closet of a kitchen. Eventually she moved back to her hometown, Columbia, South Carolina, and was about to open a fitness studio when a woman reached out to her, curious about the healthy recipes Emilie was posting on Instagram.
What began as a meal-prep business mushroomed into her first retail shop, Tasty As Fit, launched in Columbia in 2018. The Greenville store followed this past January. Prepare to be bowled over by scratch-made, plant-based, gluten-free selections, such as a “tuna” poké bowl with marinated beets standing in for tuna, and a Bolognese sauce that’s so delicious you’d never guess the “meat” is a mélange of ground mushrooms, walnuts, and almond flour.
“I am driven to making healthy food taste so good that no one thinks it’s healthy,” Blanchard shares. “I love showing people that you don’t have to sacrifice taste for health.”
Tasty As Fit, 3017 Augusta St, Greenville. tastyasfit.com
Eye candy aptly describes the luscious fruit-forward bowls, which are built on a base of açaí and hot-pink pitaya (dragonfruit). The Unforgettable bowl does its name proud with layers of shaved almonds, kiwi, and fresh berries, dolloped with coconut whip and drizzled with almond butter and honey.
Gather GVL, 126 Augusta St, Greenville (plus locations in Haywood Mall, Five Forks, and Clemson). cocobowlz.com
Between organic grain bowls, green bowls, and smoothie bowls, you’re bound to find your healthy heart’s desire at Green Fetish. Carnivores appreciate the High Steaks Bowl, made with grass-fed beef, while vegetarians favor Buddha’s Feast, a blend of brown rice, sweet gochujang tofu, and fresh veggies, with Thai peanut dressing.
301 E McBee Ave, Greenville. greenfetish.com
Named for the Andean goddess of health and joy, Kuka Juice brings plant-based fare to the Village of West Greenville. Add toppings to turn any smoothie into a bowl, or try the Asian Quinoa Bowl, brimming with a rainbow of vegetables—kale, purple cabbage, red bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and avocados, tossed in a ginger vinaigrette.
580 Perry Ave, Greenville. kukajuice.com
Southern Pressed Juicery
In addition to whipping up organic cold-pressed juices and smoothies, this locally owned downtown spot offers menu items including made-to-order bowls. Good for what ails you, the Green Monstah incorporates vitamin-packed kale and spirulina, along with açaí berry, banana, coconut water, and seasonal fruit, mixed with crunchy cacao-kale buckwheat granola.
2 W Washington St, Greenville. southernpressedjuicery.com