It's that time of year: pretty soon you won't be able to un-hear words like "detox," "cleanse" and "diet." With 2017 just beginning, we all want to live up to our New Year's resolutions, and one of the most common is devoting yourself to a healthier lifestyle. While many claim that their elixirs are an all-in-one way to reboot, there is one local business that stands out with a realistic approach that incorporates healthy eating with mental and physical well-being too.
Originally from New Jersey, Muhammad Edwards became a clean-eating advocate while playing basketball throughout college in Miami. After school, Edwards moved to Cleveland with a few fraternity brothers looking to invest in real estate. He soon found out that being a landlord wasn't his cup of tea, although he did fall in love with the city, using it as home base for his developing line of "action" juices.
Edwards started his business, Fawaky Burst Juice Company (4441 Mayfield Rd., 216-438-3289, fawakyburst.com), two years ago, selling cold-pressed juices in bulk to neighborhood gas stations stuck in the middle of food deserts.
"It was the middle of the winter, we've got on snowsuits, big thick coats, and I'm walking up to people in the parking lot asking them, 'Do you want to buy a healthy juice?'" Edwards laughs.
The menu has expanded since those transient days thanks to the addition of a storefront in South Euclid. But one thing hasn't changed: "fawaky," which translates to "fruit" in Arabic, still is the main ingredient. In addition to bottled cold-pressed and blended juices available in flavors like Pineapple-Ginger and Lemon Lime Mojito, there is a line of five detox beverages designed for three-day juice fasts. Edwards will customize the detox order to suit your personal preference.
If you crave something solid, Fawaky also serves wholesome made-to-order eats like omelets, whole wheat French toast and pancakes, along with grilled spinach wraps, lean turkey paninis, rice bowls and salads.
Online videos capture customers throwing back shots of wheatgrass to boost energy and reduce high blood pressure, lemon juice to reduce bloating and strengthen the immune system, and ginger juice to prevent cancer and reduce inflammation — just like folks pounding shots at a bar. A poster hanging near the walk-up counter reminds everyone that, "You are what you drink."
Inside the eatery, suggestively tropical decor will brighten your day. "I thought it would be the best way to introduce my product to the people, because everybody wants to believe that they're in the Bahamas or somewhere hot!" Edwards says.
A large mural depicting sliced fruits takes up an entire wall, while leather-topped wooden barrels and driftwood-like benches populate the dining area. Everything is pushed aside at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays for yoga, when a $10 donation earns you a challenging practice and a smoothie at the conclusion of class. Several nights a month the space hosts free open-mic nights.
"I took a little bit of what I experienced in Miami and I brought it to Cleveland," Edwards says, clutching a whole pineapple hollowed out to hold one of his signature smoothies. The smoothies are garnished with fresh berries and fruit, with the container and its contents being completely edible (save for the skin). A testament to his product, the self-proclaimed "Juiceman" can easily list the healing benefits of each fruit and vegetable thrown into the blender; all you have to do is ask.