November 28, 2022


The Food Universe

The GEM offers organic food and drinks to health-conscious neighbors

Leslie Needleman and Mary Kathryn Bass are disco soul sisters. They were born the similar yr, specifically a 7 days aside. They each grew up in little towns in Texas and Ga. They had a Studio 54-themed get together for their 50th birthdays, deemed “Studio 50,” in which they matched in gold sequined outfits and danced to “The Hustle” and KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight.”

“Disco never died in our e book,” Needleman suggests.

They turned good friends in 2007 when their young ones attended the Lamplighter Faculty and grew nearer as several years progressed, in particular right after Needleman was identified with breast most cancers in 2009. At that time, Needleman grew to become identified to regain and retain her wellbeing by having clear, healthy food items. Right after her treatment plans ended up complete, Needleman imagined about acquiring into nutrition counseling, wanting to contact her enterprise Diamonds on Your Inside of.

“What if you experienced a minimal juice bar in the front,” Bass requested Needleman.

“Great, do it with me,” Needleman responded.

And that’s how they commenced.

The phrase “gem” came to Needleman one working day whilst she was working, pondering versions of “diamond.” She and Bass made use of it in the identify of their new enterprise, The GEM Natural Food stuff & Juice Bar, which opened in Preston Centre in February 2012. For the first couple months, most of the consumers had been pals. Now, the Preston Center and Preston Forest areas have become neighborhood favorites, wherever workforce know the names and orders of common shoppers.

“You know people below. All people feels welcome,” Bass suggests. “It’s approachable.”

The GEM’s earliest menu was tiny, but all the authentic merchandise have stood the exam of time. Needleman and Bass, who the two enjoy to cook, develop the recipes by themselves. The Green Glow, built with kale, cucumber, lemon, apple and ginger, is the most well-known juice and was dreamed up by Needleman when she was ill. Other offerings, like the lentil soup and hummus, are residence recipes the co-entrepreneurs manufactured out of a need for organic and natural, plant-based, clear meals.

A take a look at to The GEM is not distinctive just for the reason that of the brightly coloured partitions, upbeat songs and disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Lots of of the elements, these as the cashew milk, hemp milk and elderberry syrup, are produced in property.

“Customers rely on us,” Bass claims. “They know we’re earning it. They see us. It’s not out of a box, out of the refrigerator. It’s authentic.”

Bass and Needleman utilised past calendar year to great recipes, make their business enterprise additional economical and coach workers. They also targeted on immunity and inspired clients to consider treatment of themselves by consuming healthful meals and beverages, just as Needleman established out to do all through her most cancers prognosis and restoration.

But the ladies faced difficulties prior to previous 12 months. In the early days, Bass and Needleman struggled to obtain a supplier who could give organic ingredients in the quantities they essential. They ultimately located one particular in Chef’s Generate, and they’ve been with the Houston-based mostly organization ever considering that.

“Organic is nevertheless tough to uncover, but we now have it a little less complicated,” Bass claims.

Bass had a occupation in merchandise enhancement and internet marketing, but neither she nor Needleman experienced encounter proudly owning their own firm. They sought advice from local tiny-enterprise entrepreneurs, and now, virtually 10 many years afterwards, they’re preparing to open up a third spot.

“Ninety % of it is exhibiting up,” Needleman claims. “When you set those goals and intentions, matters will come all over for you. You just keep encompassing yourself with superior persons and inquiring questions.”

The GEM Organic and natural Foodstuff & Juice Bar, 6030 Luther Lane, 214-750-2929 5915 Forest Lane, 214-792-9928