“I really love the way I felt when I came in here as a customer,” said Alexandra Massimo, who became assistant manager of Organic Krush after a year of being a “regular” of the restaurant. “I felt like, not only did they care about what was going inside my body, but they cared about me personally.”
Organic Krush was founded in May 2015 by co-owners Fran Paniccia and Michelle Walrath. The two moms became fast friends through their children, who shared the same classrooms. Then, six summers ago, they took their teenage girls on the road to see some concerts and became frustrated by the lack of food options they came across.
“We had to give them food that was totally unacceptable,” Walrath said.
The duo hired James Tchinnis, owner and executive chef of Swallow Restaurant, and gave him a list of what he could and couldn’t use, including certified organic ingredients, gluten free baked goods, no sugar in the açai bowls, the list goes on. Organic Krush’s menu promises no pesticides, genetically modified organisms, hormones, or “fake” ingredients. The three of them opened their first store on Woodbury Road in Woodbury. Since then, it’s been a rapid expansion: Old Country Road in Plainview, Old Northern Boulevard in Roslyn, and, of course, Main Street in Amagansett.
Relationships are at the root of Organic Krush’s business. Walrath and her family have spent time out in Montauk, and she is an active supporter of the Surfrider Foundation. She said the organic eatery’s Amagansett location was born out of her desire to combine work, play, and community.
Paniccia and Walrath’s children are employed by the business, providing them a place to both learn the service industry, and how to make healthier eating choices.
“Change your plate, change your fate,” and “Clean food that heals and is delicious” are messages on signs placed under the service countertops.
Organic Krush is now in its fourth year of offering a fully gluten-free Thanksgiving Dinner catering menu. “We all like to feel good on the holidays. People wind up ordering lots of side dishes to bring to their family gathering,” explained Walrath. Options include organic slow-cooked turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet pecan mashed potatoes, and brown rice pilaf.
As the cooler weather sets in and you seek out comfort foods, Organic Krush provides indulgences without the guilt. Each menu item is curated to fuel the body rather than weigh it down. For example, I recently sampled a Breakfast Egg Wrap (which I turned into a bowl) — certified organic egg scramble, avocado, caramelized onions, shiitake mushrooms, farmhouse cheddar, over chopped kale; and Sweet Potato Hash — sweet potatoes, green peppers, onions, apples, and smoked paprika aioli. Both came with a side of house made hot sauce.
Locally sourced, organic goods, from protein snacks to Long Island-made teas, chips, and kombucha are just some of Organic Krush’s offerings.
The business has crossed state lines. Its latest location opened in September in Short Pump, VA, where Walrath’s eldest goes to school and her twin sister lives. “It’s so much fun to come into a new community. There’s this enthusiasm and conversation around locals who haven’t had many gluten free options,” she noted. Next up is a Rockville Centre opening, and by the end of 2020, the team aims open their first location on a college campus, at Walrath’s alma mater, University of Richmond.
Organic Krush’s Amagansett location will close for the season from December 1 through March, but there are plans to provide a weekly delivery service for those who want to keep up on any meal plans or cleanses.
Thanksgiving dinner orders should be in by Sunday, November 24.
For more information, head to www.organickrush.com.