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New cafe promotes healthy, clean eating
Muffins are actually healthy, believe it or not.
At least the way Misty Eubanks bakes them makes the breakfast item a healthy treat.
As a fitness trainer and health-conscious eater, Eubanks wanted to create something she could enjoy without feeling guilty. She’s been eating clean for most of her life, filling her body with protein-filled foods that are fresh and preservative-free. Her love of cooking led her to open her Silverdale shop, Fuelrz Natural Muffins & Cafe on July 20 to share her passion of healthy food.
“I wanted to make something I could eat that was a treat. It’s catching on,” she said of healthy eating. “I know so many fitness individuals in this county.”
On any given day, a customer can walk into Fuelrz and order anything from hot tea and coffee to a blended smoothie for a beverage. To go on the side, muffins are the ideal choice. Generally, Eubanks will have five gluten-free options and five regular options for her customers to choose from, including flavors like banana nut chai or chocolate almond. Specialty orders, however, need to be placed 24 hours in advance and customers have the option of 16 special flavors.
The specialty muffins include flavors like pumpkin, zucchini-carrot, peach, cherry, blueberry and the like. Some items are seasonal, indicated by the small ‘s’ on the blackboard above the kitchen where specialty flavors are written.
Muffins go for $2.75 a piece, or a nine count box for $22. Each brown box is bound tightly with a colorful ribbon. Special ornamental ribbons are available upon request.
Eubanks also takes pride in the fact that she will only use what is in season to make her muffins and daily lunch special. As someone who owns an orchard, it is easy for her to get what is local and fresh. She also sees what neighboring farmers have and bases her menu off of what’s around.
Most recently, Eubanks and her husband plucked apples off her tree to peel and core for her apple muffin puree.
“We’re working toward being all local and green,” she said. Currently, she uses a lot of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods items for her main ingredients like bran. “Anything you might find fried, we’ll do fresh,” Eubanks said of her lunch specials. Custom orders are welcome and happen on almost a daily basis, she said.
As of right now, the most popular items are her pineapple-coconut and zucchini and carrot muffins. Many of her clients have food allergies, leaving them with little options when it comes to dining out. Eubanks hopes to eliminate the anxiety of going out to eat for those with food allergies. She specializes in gluten-free options, and is open to making items for those who have intolerances to items like sugar.
“If they have an extreme allergy, I will bleach my kitchen from top to bottom and their order will be the only thing I do all day,” she said. Eubanks also bakes her gluten-free items in separate pans and ovens from those that contain gluten to avoid any cross contamination. Her muffins are also dairy-free, except for the ones with cream cheese frosting.
Above all, Eubanks wants her customers to know that all her food is prepared that day.
“Everything’s natural,” she said. “We focus on people with allergies and athletes. People who are concerned about what they put into their bodies, period … it’s all whole real food here.”
Eubanks envisioned opening the brick-and-mortar store a few more years down the road, but found the perfect location for her dream shop sooner than she thought. Originally, Eubanks made the muffins and brought them to her running club. Members told her she should sell the muffins because they were so good. After working to approve every recipe she had through the Washington Department of Agriculture, she started selling her muffins from home. She soon realized a shop would be right up her alley.
“We want to be green. We want to be local and keep everybody healthy one bite at a time,” she said.
On a typical day, Eubanks will spend six hours baking. Seven days a week, prepping, cooking and preparing food for presentation is on Eubank’s “to-do” list.
The owner knew she couldn’t do it alone, so she enlisted the help of her daughter, Heather Schoales, to assist as the shop’s barista. Although Eubanks plans to learn espresso eventually, her main job is in the kitchen making a daily lunch special and freshly baked muffins. She’s also acting as teacher by showing her daughter how to make all her muffins from scratch.
As for working with each other, Eubanks and Schoales claim it’s easy.
Schoales said that “good communication” is key to working well together.
“We know each other well. She picks up where I leave off,” said Eubanks. “I like having a young, bright person here.”
Upon walking into the shop, the ambience of health and fitness are evident. Both Eubanks and her daughter are peppy and welcoming, which makes it easy for one to slide into one of the seats at the tall bistro tables and stay awhile. The two easily fall into conversation with one another and their customers, partially because of the open floor plan inside the shop.
“She really wanted people to see where their food was coming from,” Schoales said.
With bright lightening and even brighter lime green walls, there’s no doubt customers will know exactly what’s going on in the kitchen and between the employees.
The coffee machine is up front, allowing customers to ensure it’s made exactly how they want. Next to the coffee area is the kitchen with an open serving window, allowing customers to peek in to watch Eubanks at work.
A fruit basket dangles, showing off fresh fruits and tea offerings for customers. For someone waiting on the lunch special — which could be anything from fish tacos to a Texan chop salad — a stack of fitness magazines sits on a table for visitors to sift through.
In a month or so, Eubanks and Schoales plan to open their walk-through window, which will allow walkers to come up to the side of the building to order.
Likewise, if guests dining inside want to take a quick walk, lockers are available free of charge.
For right now, the duo is working on getting their name out into the community to recruit people to try to live on the healthy side.
“We just have to keep pounding the pavement so people know who we are,” said Schoales. “With food allergies, there’s so much awareness about it now. We want everybody to be able to eat.”