Sun In Bloom is, hands down, one of my all-time favorite restaurants, has agreed to share her story with us. She is a friend, mentor, inspiration! I send my clients to her for juice cleanses, go for meals as often as possible, and use her as a reminder that I can make of this life whatever I out my mind to.
Whenever we get the chance to chat, we get into these deep conversations and always have similar perspectives on this world. It's amazing to connect with anyone on such a level in this world. Kindred spirits;)
Anyway, with no further adieu, I give you Aimee:
1. How did you first get involved in the world of health and wellness?
My interest in health and wellness goes way back... I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't have this interest. However, there was a time in my life (teenage & early adult years) when I was very depressed and lonely while "trapped" in an abusive relationship that led to many years of self-sabatoge and a willingness to compromise my health and wellness. After years of self inflicted abuse and pain, I had an epiphany that I was not living a life of truth and after this wake up call, I did a 180 and dedicated myself to a journey of healing, self-discovery, and becoming my best self. I know this sounds so cliche, but my life really changed with the flip of a switch on my 28th birthday.
2. Was it always a dream of yours to own a restaurant or was this something that manifested itself out of your love for health and transformation?
I do not recall ever having a solid dream of owning a restaurant. However, I've always had a dream to create a space for gathering, knowledge, and love. And I've definitely always had a very strong passion for food. I just never thought I had special talent in the kitchen or imagined I'd ever have the resources to open a restaurant. So , yes! Sun In Bloom most definitely manifested out of my love for health and transformation. I've always felt as though I am just channel for Sun In Bloom.
3. I remember when you first opened Sun In Bloom in Park Slope and we were psyched to have a health food restaurant serving the types of foods we most love to eat at home. Since then you've expanded tremendously! How is it different now from then and what are your favorite parts of running such a bustling establishment?
Gosh... I'm finding it hard to answer this question. I decided to open Sun In Bloom after I returned from a very healing journey I was on in Europe. After I said Yes to Sun In Bloom, I opened the business just 2 weeks later. On one hand it's really great I just took action and jumped off my cliff of fear because if I had ever picked up a book about "How to open a restaurant", I would not have had the courage to do what I did. Honestly, I did not know anything about running a restaurant and immediately after opening, I was paralyzed with fear. I spent my first year in the flight or fight response. So because I was operating from this place of acute stress, my first year feels like a black hole. Today I am in a completely different place and feel that for the most part Sun In Bloom is truly a reflection of my original vision. I do not think I can even begin to compare the Sun In Bloom today to what it was when I first opened.
My very favorite part of running Sun In Bloom is being part of a creative collaborative business and being of service. Sharing my passion energizes me. I love bringing community together. I love creating jobs. And I love being a witness to others discovering the powerful relationship food has to our experience in this world.
4. People from all around the world seek out your amazing food and juices, how does it make you feel to know you're touching so many hearts and stomachs on a daily basis?
This inspires me to go to work every day. It makes me feel aligned with my purpose and I cannot imagine living my life without purpose.
5. Though i'm no celeb stalker, i've seen a handful of supercool famous faces in SIB (Maggie Gyllenhaal…whom I love love, and Usher to name a couple). Has that helped drive business? Do they attract extra attention? Or are they like any other customers and just needing their SIB fix like the rest of us?
We do see celebs on a regular basis. However, I'm not sure this has had significant impact to growing our business. I have not had the courage to ask for their testimonial and just love to see every guest that chooses to walk into Sun In Bloom as a celebrity.
6. What is your favorite part of running SIB? Your least favorite? And if you could do it all over again, would you do it the same?
My favorite part is fulfilling my purpose and for the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives. I am truly grateful for this. My least favorite part is that I struggle with feeling that I've sacrificed a lot to be the chef / owner of a restaurant. I often feel lonely in this role and find myself struggling with my faith that I will have time for myself or relationships outside of my business. My latest fear is that I will forever be alone! But, I do not deep within every fiber of my body that we create our destiny and have the upper hand in writing our story. I just embarked on a 30 day juice cleanse to realign with my faith. It's hard to say whether I'd do it again the same. I was to say No... absolutely not. But, then again, the stars aligned and I was presented with an opportunity to open Sun In Bloom. If I had not jumped, I do not feel confident we'd have Sun In Bloom today. So, no regrets. I live a very charmed life and feel grateful every day for my journey. It's definitely been an adventure!
7. And lastly, what is your favorite menu item for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?
Oh goodness Eve... I love everything I've created for Sun In Bloom's menu! But, my all time favorites include our Granola Delight, Chia Seed Porridge, Bella Divine Kale Salad, Bloom Burger wrapped in a collard green and Shitake Mushroom BLT with avocado.