Raw Food Rescue

Juice veterans save the day for one-of-a-kind Dallas restaurant

Juice veterans save the day for one-of-a-kind Dallas restaurant

Elixirs at Be Raw Food and Juice in Dallas
Look for some menu refreshing at Be Raw, coming soon. Photo by Melisa Ambers

Dallas raw/vegan restaurant Be Raw Food and Juice gets saved in the nick of time via a takeover by a new team. Be Raw's new owners are Jessica and Davio Ventouras, founders of Boom Juice, the well-regarded juice bar with outlets at health clubs and the St. Michael's Farmers Market.

Be Raw was slated to close at the end of April after owner Paula Sepulvado Matter realized she couldn't supervise it with her travel schedule. She herself had taken it over in 2012 from the previous owner.

News of the closure was met with chagrin in the vegan world, as Be Raw is Dallas' only raw-food place. In a raw food diet, you eat uncooked and unprocessed foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Not exposing it to high heat preserves beneficial enzymes.

Boom Juice had a stand at the Dallas Farmers Market that closed in February, putting them in an ideal position to take on Be Raw.

"When we heard it was closing, Jessica and I had the same thought, and we called Paula," Davio says. "We'd been looking for another location for Boom Juice and felt like it was perfect."

Their transition will be slow and easy. Be Raw will continue operating as it has, while the Ventourases get a sense of what works. They'll keep dishes that customers want and drop the ones they don't. Jessica used to be a private chef in New York and has ideas about refreshing the menu, including getting the food to a consistently high standard.

"I used to go back when it was Bliss, and then when it was Be Raw," she says. "I think this is good for us because it lets us make the jump from a juice bar to a restaurant. This gives us a starting point."

Eventually, they'll add the juices for which they've become famous.

"We're going to bring Boom Juice juices and some of the desserts," Davio says. "Be Raw had some juices, but Paula said she was getting requests for juice cleanses, and that's something we'll add. A lot of our Boom Juice customers live closer to this area, so it's a plus for them too."