A new all-day cafe called Alfalfa is taking root on Main Street, striving to bring the perfect balance of naughty and nice with its fresh farmers market inspired salads and funky doughnut selection.
The Hoboken-based business was founded by four best friends who are beyond stoked to be touching down in Santa Monica for the grand opening of Alfalfa’s second location on Saturday. The team is partnering with mental health non-profit Bring Change to Mind and donating a portion of opening day profits to their cause.
“I would say the one word to describe us is definitely excited,” said Co-founder Andrew Arrospide. “This is truly a dream come true for us. We all have our own LA roots and to finally open up a store here is truly incredible.”
The health centered casual eatery offers fresh salads, wraps, bone broths and breakfast burritos packed with nutritious locally sourced ingredients. For those with a sweet tooth, the menu also boasts a range of freshly baked doughnuts including lavender vanilla, amber maple, and oreo flavors.
“We are healthy guys at heart, but ultimately we also like to indulge,” said Co-founder Daniel Sobsey. “We’re focused on building a menu that brings joy to our customers. We were shocked, surprised and actually really happy to see how many people end up getting a salad and a doughnut together.”
Alfalfa was born in 2018 out of the four friends’ frustration with the limited number of healthy, affordable, and tasty lunch options in their New Jersey neighborhood.
The team piloted their live salad bar concept at a farmers market in Hoboken and quickly attracted the attention of a local restaurateur who helped them launch a pop-off kitchen in his luncheonette.
Alfalfa operated as a ghost kitchen in the morning and afternoon and converted the space to an in-person restaurant once the luncheonette closed in the evening. The team hit it off with the owner and later acquired the storefront, converting it into Alfalfa’s first brick and mortar location.
“Myself, my brother, Dan, and Andrew were there everyday making everything from scratch. It was very much a grassroots campaign and we were working every single aspect of it every single day,” said Sobsey.
While many restaurants were devastated by Covid-19, Alfalfa’s business continued to thrive due to its loyal customer base, health centric menu, and easily transportable to-go model.
The team has long wanted to open a West Coast location and said they are thrilled to have the opportunity to do business on Main Street.
“We know that a lot of restaurants are really struggling and we are one of the only new businesses in the area,” said Arrospide. “One of the many things we like about opening in Santa Monica is that it makes us feel happy to bring joy to the community and feel like we’re part of the movement to open back up and be part of the 2021 optimism.”
The team said they chose Bring Change to Mind as their opening day charity partner because the non-profit shares their mission to “create happiness and inspire joy”.
BC2M works to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, and helps over 10,000 high school students take a proactive approach to mental health and self-care. Alfalfa is selling a special honey matcha doughnut in BC2M’s green logo color and will be donating all proceeds from the doughnut to the organization.
Alfalfa is open for outdoor dining and to-go orders seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 2309 Main St.