Calm in the Storm

Yoga studio and cafe grows community in Hatboro

On the backs of the chairs at Nourishing Storm Studio and Cafe are themes: strength, clarity, peace, create, release.

“We like to think that we just have a nice open space,” said Kristin Ritter, the owner of the Hatboro cafe. “Whatever someone’s looking for, we try to help them find it.”

Nourishing Storm expanded in October, from a smaller yoga studio across York Road to the larger space, where they were able to add the cafe.

 

Photo by Matt Schickling

 

The whole idea, Ritter said, is promoting wellness. For some, that comes with yoga. For others, yoga doesn’t resonate or they’re not ready to give it a try. Meeting with a friend or finding healthy foods might be more accessible.

“Our focus since the start of the company has been harmony with yoga and food,” Ritter said. “We offer the healthiest products we can, as locally sourced and organic as possible.”

The basis of the menu is smoothies, juices, tea, coffee and fresh, healthy foods. Everything is vegetarian.

The whole food-based smoothies can work as meals or for post-workout to provide recovery. One of the most popular smoothie choices is One Love, a green smoothie made with pineapple, orange, spinach, kale, avocado, banana, lemon and vanilla protein. Another is Green PB Dream, made with milk, banana, chocolate, spinach, peanut butter and chocolate protein.

There are also vegan smoothie options like Green Lotus, made with almond milk, almond butter, spinach, banana, cardamom and vanilla/chocolate plant protein.

The food menu is shorter, but the options are seemingly endless. Along with the soup of the day, patrons can choose to build their own sandwiches or salads from a long list of ingredients across four categories: bread, veggies/fruit, cheese and spreads. Avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, hummus and much more abound.

“There are certain foods that aid us in terms of our mood and how we feel. If we can focus in on those foods, it’s just a win-win situation,” Ritter said. “It can be so easy if you focus in.”

They also have some of their favorite combinations as suggestions, and fresh juices.

Ritter’s background as a fitness instructor in Washington, developing and running juice bars, working for a whole foods company and intensely studying yoga and nutrition brought her the knowledge to be where she is, but personal experience guided her.

She and her husband, Stephen, both Willow Grove natives, moved back to the area a few years ago.

“Life was just crazy, it was stressful,” she said. “We made choices to make our lives a lot happier.”

That included scaling back material possessions, refocusing on nutrition and finding a path toward a more peaceful life. Ritter found the space that would become Nourishing Storm and grew the small yoga studio starting three years ago. The impetus for the move, she said, was building something stronger for the community, which she developed and planned alongside friend Megan Connolly.

Now, along with yoga classes, the space hosts community events and workshops like zen and anti-stress coloring nights, writing workshops and more.

“Most times, people have a whole list of reasons they come,” Ritter said. “Peace and calm is what people are looking for.”

Nourishing Storm Studio and Cafe is located at 124 N. York Road in Hatboro. For information, visit http://www.nourishingstorm.com.

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