How a paleo fast casual goes against the grain

seasonal salad just be kitchen
Amelia Alpaugh

When Jennifer Peters opened Just Be Kitchen in April 2017, her mission was “to serve mindful mouthfuls from a conscious kitchen with kindness on a plate,” she says. On the menu, that translates to food that’s 100% gluten-free, grain-free and void of refined sugar. It’s not only popular with customers who are avoiding gluten due to celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but it also offers options for those following a paleo diet or the popular Whole30 Program.

That considered, what’s on the menu may cause a double take. “We tried to stay away from kind of the typical bowls, soups and conventional options that are out there in [health-focused] fast casual,” Peters says. “And believe me, I’ve got a lot of pushback on that.”

For example, the menu includes craveable dishes like a burrito and a bacon cheeseburger. Its version of a pizza, called a “meatzza,” has a sausage base instead of a crust. Sweets such as cookies and muffins are also available. “We do it in a way that’s paleo, so that people who are getting dragged along by their significant other or friend don't feel like they’re losing out,” Peters says. 

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