As a kid, New Orleans native Krista Violet suffered from a slew of health problems including psoriasis, digestive problems and eczema. At 20, she stopped eating animal products and almost immediately felt better. "When I changed my diet, it changed my life," she says.
From then on, Violet was a juicer. On June 1 she opened Dixie Bee (5637 Magazine St.; 891-3731; www.dixiebeejuicebar.com), a sno-ball, smoothie and juice bar with a focus on organic produce. It's across the street from Whole Foods Arabella Market.
In addition to being a businesswoman, Violet is the mother of 2-year-old Petra. Caring for her daughter inspired Violet to share her healthy lifestyle with the next generation by launching a new line of baby food in mid-August.
The baby food is made to order from fresh, pesticide-free produce. While she waits for her "organic" certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Violet is only allowed to advertise her product as 70 percent organic, though she maintains it's closer to 100 percent.
Flavors include banana, spinach and pear, sweet potato, apple and peach, all of which have been taste-tested by a baby. Violet says Petra's favorite is sweet potato.
To preserve freshness, Violet steams and purees the ingredients, then immediately freezes the finished product, all on the day she receives an order. Customers can buy a tray of six one-serving cubes for about $4.50. To serve, pop out a cube and thaw it slowly or reheat in a microwave.
For other customers, Dixie Bee's offerings include blackberry, pomegranate and kiwi sno-balls sweetened with brown rice syrup instead of high fructose corn syrup; fresh-squeezed juices; and dairy-free gelato made with coconut milk. — Jennifer Kilbourne