One of the newest food crazes that has grabbed the nation by storm is the juice bar, and for those living in and around Newton Highlands, the Broken Grounds Café might just fulfill their juice and açaí cravings, while still offering choices for those seeking more variety.
Nestled on the corner of Walnut and Floral Street, a short two-minute walk from the Newton Highlands T stop, the café’s appearance and backstory make its authenticity evident.
Prior to the establishment of Broken Grounds, this same street corner was occupied by another coffee shop that owner Amelia Childs worked in right out of college.
Her love for coffee and cafés kept her there for two years until she moved on to manage other juice bars. But calls from previous customers to let her know that the owners had left the coffee shop rekindled an interest for Childs.
At age 26, she put a bid down in August 2015 for the store and began her journey as a business owner.
After purchasing the space, Childs and her business partner immediately jumped into work.
All the tables and counters were built by Childs’s dad and friends. To add her own mark, Childs built the menu—not just what’s on it, but the physical menu posted behind the counter.
She spent three days nailing the frame together, repainting the board, and tediously, symmetrically writing out all the menu items.
During last Thanksgiving, another 18 hours went into it as Childs rearranged the menu with additions and changes.
She remains an active participant in the day-to-day operations of Broken Grounds, giving customers the same personal connection her family gave when building it.
The entire essence of the café focuses on impressing guests with the availability and accessibility of its healthy options, a core part of Childs’ background.
After becoming a vegan 14 years ago, she was focused on keeping Broken Grounds a meat-free zone.
As Childs created the menu, she wanted to provide customers with appealing vegetarian options, without forcing tofu and fake meat on them.
Broken Grounds features a wide variety of juices, smoothies, and açaí bowls, as well as heartier dishes such as sandwiches, wraps, and salads.
In addition, local pastries are brought in every morning.
The menu also boasts quite a few coffee options that are all locally sourced from Jim’s Organic Coffee.
All of the menu options align with Childs’ philosophy regarding simple and wholesome food, but it still features enough that regardless of whether you eat meat, you are sure to find something on this menu that will satisfy almost any craving.
“I really do believe that Mother Nature is our best cook and that there is not really a whole lot that we have to do to change the food she provides,” Childs said.
Childs recognizes the Boston College community as a steady part of her patronage, making sure to point out that BC favorites are the “Strawberry Fields” açaí bowl and the breakfast burrito.
To make it more accessible to BC and the community, Broken Grounds now delivers through Foodler, Grubhub, and Doordash.
She believes this will eliminate the extra transportation cost that might inhibit students from making the trek out.
As the café gains increasing popularity in the community, Childs is optimistic about the opening of a second café within the next few years.
Watertown would be an ideal location, she said, so that it would be easy for her to travel back and forth between her two establishments.
And, while simultaneously running her café, Childs launched Manipura Body and Mind this past December—her company through which she sells high-quality vegan products such as body scrubs, balms, creams, etc.
Much like her philosophy about food, her Manipura products are created with wholesome, organic ingredients, and each harbors Reiki energy, which relates to the natural energy of the flow of life.
But for now, Childs’s main focus is her quaint, street-corner café, a place that she can finally call her own.
Featured Image by Simran Brar