I know what you’re thinking. “Finally, another overpriced juice bar in a wealthy area! Just what Charlotte needed.”
Despite the already saturated market, Charlotte’s tenth juice bar, Lotus Soul Cafe, arrived late 2019. This one has a special twist sure to open your third eye: it's a wellness cafe.
Having lived in Asheville, I’m used to “good vibes only” neo-hippies. You know, the white people with dreads that offer the most amount of unsolicited advice you’d ever need? Yeah, those.
So being in North Charlotte, I wholly expected a “wellness cafe” to be for white, hip soccer moms who’ve recently watched the Life of Pi and bought a Himalayan salt lamp from HomeGoods.
On my first visit to Lotus Soul, I was pretty underwhelmed. The food was super expensive for being so simple. If you're going to have a $7 oatmeal, you really have to blow me away.
The menu has a color code for which chakra it relates to. I chose the Purichi oats which were said to activate six of the seven chakras.
They were overnight apple cinnamon oats with chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, and dried cranberries. The thought sounded much better than it actually was. Sure, oatmeal is pretty much mush, but healthy food doesn’t have to taste that way, especially for seven whole American dollars.
I also tried one of their juices, the Rooted and Rising which consisted of beet, burdock, carrot, apple, and cucumber. It was good enough, but any $9 juice should have liquor in it.
I wasn’t finished with Lotus Soul Wellness Cafe, though. Something told me I had to visit again.
Part of it being a wellness cafe is it offers many classes, workshops, and healing sessions for relatively cheap. 90 minute workshops are around $20, and yoga or meditation classes are only $10.
I was tentative about attending one of their classes.
I like meditating, but I was nervous I was going to walk into some performative “finding the womb in the mindseye” kind of deal. I figured the general vibe in the cafe is very laid back and not at all basic like I thought it would be, so I decided to attend the Monday night meditation group hosted by Alexis Omega.
Before class, I decided to give the food another go. They offered a sample of their Heart Beet toast (without goat cheese, as I try to refrain from consuming teet milk at age 22).
This time, I was blown away. It consists of red beet hummus which was surprisingly sweet and creamy, with spinach, hemp hearts, and black sea salt. I definitely would not have thought to try it had I not tried a sample of it, and yet I now find myself craving it. I paired it with a very reasonably priced vanilla chai with oat milk which made for a perfect pre-class snack. My second experience with their food was incredible.
I was surprised by a rather down to earth manifestation meditation.
Every detail was accounted for in creating an ambiance: blankets were provided for if we wanted to lay down during meditation, the lights were dimmed, candles, palo santo.
It was super relaxing, very accepting of people of all different levels and religions, and judgement free.
I’m interested to see how this community grows. It's a new age juice concept minus the bible verses you might see elsewhere. I'm just hoping the Debrahs, Sharons, and Kathys don't swarm it too quickly.