Raw & Juicy, Raw & Juicy Alys Beach, Jenifer Kuntz, Alys Beach, Alys Beach FL, Alys Beach Florida


Honestly Organic

The Evolution of Raw & Juicy

By Jordan Staggs | Photography by Romona Robbins

“I want to help farmers get their food out of the fields and onto our tables,” says Jenifer Kuntz, the owner and visionary of Raw & Juicy organic juice bar and café in Alys Beach, Florida. “In the end, it comes down to what the market demands. Raw & Juicy is here because our community demands good, wholesome food.”

Twenty years after landing on the Gulf Coast of Florida amid white-sand beaches, flatwoods trails, and rare coastal dune lakes, Kuntz is happy to have found a home for her nature-loving self and a warm reception for her thoughtful business. Kuntz opened Raw & Juicy in 2008 in her remodeled 1966 Land Yacht Airstream along Seaside’s Airstream Row on Scenic Highway 30-A. The café and its culinary team became local and visitor favorites. “We introduced organic and seasonal food as a way of eating and put vegan and vegetarian food on the map on 30-A,” she says. “We also introduced raw food and acai bowls to the area in 2008—until the farm we bought from in Brazil couldn’t keep up with our demand and ran out of acai!” They’ve since found another source.

The café’s efforts inspired other local businesses to carry grass-fed beef and offer vegan options, cultivating an artisan food culture that has since blossomed exponentially. Kuntz led the revival of the Saturday farmers’ market in Seaside, Florida, harking back to the New Urbanist town’s early days. “Seaside cofounder Daryl Davis taught me the power of incubating business through the farmers’ market, as she did with the original market in 1981. We are honored to have helped foster the growth of many now-thriving local purveyors and restaurants.” These include Black Bear Bread Co., Chanticleer Eatery, JC’s Gourmet, Sweet Henrietta’s, Noli South, and NaturBaker. The success of the Seaside Farmers Market inspired farmers’ markets throughout South Walton, preserving farmland and educating people on the importance of connecting to their food, local farmers, and the seasons.

In 2019, the iconic 30-A eatery moved to an equally iconic location in nearby Alys Beach, the former home of Fonville Press (which has since reopened just down the street). With a beautiful outdoor dining space and sidewalk café tables, the local favorite has been a perfect addition to the town, holding bespoke farm-to-table wine dinners and hosting events for the 30A Wine Festival and 30A Songwriters Festival. The café menu includes delicious breakfast items, such as organic coffee, avocado toast, and omelets. Lunch offerings keep visitors coming back for more with a delicious lentil-beet burger, open-faced sandwiches, and a savory kale salad. Dinner is a relatively new offering, available Thursdays through Saturdays by reservation—to accommodate the harvesting of fresh ingredients and menu creation by Chef Michael Sichel.

“We introduced organic and seasonal food as a way of eating and put vegan and vegetarian food on the map on 30-A.”

“Since our inception, Raw & Juicy has been dedicated to local, fresh ingredients,” Kuntz shares. “Building on that dedication, we’re excited to welcome guests for dinner service, curated by Chef Michael in collaboration with local and regional farmers and fishermen.” Sichel’s pedigree working in New York restaurants, Auberge du Soleil and The French Laundry in California, and Galatoire’s in New Orleans—in addition to being a trained sommelier and a Top Chef contestant—makes him an invaluable asset to the restaurant. The restaurant partners with makers of clean, organic wines, such as Kokomo and Breaking Bread, creating a well-rounded, flavorful experience with dishes guests can feel good about eating. “It’s been a great collaboration with Chef Michael because we needed each other to do what we’re doing,” says Kuntz. “I really wanted to do farm-to-table dinners, but it’s also about creating community. The menu changes weekly, and we try to ensure everything is as fresh as possible.” She says people often start to chat between tables at the dinner events, discussing the food and philosophy behind the menus.

But dinner isn’t the only addition to Raw & Juicy’s offerings in 2023. The café recently expanded to a second location in the quaint community of Grayton Beach, Florida, just a few miles down Scenic Highway 30-A. Kuntz says that taking over the small diner inside the Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse bed-and-breakfast is a dream come true, as it allows her to reconnect with clients on the west end of 30-A. “We’re doing a similar menu in Grayton, and Chef Michael wants to host some dinners over here in the backyard, so we’ll have extended café hours and events.” Wendy Mignot, owner and designer of one-of-a-kind pearl-and-leather jewelry and accessories formerly in Seaside, also reopened at Hibiscus, rounding out the space.

The wellness industry is booming, and while Raw & Juicy has sold clean, organic body and homewares in addition to its fresh-pressed juices, a new evolution is in the works for its lifestyle products. Kuntz and her team are excited to announce they are reworking their branding and packaging for these products under the auspices of Raw & Juicy starting in 2024. “We found that our original brand really lent itself to a very early-morning vibe,” she explains. “The logo was pretty poppy, designed to go with the Airstream and everything, so we’re elevating it to give more of an evening, upscale, luxury vibe. We’re doing a lot of private events and wedding dinners in Alys Beach and collaborating with CC.Boone on event planning, so this new branding helps us push into that space instead of being so breakfast and lunch oriented.” A membership program is also in the works, which guests can join for free shipping, quarterly gifts, and more, helping loyal fans of Raw & Juicy maintain a connection when they’re not at the beach.

It’s no wonder the café has accumulated not only a vast following among locals and visitors but also numerous awards and accolades, including being named one of the top ten juice bars in the country by USA Today. Kuntz shares proudly, “We had humble beginnings in an Airstream trailer, but inspired by an ideology and some grit, we’ve been able to influence the food and wellness culture of an entire region.”

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To learn more, order online, or book a reservation for dinner at Raw & Juicy, visit RawandJuicyLife.com.

This story contains excerpts from VIE’s new luxury coffee-table book, COOK: Cocktails, Cuisine, Culture by VIE, which celebrates incredible restaurants, chefs, and designers throughout the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. It is available for purchase at VIEmagazine.com. Contact our publisher, The Idea Boutique, at TheIdeaBoutique.com for more information or wholesale book orders.

Raw & Juicy, Raw & Juicy Alys Beach, Jenifer Kuntz, Alys Beach, Alys Beach FL, Alys Beach Florida

Lacto-Fermented Meyer Lemons

By Raw & Juicy


10 Meyer lemons (enough to fill a quart jar when squished)
1–2 tablespoons Himalayan sea salt


Quarter 8 to 10 Meyer lemons from the top to the bottom and push them lightly toward the bottom of a quart jar to release some juice. Add a tablespoon of sea salt and continue to work the lemons lightly—do not press them too much, or you will release the oils from the rind and cause the ferment to become bitter.

You want the jar to be full to the top with lemons packed close together and the brine just above the lemons. If you do not have enough brine in the jar to cover the lemons, you’ll need to make one by adding warm water and sea salt to a jar. Once the salt dissolves, add enough of the salt brine to the natural lemon juice brine to cover the lemons completely. The brine should be ⅛ of an inch below the lid.

Place the lid on the jar and leave it in a warm place out of direct sunlight for 2 weeks or more. You can check your lemons for desired taste and flavor; the longer they sit, the more flavorful they’ll become.

Once fermented, these lemons become a probiotic powerhouse. Add the juice to warm water in the morning as a liver tonic, or enjoy the rind by removing the pith and chopping to top desserts (flan), put in smoothies, or enjoy on a salad. Place on fish, use in meat dishes, or dehydrate and turn into nourishing dust to create sauces.

Raw & Juicy, Raw & Juicy Alys Beach, Jenifer Kuntz, Alys Beach, Alys Beach FL, Alys Beach Florida

Antioxidant Smoothie

By Raw & Juicy


1 frozen banana
½ cup frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 slice fermented lemon rind
2 tablespoons goji berries
1 tablespoon maqui berry
1–2 cups milk of choice or water
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt


Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender, blend until creamy, and enjoy!

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