In 1998, Kathy Evans had a dream: to open a business that sold quality certified organic herbs to local restaurants. The business began as Pure Intentions Herb Farm. As well as growing herbs professionally, she also grew wheatgrass in her Cuyahoga Falls basement for her personal use and to give to friends. By 2002, Kathy’s company was growing and was selling wheatgrass exclusively, and she moved the business to a building off Akron-Peninsula Road.
In 2009, Pure Intentions became Pure Intentions Wheatgrass & School of Energy and relocated to its current location at 156 W. North St. in Akron.
Just what is Pure Intentions Wheatgrass & School of Energy? Well, at its heart it is a grower, seller and distributor of wheatgrass, but that’s only part of its story and its mission. Pure Intentions also houses The School of Energy, a beautiful, 900-square-foot yoga and meditation room, as well as a space that is available to rent for community gatherings such as parties and performances.
It’s all about the wheatgrass
“Eat your vegetables,” my mother used to say. “They’re good for you.” They may have been good for me, but that wasn’t incentive enough for me to conquer without a fight the huge mound of spinach she spooned onto my plate. If only my mom had known about wheatgrass juice.
Thanks to Evans and her company, Pure Intentions Wheatgrass & School of Energy, the virtues of wheatgrass juice are being spread throughout the community and are on this veggie-avoider’s radar. It is her mission to educate people about the benefits of what she calls, “…the perfect food.”
When I sat down with Evans to talk about her wheatgrass business, I knew nothing about wheatgrass juice, but that quickly changed. She shared with me some of the facts about wheatgrass that motivate her every day to promote her product. She explained that:
• One ounce of fresh wheatgrass juice contains the nutritional equivalent of 2-1/2 cups of green leafy vegetables.
• Wheatgrass juice is rich in vitamins A, B-complex, B-17, C, E and K, and is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur, cobalt and zinc.
• Chlorophyll, which makes up over 70 percent of wheatgrass juice’s solid content, increases red blood cell count and improves blood oxygenation.
After speaking with Evans, I decided to give wheatgrass juice a whirl, and so far it has been smooth sailing. Evans encourages anyone using wheatgrass juice for the first time to start with one ounce per day as your body adjusts to its introduction. She laughingly calls it, “…the juice that tastes funny,” so I was prepared to grimace, but replacing 2-1/2 cups of green leafy veggies with an ounce of anything was worth risking it. While, yes, it is the juice that tastes funny, it’s not bad at all.
As someone who has struggled to finish her vegetables since the days when her mother told her to, my verdict is that, for me, wheatgrass juice is a much simpler option, one I intend to continue. After two weeks, I am still consuming one ounce per day, but the amount recommended for daily use as a supplement is two to four ounces in the morning before eating, if possible.
The wheatgrass is grown year-round indoors on a two-week rotating schedule, using artificial light. While I didn’t learn the secret to her formula for growing the perfect wheatgrass, it was clear that Evans nurtures each plant from seed to harvest, as evidenced by the beauty of the plants in her growing room. She and her staff plant the wheatgrass on Thursdays and Fridays, and it is harvested and sold on Mondays and Tuesdays. Customers may find her certified-organic product at local health food and grocery stores, as well as many local juice bars. Wheatgrass can also be purchased directly at the West North Street location between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The School of Energy
Kathy’s face lit up as she shared with me her vision for her space: to create an environment that promotes physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being. That is where The School of Energy comes in. With its murals, tapestry-draped ceiling, and that beautiful floor, I found The School of Energy to have a calming, serene atmosphere ideal for the practice yoga and meditation. Evans invites teachers to contact her about offering their classes in this space.
Pure Intentions event space
My favorite part of the Pure Intentions tour was the welcoming, casual and cool event space. Its hip bohemian vibe lends itself to the kind of artistic, eclectic events that Akron is known for. With a stage and a variety of conversation areas throughout the large room, it is an excellent option for parties and intimate performances.
I have had two opportunities to see Evans’ vision in action recently. The first was at Zach and the Bright Lights’ Ignite the Soul Tour kick-off concert and potluck dinner event earlier this month. The second was The Akronist and Wandering Aesthetics Theatre Company’s recently cohosted community event, LIKEMinded: A Community Celebration. Both events were well attended and both were filled with the sense of connectedness and community that Kathy strives to bring to her space.
Full disclosure: as the Director of Fundraising and Community Development for Wandering Aesthetics and an occasional writer for The Akronist, I personally booked the space for their event. It seemed the perfect fit for our guest list filled with an assortment of creative types, families and community leaders (basically, Akronites!) who enjoyed the laid-back, comfortable nature of the Pure Intentions event space. The celebration included performances by poets, musicians and an improv troupe, as well as a guided meditation at The School of Energy.
When I asked Zach Freidhof what it is about Pure Intentions that made him choose to kick off his tour there, he commented, “The people come and they bring the energy…the positive energy…and it flows through this place and multiplies.” Guests at both events expressed their thoughts about Pure Intentions using descriptive words and phrases such as warm, inviting, peaceful, inspiring and home-like.
Pure Intentions is a family business, and Evans’ son, Oliver, is responsible for booking the event space and monthly house concerts on the first Saturday of each month. The house concerts also include a potluck dinner and are BYOB, which was the format for Zach’s event. Kathy and Oliver Evans both encourage the idea of potluck events to further the feelings of sharing and community.
To discuss using the space for your event or to ask questions about all things Pure Intentions Wheatgrass & School of Energy, call (330) 923-8822 or visit www.pureintentionsinc.com.