, Salem, MA


May 7, 2014

All-natural eating

Growing number of eateries commit to organic, local food

At first glance, the little shop on Collins Cove in Salem looks like any other pizza parlor. But when you take a closer look at the cold-pressed oils and organic breads displayed on the countertops, the organic drinks in the fridge and the menu itself, it’s clear that Amazing Pizza and More isn’t a typical pizza shop.

All the ingredients are fresh, natural and purchased or delivered the same day. Most items are organic, the chicken is free-range, and nearly everything is homemade, from the organic pasta and dough to the sauce and meatballs. What you won’t find: anything with high-fructose corn syrup, additives or chemicals.

“I love pizza, but I could never find a good one,” said Salem native Jacqui Field, who opened the shop in February with her husband, John Swenbeck. Field says her love of food, cooking and people were her main reasons for opening Amazing, but she also cares about the ingredients and how they’re prepared. She’s likens it to cooking and eating “with integrity.”

She wanted to open a health-conscious eatery 10 years ago, she said, but the timing wasn’t right.

Now it is.

Amazing Pizza is just one of a growing number of organic, natural and locally sourced eateries popping up around the North Shore — and they appear to have staying power. Organic Garden Cafe in Beverly is in its 15th year, and Daily Harvest Cafe in Danvers in its seventh — and continually adding more organic and natural items to the menu.

Life Alive, on Essex Street in Salem, opened in 2012, serving everything from organic sandwiches to smoothies. A new organic/natural fast-food eatery is slated to open on Route 1 in Peabody next month.

A common theme among these restaurants is buying local and buying fresh, often organic, ingredients daily. Timing, public sentiment — and thereby market forces — are on their side, they say, as more and more people become conscious about what they’re eating and how it’s grown.

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