Among the countless quaint shops sprinkled throughout Gaslight Village sits a cute cafe called Mix. Specializing in healthy protein shakes and energizing teas, the new establishment just opened its doors at the end of August.
I first heard about the restaurant from an Instagram post that I stumbled upon. It looked very similar to an eatery that is the root of all my cravings: Lake Michigan Nutrition. Both places display similar menus along with a comparable, modern, simplistic feel; so, considering that Mix is about 15 minutes closer to my house, I decided to give it a try.
Located in a rather worn and outdated strip-center in the middle of East Grand Rapids, Mix’s modern decor and trendy environment drew me in by separating itself from the tired establishments surrounding it. The instant my friend and I opened the door, we were greeted with a warm smile and a welcome.
Immediately, I took notice of the ornamentation and restaurant set up: the ceiling’s white Christmas lights to the leafy green accent wall and company logo. The stylish, contemporary surroundings made the joint feel clean and comfortable.
After revealing that it was our first visit to the smile behind the counter, we heard a full explanation of the menu. It presents a wide range of tea flavors from pomegranate raspberry to Skittles, as well as protein shakes, coffees, and health shots. The lady helping us continued on to describe the plethora of benefits of the teas: energizer, increase in focus, help in burning calories, soothing of digestion, and boost in metabolism. With all of the health perks, the teas suddenly seemed a lot more inviting.
She also explained to us that, in general, teas are bought in a combo with protein shakes–an offer I could not pass up after seeing the flavor options. S’mores, chocolate peanut butter, birthday cake, berry cheesecake—how could I ever decide? The shakes also provided numerous health benefits like protein and additional nutrients.
When I finally decided on a combo, the efficient service was revealed when I was already sipping my drinks in around five minutes.
The tea I ordered, raspberry lemonade, was the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Immediately following my first sip, I found myself going back for another because of the refreshing, flavorful mix.
One thing I particularly noticed about it was the paper straw placed within. The reason it caught my attention was—unfortunately—because it began to fall apart as it got continuously more soggy; however, I appreciated the environmentally conscious effort to move away from plastic straw use, especially considering that it is a shop solely for drinks. This discovery made me significantly more satisfied, knowing that my money was going towards a company that cares about the Earth and displays social responsibility, even just in its first month of existence.
Just shortly after receiving my tea, my shake was delivered. Garnished with a handful of chocolate chips, my cookie dough shake had a pleasant and appetizing presentation. To my enjoyment, the delicious taste matched the delightful display and exceeded my expectations. The mouthwatering flavor made it very hard to believe that it was healthy. Additionally, it embodied a perfect consistency, aside from the few ice chunks I encountered as I sipped.
As my friend and I chatted and enjoyed our shakes, we encountered a period of time when we were the only customers in the cafe. One way or another, the worker—who had begun her shift during our visit, entering with her dog—began a conversation with us. She explained to us that it is a dog-friendly store and that they welcome pets, which I thought was very interesting and unique in this area. While she did not have her dog in the kitchen area at all, I did envision certain customers being put off by an animal inside. It foreshadowed a possible disruption in the event that the dog misbehaved or if a customer had an allergy. Nonetheless, I was pleased to see a trailblazer in making Grand Rapids a dog-friendly community.
All in all, my experience at Mix gave my Saturday afternoon just the boost of energy and joy that I needed. From the cute decor to the sociable employees to the tasty drinks, I would recommend this place to anyone.
If you’re looking for something that’s not only tasty but also strikingly healthy, try Mix EGR; you may even want to bring your furry friend along with you.