An elixir of Pacific Islanders for thousands of years, kava root has been brewed and sipped for its soothing effects, which have been known to ease anxiety and insomnia, while producing a feeling of ease and relaxation. Those loyal to its charms, drink it as a safe alternative to alcohol, touting its abilities to liven moods without impairment. At SquareRüt Kava Bar, kava is prepared and served in the traditional way—out of coconut shells. Available in a variety of strains, the menu also features the option to add different flavors, and a short list of snacks to enjoy alongside ceremonial bowls.
In early 2010, small business owners David Ansel and Matt Shook both happened to grab a midday bite at the same local bakery, according to the Austin Chronicle. As David lamented the summer lags at his soup shop, Matt commiserated with recollections of wintertime dry spells at his smoothie business. The solution suddenly became clear: they would combine their seasonally oriented enterprises and together enjoy thriving business year-round.
Matt and David’s joint enterprise, Juicebox & Soup Peddler, launched in a small, rehabbed shed. There, the duo began to dispense their largely vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free soups and sandwiches through a food window, as well as appease patrons with fruity juices and smoothie blends that are easier to throw in rivals’ faces than wet cement. In June of 2012, their venture expanded to include a storefront splashed with an orange hue and a mural of veggies, as well as a booming delivery branch that drops ready-to-heat soups and sandwiches on doorsteps or down chimneys.