The long awaited opening of The Sweet Spot Organic Juice and Salad Bar is coming! Six Nations residents Kahontiyo Denise McQueen and her partner Matt Carpenter have worked since last fall to renovate the former electronics store space in the Village Plaza into a beautifully colourful healthy cafe.
The duo are both from Six Nations and started out growing sprouts in their home for their own use. Word got out that they had a green thumb so they started growing sprouts for their friends and eventually that birthed into a small business of it’s own where they were growing sprouts and selling them.
Kahontiyo, whose name means ‘good greens’ in the Mohawk language, self-educated herself in the areas of holistic and organic nutrition – taking classes at the Hippocrates Health Institute and many other places to up her knowledge of holistic nutrition. McQueen said, “You cant unlearn this stuff. Once you learn it you’re hungry for more and more. When it comes to nutrition there’s not a lot out there, you have to dig for it yourself so I want to help the community do that.”
The couple are hoping the Sweet Spot becomes a hub of education as well as a delicious place for locals to grab an organic, raw lunch. McQueen says she will host classes for the community soon. “I can’t wait to start doing classes and start education people. I just want to help people understand and start bringing this into their homes. Whether its growing their own wheatgrass, making their own almond milk or learning to make a raw salad dressing – the education – that’s my favourite part.”
The cafe has an extensive juice and smoothie list. A percentage of proceeds for certain special smoothies – named Rebel and Warrior – will go back into the community to sponsor the Six Nations Rebels and other Jr. A Lacrosse teams. “We just want to give back,” said McQueen.
The menu has no meat, no dairy and is all organic. They will have raw, organic salads with juices, smoothies and raw desserts as well.
Another great feature of the cafe is that is offers free wi-fi. “We’ll be open from 7am till 9pm. We wanted kids in the community to have someplace to be thats safe. There’s free wi-fi so if they have homework to do they can come. It’s healthy. It’s nice, it’s fun. Anybody can come and just spend their evenings here,” said McQueen.
This is a fantastic blessing to the Six Nations community and a growing trend for entrepreneurs in the community to branch out into the holistic nutrition. In 2015, Six Nations saw the opening of two fresh juice bars and a holistic grocery store on the territory.
There has been a tremendous level of growth in small businesses on Six Nations in the last twenty years. Today there are currently approximately 350 business on Six Nations outside of the cigarette trade. Historical statistics from 1990 show there was previously only 50 businesses on both Six Nations and New Credit combined.