Manna Life Food to Open in Historic Dupont Building
Denizens and workers occupying downtown Miami’s soaring skyscrapers will find their eating habits a bit more grounded when the plant-casual and superfood-based Manna Life Food apothecary style juice bar and café soft-opens at the historic Alfred I. Dupont building on Monday, March 7. The one hundred percent gluten-free, plant-based, organic, and from-scratch eatery will dish out a selection of wholesome and flavorful raw and baked treats, savory and sweet bowls, superfood arepas, nori burritos, smoothies, juices, nut mylks, and grab-and-go snacks for today’s health-forward and fast-paced generation.
The brainchild of wellness and nutrition expert Sabra Seligman, who received her culinary training under the tutelage of Mark Reinfeld, Manna Life Food is her passion project. “For 16 years, I have dedicated my career to wellness and now to plant-based nutrition,” she says. “That’s where we need to pay the most attention. We want to offer another avenue of feeding your body what it needs.” To deliver this form of nutritious cookery, Seligman and executive chef Diana (Chef D’) have foregone the use of a stove, using a dehydrator or convection oven instead.
Just as plants are the building blocks of creation food is the foundation for life, and Manna’s philosophy – to eat a diet as colorful as the rainbow and lead a lifestyle filled with food from heaven – is brought alive with its diverse and original menu that will be reinvented seasonally and due to popular demand. “This is our superfood laboratory,” Seligman says. As a result, superfood arepas are made from ground corn and infused with chia, golden flax seeds, and cooked in coconut oil are stuffed with everything from avocado, housemade spirulina chimichurri, and hemp hearts to peanut butter, raspberry, and strawberry chia jam. Noritos provide a healthy alternative to a burrito, with nori in the place of the archetypal tortilla. Acai, fruit, vegetable, raw falafel, coconut brown rice, and red quinoa bowls laden with salubrious toppings and house-made dressings (think acai vinaigrette and goji cranberry) proffer something for every palate and time of day. Sizzling soups range from tomato beet to Moroccan lentil to ancient grain minestrone, with a daily special always simmering.
Liquid sustenance is available by way of cold pressed juices such as the roots and cinnamon (apple, carrot, lemon, beet and cinnamon), sun shining (orange, clementine, turmeric, carrot and raw honey), or hibiscus chia fresca (hibiscus flower tea, lemon, ginger, dark chia seeds, agave, and h2o); superfood smoothies ranging from matcha colada (matcha green tea, noni, lucuma, chlorophyll, pineapple, coconut, and berry drizzle) to the signature and what’s sure to become everyone’s favorite Manna lifeshake (cacao, maca, reishi, coconut oil, house almond mylk, cashews, dates, vanilla, and maca fudge); house almond and Brazil nut mylks, detox shots, and single origin Colombian coffee, to name a few.
Sugar addicts can have their cake and not feel bad about it with raw items like passion fruit cheesecake (made with cashews); pecan caramel square (with oats, peanut butter, vanilla protein, and date caramel); superfood protein bliss balls; vegan banana cream ice cream with peanut brittle, cacao nibs, and maca fudge, as well as baked goods such as carrot cake, oatmeal cranberry hemp cookies and muffins ranging from lemon poppyseed packed with zucchini to cacao protein with beets.
Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m., just in time for java lovers to get their morning iced lava latte with golden masala mylk, vanilla Zen mylk and cacao matcha mylk; coconut frappucino with young Thai coconut meat, coconut h2o, and cacao maca fudge; or matcha cappuccino with almond mylk and foam. In a hurry? A grab and go section showcases ready made items like coconut meat ceviche, raw pad thai, chia pudding (choose from coffee, vanilla, or matcha), and house-made probiotic acai-maqui coconut yogurt and banana cinnamon granola that are yours for the taking. If time is on your side, grab a seat at the window bar where you can scope out downtown’s never-boring street action, at the communal table and engage in conversation with a stranger à la New York, or curl up with your laptop (complimentary WiFi is available) or book from the Manna wellness library in the one of the couches in the back.
Manna’s design pays homage to the Dupont building and Mother Nature, with 1,300 square feet of original marble flooring and cement roofing balanced out by natural pinewood hanging ceilings and vases spread around with succulents and cacti blends as well as plants gracing every table and superfood art on the walls bringing color and awareness into the room.
Having traveled the world during her 16-year career as a wellness consultant, as well as opening and developing luxury spas and wellness centers in various countries (W Barcelona being her latest before her move to Miami), Seligman chose Miami as the starting point and most suitable market to bring her fresh perspective of wellness and food education. “Consciousness about wellness is happening globally and after traveling to Miami repeatedly for many years and immersing myself in the lifestyle I can’t think of a better city or place for Manna to come into existence. The Dupont building was the first skyscraper built after the County courthouse and economic downfall of 1928,” says Sabra Seligman. “Just as it represents Miami’s emergence from the great depression, we want Manna to stand for the conscious evolution of food and well-being.” The term Manna dates back to Biblical times when it was used to reference divine nourishment or food from God, which is exactly what Manna plans to serve up six days of the week. Saturdays will open from 11 to 4 p.m., giving those who live and work outside of downtown a chance to taste true wellness. Manna will be closed for regular business on Sunday’s, with raw cooking classes and other fun and fit programming in the works for the near future.
Manna Life Food is located at The Alfred I. DuPont Building at 80 NE 2nd Avenue in downtown Miami. Hours are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and closed on Sunday. For more information please visit www.mannalifefood.com or call (786) 717-5060.