For most of his adult life, Keith Fletcher worked on tow boats, most recently as a captain. He'd rent a car and drive to wherever in the country he was needed, then spend 28 days on the vessel and then drive home to his wife, Eva, and their three kids, all under 10.
After both he and his wife battled cancer, he decided being away from his family for that length of time, and his health were more important to him. So, in 2017, the two wanted to move to Knoxville, or so they thought, but while driving home to Tallahassee, they stopped in Chattanooga and fell in love with the city.
They will open Kwench Juice Cafe in the former Greyfriar's restaurant space on Market Street on Monday.
"It's all locally sourced, when I can get it," Fletcher said. "There are no additives or preservatives."
The menu will include juices, smoothies, grab 'n' go items such as peanut or almond butter, coconut water, almond, coconut and soy milk, as well acai or pitaya bowls, which fresh fruits, cereals and grains.
"Everything is made right in front of the customer."
Kwench also has a Juice Clean Delivery program that offer four packages that can be tailored to your wants and needs, or you can create your own.
Other menu items include peanut butter energy bites, chocolate or vanilla chia pudding and steel cut oats. Smoothies run the gamut from Berry Blast with banana, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and coconut water to the Namaste featuring kale, banana, spinach, lemon, mango and apple juice. You can also create your own smoothie.
The raw juice menu includes the Basic Green with kale, spinach, parsley, lime and celery, while the ABC is apple, beets and carrot. The Infinity juice is made with cucumber, mint, pear, lemon and spinach. Add ginger and lemon to the ABC and you have the Lifeblood raw juice option.
Fletcher said the restaurant is part of a small chain out of Boston (there is another one in Nashville) and that his original idea was a 1,000-square-foot space, but the larger 1,500 Greyfriar's space was too good to pass up.
"We love it here," he said.
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.