The Stand takes a stand against unhealthy eating

Kowalsky holding “The Stand(ard)” green juice at the Westport Farmer’s Market. 
(Photo contributed by Mikaela Dedona)

Kowalsky holding “The Stand(ard)” green juice at the Westport Farmer’s Market. (Photo contributed by Mikaela Dedona)

Kaila Finn, Web Managing Editor

When Mike and Carissa Hvizdo started making juices for friends and family in 2005, they never thought it would become the healthy food and juice empire that has finally made it’s way to Westport. The Stand opened at 1200 Post Road East on Sept. 18 after being at the farmer’s market for several years, running locations in Fairfield and South Norwalk, and managing their home farm, Hideaway, in East Haddam, CT.

The partnership of The Stand and Hideaway Farm offers cooking classes, juice cleanses, three cafés, stands at Fairfield County farmers markets, and sourcing to other eateries. Despite the rapid growth of Mike and Carissa’s business, they assure that all of their products maintain organic, GMO free, sustainable, and vegan based.

Staples alum and “Stand” employee, Harley Kowalsky ’15, says, “Carissa literally cares so much about everything she produces. She puts so much time into making sure she gives her customers only the best quality of everything The Stand has to offer.”

From hummus made with soaked almonds to curried pumpkin tacos al fresco, there is no limit to the creativity that takes place in The Stand’s kitchen.

I tried the Sweet-Tart smoothie (blueberry, raspberry, agave) and the Hummus-Avocado Sandwich (with raw almond hummus). The smoothie was made with fresh almond milk, giving an earthy undertone to a classic blend. I most enjoyed the fresh almond hummus (almonds and garlic are soaked in water and then blended) which was surprisingly identical to the hummus texture and flavor.

The most popular item, however is the Indulgent smoothie, which is described as tasting “like a liquid cookie,” Mikaela Dedona ’15, another Staples alum and former “Stand” employee, says.

Their ingenuity shines through in cooking classes as well, like the upcoming one about “zero waste cooking,” or methods that allow chefs to use every part of the plant. Carissa explains that The Stand is committed to blending “nutritious health and environmental health” to sell the “most conscious juice and food that we can make.”

Their Hideaway Farm is also thoroughly environmentally friendly and successful. Carissa explained that she and Mike try to reconstitute waste from the farm and their restaurants. Everyday they “bring home five gallon buckets of food waste (collard stems, wilted lettuce, juice pulp) and let the cows and goats and other animals gobble it all up, who make manure” to “age and spread it in the growth fields.”

They also sell their farm’s goods to Otto, a restaurant in Chester, CT, and eggs to Kawa-Ni and Fleischer’s in Westport

Overall, The Stand seems to have a bright future in Westport, particularly with the location of being right next to Kaia Yoga and Joy Ride. Carissa is thoroughly looking forward to their future in Westport, saying, “It’s a community that we know really well, that we love, and a community that knows us well.”