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Business Spotlight: Prasad

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July 1, 2012

By Trista Cornelius, Contributing Writer

Some of you may remember Blossoming Lotus’ original digs--inside Yoga Pearl on NW 9th and NW Davis. When Blossoming Lotus moved to northeast Portland, Prasad arrived. Now that Yoga Pearl is ten years old, the chef and owner of Prasad, Karen Pride, has taken over the yoga and retail part of the business as well. After closing for a few days in May for renovations, the restaurant/yoga business now boasts new bamboo flooring in the large yoga studio, an updated retail boutique with new clothing lines, more seating at the cafe, new paint, and “overall just a fresh new feel.” There are also new classes, like Friday Evening Hip Hop!

Of course, it’s the food to fuel all this wellness and fun that matters most. Prasad offers mostly organic, vegan, and some raw: juices, salads, wraps, bowls, and desserts. Karen’s personal favorites are two green juices, the “Manifesta” and “Rita.”

You’ve heard of food fit for kings, right? This is how Karen approaches her customers. After coming across the word “prasad” while reading a cookbook and learning that it means “a sacred offering of food to gurus, deities, and buddhas,” Karen interpreted this as food blessed by the earth and her customers as buddhas, gurus, and deities. She aims to nourish your highest inner being with fine, fresh ingredients.

If your spirit feels particularly grubby, sign up for one of Prasad’s occasional juice fasts to cleanse body and soul. For around $150, Prasad provides five fruit and vegetable juices for each day of the four-day fast, from “Beaulah Land” made from grapefruit, apple, celery, and mint to “O’Wilde” made from carrot, celery, cucumber, and kale.

Even though Karen works every day, she manages to maintain a committed yoga practice as well. She says yoga influences her diet greatly. “When we become more in tune with our bodies, it is easier to recognize what is really feeding us versus what is pulling us down.”

Now that she runs the restaurant, the yoga studio, and a wellness center, Karen’s biggest challenge is finding balance, even with stellar co-workers who all love taking part in offering a place for clients to come in for whatever they need on that particular day, “be that clarity, peace, a good sweat, some time alone...anything.”

For other ambitious veg-based entrepreneurs, Karen advises: listen to your intuition, build a business based on integrity, be prepared to work every waking hour, and dedicate time to learning the business. “Hard work, homework, patience, and honesty” are her keys to success.

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