Just BE Kitchen: Paleo Fare Thrives in Denver

by Grace Boyle on June 4, 2018

I can’t help but love women-led businesses.

Meeting owner and founder, of Just BE Kitchen, Jennifer Peters, it’s no wonder they’ve found such success in their first year of business. She’s a power house.

Filled with positivity, a clear zest for life, and a vision to help heal others through food, Peters has recreated the once-dim space on 15th Street, to be bright and inviting with a palette of blues, green, and white. The walls are adorned with inspirational quotes from the likes of Rumi to Maya Angelou, infusing a feeling of mindfulness and peace when you enter.

I was surprised to learn Peters doesn’t have a background in food or restaurants. She is however, a smart businesswoman. She comes from corporate marketing. She worked on this idea as a class project when she was earning her MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. When her professors told her the idea had legs she realized it was a way for her to blend a lifelong love of food with her business acumen and take a leap into something new.

As Peters shared, “I’ve been on a food journey my entire life,” especially given she spent many years as a vegetarian and vegan so although she doesn’t personally have any food allergies, her work in finding the right food for her and her life, is personal.

Through her connections at Kellogg, the former CEO of Burger King, Brad Blum took her under his wing, encouraging her with the concept. When it came time to pick a city she would love, she looked at Portland, OR and Denver, finally landing on Denver to open her dream restaurant.

Just BE is a fast-casual paleo restaurant that truly focuses on 100% gluten free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free ingredients. They’re also 99% dairy-free.

The menu names remind me a little of Cafe Gratitude – names like the “Enchanted”, the “Wonder”, or the “Wholehearted” are some of their dish names.

Peters shared although they’re dairy and gluten-free focused, they still have interesting dishes that are hearty and fun like the Wowed chicken biscuit sandwich with gremolata, baconaise, arugula, and sweet potato salad or the Fulfilled, their infamous, hearty burrito with chicken, salsa verde, ‘cheddar wiz’, paleo tortilla, pork or veggie green chili, cilantro, scallion, and jalapeno. They of course have a breakfast burrito available.

Below is the Inspire Mediterranean Plate that has turmeric grain-free falafels, cauliflower hummus, gremolata, crunchy slaw, sweet potato salad, and house pickles. It’s a small touch, but I love the vibrant plates that are used at Just BE.

On the booze side of the house they have entirely gluten-free beer, grain-free tequila, vodka, and gin, a quinoa-based whiskey, and from FitVine, low-sugar wines.

They have a full coffee bar offering bullet coffees and a variety of lattes and tea drinks.

They also have a plethora of desserts like their Divine brownie trifle, a brownie with creme anglaise (pictured).

Here are some of my favorites worth highlighting:

  • The back patio is dog friendly! They also host special events out back like yoga or classes on various nutritional topics.
  • Everything on the menu – from breakfast to dinner items – is under $15. I think that’s quite a testament to providing ultimate value, for healthy, conscious food.
  • As healthy as Colorado is, Denver doesn’t have many restaurants that are as allergen-friendly as Just BE. They’re very flexible and supportive no matter your dietary preferences. They actually say on the menu, “Please ask for any modifications – we are happy to accomodate.”  They further label everyone on the menu with: vegetarian, vegetarian option, vegan, vegan option, egg free, nut free, and nut free option.
  • The free of refined sugar part is hard to do. Peters shared she worked hard on even finding alcohol or kombucha providers that were lowest in sugar and had no added sugar. There’s a lot of care and consideration that went into every menu item.
  • They have a special bone broth bar – very good for you, very laborious to make, thus hard to come by.
  • Their paleo tortillas are the best I’ve ever had. Peters shared they can’t keep them in the kitchen – people come just to buy loads of the almond-flour based delights. Just order one as a side with your dish because it’s so well done.

Find Them:

2364 15th St, Denver, CO 80202 | justbekitchen.com/ | Monday-Sunday 8 am. to 7 p.m. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Note: They recently started expanded their menu to offer dinner. Check them out at night to eat something healthy and fulfilling after work.

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