As new parents, Jenan and Bryant McClain wanted the best for their little one, Isla. But when the then-six-month-old started eating solids, the couple realized it was nearly impossible to find fresh, organic baby foods. Sure you could get jarred stuff at the grocery, but the McClains wanted garden-fresh and figured others did too. So, having moved back to the Lowcountry after six years in the Caribbean, they decided to roll the dice on a dream. “We cashed in our 401Ks, renovated a Mount Pleasant building, and within three months opened Purée, an organic café and baby goods store,” says Jenan.
The gamble worked. Stop in any afternoon and you’re likely to find as many tots eating “baby bowls,” such as purées of roasted apple and fennel, as you are groups of adults indulging in organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan wraps, salads, and entrées.
But don’t let the buzzwords scare you. “Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to be flavorless,” says Jenan. Chef Maureen McNellis, a Natural Gourmet Institute grad, incorporates produce from Joseph Fields and Thornhill farms into a delicious menu of whole food choices, including a vegan chocolate chip cookie so good it would make the Kebler elves blush.
For the infant or adult, health conscious or flavor focused, the McClains’ goal is the same, says Jenan: “We want to serve food that’s as tasty as it is good for you.”