M & Love Cafe Brings Fresh New Options to North Manhattan
Jun 08, 2019 11:41AM
● By Jeanne Fratello
Martin and Mymy Greenrod of M & Love Cafe
A healthful local eatery with an international flair, M & Love Cafe is the newest addition to the lively scene on Highland Ave. in North Manhattan Beach.
The cafe offers a plant-based and gluten-free menu with both sweet and savory grab-and-go offerings.
M & Love Cafe is the brainchild of Martin and Mymy Greenrod, two restaurant and food service veterans with more than 30 years' experience between them. The couple, who met while working in Bali, traveled around the world researching plant-based menus before they settled on their new spot on Highland Ave.
According to Mymy, the couple had already fallen in love with Manhattan Beach, and had first tried to acquire another location that didn't pan out. Finally, on the day that they found out that they were expecting their first child, and the need to find a storefront became "more pressing," they happened to spot a rental sign at the current location.
Mymy said, "We put it out to the universe. And then we came across the rental sign, and it was as if it was meant to be. Everything worked out and it just flowed - that's when you know it's right."
The cafe opened its doors just a week ago and is currently working at about 20 percent of its full menu, according to Martin, and will be fully ramped up by the end of June.
The cafe offers plant-based and gluten free baked goods, as well as some juices, smoothies, salads and other prepared items. In front of the counter, where you might normally see chips, is a row of popcorn for healthier snacking. Everything is made in-house.
"We're both plant-based, and I'm gluten-free," said Mymy. "The goal was to create that and share it with other people."
Mymy continued, "One day I might want a salad, and one day I might want a gooey muffin and a latte. That's life - it's a rainbow of things. And we want to be able to offer that mix."
"It's really an extension of what we eat at home," added Martin.
(Editor's note: On Friday, which happened to be National Donut Day, the cafe was featuring a special vegan chocolate donut with blue frosting made from "BlueMajik" - an extract of spirulina with a stunning blue hue. The donut was rich and chocolate-y....and the non-vegan friends we shared it with agreed that it was delicious and that they would never have guessed that it was vegan or gluten-free.)
The neighborhood has been extremely receptive to the offerings, said Mymy. "People are happy that there's a healthier option," she said. "They're especially excited about the gluten-free part."
As the cafe continues to expand its menu, the Greenrods have a larger vision for M & Love. According to Martin, the couple hopes to expand the brand to incorporate all aspects of nourishing the soul, mind, and body - which may include earth-friendly apparel and yoga or meditation classes.
"It's really more than a cafe for us - it's a lifestyle," he said.
M & Love Cafe is located at 3319 Highland Ave. in Manhattan Beach. The store is currently open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. By the end of the month the hours will expand to 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekends.