Daily Harvest Offers New Frozen Treats to Beat the Heat
Daily Harvest Cafe has added fresh frozen yogurt with real fruit topping to the menu.
The Daily Harvest Cafe opened in 2007 and has been a lunchtime staple ever since.
Danvers Patch caught up with owner Brittany Raesly to find out what's new at the cafe, and discovered there will be quite a few more reasons to go there.
Why did you want to open Daily Harvest?
I owned The Daily Bagel in the Cummings Center when I was 24, for 10 years, and I never imagined selling it - I loved the business. But someone offered to buy it and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I took a year off to spend with my family, then found the property in Danvers and invested in it.
What makes The Daily Harvest Cafe different?
I think we’re different because of the ingredients we use. I have an option when buying things like the cheese; most places go for the least expensive, so they make larger profits. I feel like spending the extra 50 cents is better because people want to know what they are putting in their body is healthy.
What has made the cafe so successful?
When people come in to try it, they love what they taste. Then they see the menu and all these interesting ingredients, so they come back to try something new.
What is the best compliment you've received?
The best compliment that I've gotten was recently. We were featured on the cover of Northshore Magazine. They went around to a bunch of restaurants on the Northshore to pick the 10 best burger joints; they chose our shop as the feature picture on the cover.
What will customers be enjoying next at The Daily Harvest Cafe?
Well, we have brought in our own brand of frozen yogurt called Harvest Berry. We are the first of the Northshore to have it, outside of Boston; I have yet to find another place in the Northshore, so we are the pioneer of the new craze. It's really popular on the west coast, like in L.A., and it tastes like a sweet Greek yogurt. With live active cultures in it, it’s really healthy for you, and we have fresh fruit toppings for it.
We don't have ice cream anymore. We stopped doing it last year because the food was taking off, and the window just took up too much space. So, this is a smaller scale, but we are still able to offer frozen desserts, and it aligns with our values because its healthy. It worked out great.
The fresh fruit toppings we use are whatever is in season; for instance, today it's fresh mango, strawberry and blueberries. I'm hoping blackberries and raspberries are affordable soon, so we can start to offer those too.
Before I brought it into the cafe, I went out to New York City first to try it out, and became addicted. We went to all the little yogurt shops there, trying out the mango and kiwi, all the fun fruits. Then I was dragging my kids into Boston to get it; my husband thought I was insane! So, finally we invented our own recipe, and got the machine and now I have it every day. We use milk from Richardsons Dairy, which is local, and organic yogurt -- and that's all I can tell you!
I don't think a lot of people know about the yogurt, we’re relying on word of mouth and in-store signage.
Who decorated the interior of the cafe?
I did it. I think I drove my contractor Bill McKenzie crazy because I kept changing my mind on the fixtures. I was nervous I was making mistakes, but then I would go back to my gut instincts. I think it turned out really nice. On the outside, my husband and I worked with an architect and brought out all our favorite ideas, then Bill McKenzie helped bring it all together and make it our own.
Did you get approval for a liquor license?
We went before town meeting over a year ago and were approved for a liquor license, but there are a few more steps involved. Rep. Ted Speliotis is working diligently for us, and his office is doing everything they can to bring it to fruition. Having beer and wine to offer our customers will be nice.
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
My favorite thing is just creating and trying out new items to see what people like and don't like -- when I see a customer enjoying themselves, whether it's their first time or their 10th time, it makes me to happy -- I guess I'm a people pleaser.
Brittany Raesly, of Danvers, is a married mom of two kids: fourth grader Chloe, 10, and first grader Caleb, 7. When asked what her children think about the cafe, she says: "They love my shop. They’re spoiled now; my daughter refuses to buy the school lunch and instead insists her lunch come from Daily Harvest -- the teachers love to see what her lunch is each day, but my son could care less. He’s fine with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."