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Posted on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

Juicy Kitchen: Healthful cafe to open on Ann Arbor's North Maple next week

By Lizzy Alfs


Susan and George Todoroff of Juicy Kitchen cafe, which is opening on North Maple Road next week.

Melanie Maxwell |

When Susan Todoroff opens her Juicy Kitchen cafe on Ann Arbor’s North Maple Street next week, she wants to show her customers that healthful food really can be delicious.

As a former personal trainer who also went to culinary school, Todoroff wants to provide nutritious and gourmet food in a warm environment.

“I really wanted a place where you could go to get a really good latte and a really good, healthy breakfast,” she said.

“I want to be a little neighborhood place here on the west side of Ann Arbor.”

Juicy Kitchen officially opens at 6:30 a.m. Jan. 16. It’s replacing Maple Gardens Chinese restaurant at 1506 N. Maple Rd. in a shopping center just north of Miller Avenue.

“We’re a little tiny place, outside of downtown,” Todoroff explained. “I like the fact that we’re this little out-of-the-way gem. I like to find the quirky, little place that not everybody knows about.”

Todoroff teaches spinning classes at Vie Fitness & Spa in downtown Ann Arbor, and she’s been preparing salads for the fitness center for several years. Two and a half years ago, she started a home delivery food business, also called Juicy Kitchen, which now has a steady client base. Todoroff said she delivers meals to 40 to 50 families each week.

“I always had in the back of my mind that I’d like to have a little storefront,” she said.

When the cafe opens next week, Todoroff said she will continue the home delivery business, but hopes to gradually fade that out to focus on the brick-and-mortar business.

“(Home delivery) is my source of revenue right now,” she said. “But it’s a lot of logistics…if the (cafe) gets going and we do a lot of catering, I would like to gradually eliminate home delivery.”

Because Todoroff’s husband, George, renovated the cafe space, they were able to keep costs low. She furnished with a mix of items, like church pews from Materials Unlimited.

The Juicy Kitchen cafe menu features many locally sourced and fresh ingredients, prepared by chef Dan Vernia. The cafe will be open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and there will be a refrigerator stocked with carryout options. There is also seating inside the cafe.

The menu will change regularly, but some current menu items include breakfast sliders made with local eggs, fresh veggies and wheat focaccia bread from Avalon; whole grain baked goods; a blood orange and quinoa salad; chicken dumpling soup; vegan chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries; and a tarragon chicken sandwich with dried cranberries and toasted pecans.

There are vegan, vegetarian and some gluten-free options. The cafe also uses coffee from Ann Arbor’s Mighty Good.

“Everything we have is healthy,” Todoroff said. “Everything you read, we’re supposed to eat whole grains and we’re supposed to eat fruits and vegetables. It’s so hard to go out to eat and find that.”

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Jon Carlson

Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Wow , this place is awesome. Great and easy location and healthy tasting food!

LR Bergeron

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 6:25 p.m.

Great idea! Kudos to the Todoroffs. It is so hard to find healthly, yet tasty options these days, so this is wonderful.

LR Bergeron

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Great idea! Kudos to the Todoroffs. It is so hard to find healthly, yet tasty options these days, so this is wonderful. LR Bergeron


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

I had lunch here today, and all I can say is DELICOIUS!

say it plain

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

Ooh, not yet familiar with this food, but the linked menu and *pictures* of the dishes especially look very nice indeed! Hope they taste as good as they look. Prices are about what any vendor of foods like these charge, aren't they? So, they fit squarely in the spendy "yuppy-food" niche as some here have called it lol. But, if they purport to be truly concerned about 'health', I have more of an issue with their use and non-use of organic ingredients. Local is all well and good, but if it's not organic isn't that still undesirable from a health perspective? Specifically, as I understand it, there are some foods that one should always eat organic. Peppers, spinach, potatoes, apples, grapes, berries, leafy greens generally, for instance. It's nice to use organic grains, but those don't tend to make the list of 'dirty' ingredients when not sourced organically. Also, there is lately good evidence that corn-products should be organic if you want to avoid a couple of categories of nasty pesticide residues, and meats/dairy/high-fat-containing products as well.

Susan Todoroff

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 8:24 a.m.

Thanks so much for your comments! I'm going to look into buying organic on those products. Since organic is pricier, I wonder if people would be willing to pay for it. It's worth an experiment. Look for more organic coming on the menu soon...

say it plain

Sun, Jan 13, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

Seriously people, it's like a weird dirty bit of blind-spot in the whole 'healthy eating' scene... I bet a lot of folks are very careful about buying only organic on the foods that are considered to be the 'dirtiest' by organizations that find high levels of pesticide residues on them. But so few eateries/prepared-foods-purveyors actually offer organic versions of these particular foods; I find it rather odd. I know that if someone would offer soups and salads and stews made with organics on those 'dirty' products I could whole-heartedly purchase them regularly, but as it stands it's only a sometimes thing given that I'm told that it's not very healthful to eat conventional spinach, peppers, potatoes, apples, etc... Oh well...

5c0++ H4d13y

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

Right around the corner from us. We'll give it a try.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4 p.m.

So glad to see something like this in this part of town. The menu sounds really interesting. Finally don't have to trek to downtown and navigate through crowded parking lots. Can't wait to check it out.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 3:51 p.m. side of town! Glad they are serving breakfast. My daughter will love the vegetarian options.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

Sounds so good and the icing on the cake is coffee from Mighty Good....Wow, can't wait!

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

Mighty Good is a matter of taste.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

This is wonderful news. Susan is an amazing cook (as well as writer an yoga teacher) and Juicy Kitchen's food is delicious, creative, and soooo yummy. I wish you well!

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

Best of luck. Unfortunately I am on the opposite side of town. I got a chuckle at " "We're a little tiny place..." When I used to say that my mom would chastise me for being redundant. Now that she's gone I can say it all I want. ;)


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

Maple/Miller Plaza was in need of a healthy cafe! Can't wait to visit!


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 7:56 a.m.

Hurray!! Now I can go to another vegetarian friendly place on the west side! Any connection to the Todoroff coney family in Jackson MI?

Susan Todoroff

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

No connection, but we get asked that all the time! Susan


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 5:07 a.m.

I'll be by! Excellent idea.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4:44 a.m.

Good luck but sorry, I am not into healthy foods. Where is the nearest White Castle? Need my gut bombs.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

You're able to use a web browser, but you can't find the nearest White Castle?


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 7:58 a.m.

Bomb is the perfect word for White Castle atomic artery bomb...ROE!

Jonathan Blutarsky

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4:43 a.m.

Nice - kind of like Beezy's for Ann Arbor.

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 3:51 a.m.

Looks great! Finally something promising in our neck of the woods!


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

I look forward to checking this place out. Good luck to them.

Abby Rosenbaum

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

I'm absolutely thrilled to see this opening near my home! can't wait to try it!


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

Oh, now I see the link to the website -- the prices seem quite reasonable to me!


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:02 a.m.

Good to see something new on this side of town, and I can't wait for healthy food + good coffee! Not sure where the commenter got the idea about prices, but good, healthy food is worth it.

Kristin Judge

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 11:46 p.m.

Congratulations Susan and George! So happy for you and all of us who get another great locally owned place to eat. I have ordered from the home delivery many times, and the quaility has always been superb. Can't wait to come to the cafe!


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

Good luck with your venture....just be aware that area has been plagued by business blight for well over a decade. Most things don't do well in that location. I'm sorry but I don't foresee this ending well for them because of both location and the demographic their food is being aimed at.

say it plain

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

I think with Skyline nearby now they might buck the trend in that location. Plus that area might be *exactly* the right place for a healthy-trendy place, if they're careful about their pricing. You know, Westside Ann Arbor for the pseudo-hippie vibe, but the areas immediately adjacent tend to be income-challenged relative to the old-westside crowd.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

But with Skyline over there now and Plum Market, things might be different. I, for one, would welcome something in this area where I could stop by and pick up breakfast before work on a crazy day.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4:50 a.m.

There are restaurants in less than perfect areas that are very successful. Northside and Sidetrack are two such restaurants.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 2:59 a.m.

And just what is it that makes you an expert in this matter? You live near there? Please explain the demographic to us! Is it so much different than Plum Market? I bet you were one of the naysayers concerning plum market. There were plenty discounting the future of Plum Market. And they too were WRONG! Do you spend a lot of time in that area?


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:40 p.m.

If I eat there everyday, will I be beautiful like Susan? :)

Susan Todoroff

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Dawn, I don't know who you are, but I love you!


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:40 p.m.

I have one question....Why Not Dexter!!!? I would really welcome a place like this over here...still waiting for the pizza avalanche to subside though. I would love to see a combination healthy food restaurant/market. I would pay the price for good local food, grass fed beef, free range chicken and imagination in ingredients. I keep reading about these great places, but none of them are here. We will be sure to venture east to try Juicy Cafe though....


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

Yes, I would love a place like this in Dexter. Maybe you could teach Foggy Bottom how to do it and go in with them.


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 8 a.m.

Too much pizza in Manchester too! LOL!


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

Yes, way too much pizza in Dexter. We need more veggies out this way!

Susan Todoroff

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

I just want to clarify that Cafe salads start at $7 - $8, and entrees are a bit lower than stated as well. Lizzy quoted the home delivery prices in which salads are large enough for two people to split. Sorry for the confusion! Susan Todoroff - Owner, Juicy Kitchen

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 11:26 p.m.

Thank you Susan! I removed that.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

So glad you corrected that! Delivery charges initiate higher prices.

Bryan Ellinger

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:26 p.m.

The menu items are creative, and look tasty. Promoting the menu as generally healthful is uninformed. They seem to be mostly following an outdated, high-carb, low-fat, food-pyramid concept of "healthful" food. That, and the so-called no-nitrate bacon. It's more like not-sure-how-much-nitrate bacon. ( It's fascinating that they are willing to spend top dollar on skim milk when whole milk actually tastes like, you know, milk. The soups and salads look decent. It's great that George was able to do the remodeling. Best of luck to the proprietors in their new yuppie-food venture.

Susan Todoroff

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

You are hilarious! I had to look up what "dench" meant! I really hope to meet you - come in on Monday or Tuesday for Friends & Family days - we're practicing our menu - love to meet you!

Bryan Ellinger

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

Susan, Thanks for your response. It's good to know that you've not given up on whole milk. It will go so well with your oatmeal on one of my carb-load days! P.S. My yuppie remark wasn't directed at you and George personally. Yuppies may not be your target demographic (are you going for urban hippies?), but they are going to say, "the Juicy K is dench."


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

Bryan, I don't eat wheat, soy or low fat dairy. I think it's more important to slack off on the sugar. But maybe they will improve healthwise as time goes on. We do eat bacon....just not a lot of bacon.

Susan Todoroff

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

Thanks for your comments, Bryan. I'm promoting whole grain good carbs, and laying low on white carbs. There's nothing wrong with carbs if they are whole grain. We offer skim milk for those who want lower calories, but we definitely have whole milk - from Calder's and it' delicious. Our bacon is local and our farmer told us she does not cure her bacon with nitrates - it has a shorter shelf life and we have to keep it frozen, and I believe her. It's funny you call us yuppies - we're well into our 50s and are way past the yuppie stage! Hope you give us a try! Susan


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 9:59 p.m.

Looking forward to this!


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

Sounds way too healthy for me... give me grease, fat, red meat anytime. Won`t be going there

Richard Carter

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

Too bad it's so hard to find high-calorie greasy breakfasts. I wish you luck on your endeavor.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:43 p.m.

Old Guy, you won't be going there but I think I do know where your will be going before your time if that's your normal diet. Bryan, a sprouted grain bun would do the trick with the egg, spinach, and bacon. Yum!

Bryan Ellinger

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:28 p.m.

How about an egg slider with cheese, spinach, and bacon? It's got all three. The only problem is the bun.

EMU Prof

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

I wish them the best and am glad to see them there. But I'm with you.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

so excited...can't wait! welcome to the neighborhood!


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

If any restaurant entrepreneurs want to try a concept like this (which sounds great), please come over and open just such a place next to the arboretum somewhere. The neighborhood would flock there. Please!


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4:33 p.m.

Is there any commercial-zoned space next to the Arb?

Chip Reed

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

I think "next to the arboretum somewhere" is a pricier area than Maple-Miller. Perhaps zoning would be an issue as well. Other than that, it sounds like a nice idea...

Linda Peck

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 9:16 p.m.

How great for the west side! I will definitely be visiting for a taste!

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 9:16 p.m.

Sounds fantastic and looking forward to visiting!


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

Looking forward to trying it. Anthonys is already a hidden gem, there could be a couple of them in this spot. Seriously try any of Anthonys wraps. Made to order including the wrap . . . Unbeatable deal for $6


Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4:44 a.m.

Is that the same Anthony's that had a pizza store across Glenn from the medical campus about 15-20 years ago?


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 11:41 p.m.

Anthony's has survived there for only one reason though.....they were a LONG established pizza place for decades when they were in the Georgetown Mall. They definitely had an established client base of hundreds (maybe thousands) by the time they opened their location there.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

Their menu looks absolutely wonderful. I love seeing cooks who grasp that healthy, fresh, and local can also be delicious. I can't wait until they open.

Karen Hart

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

The food sounds good, but a bit pricey. Those of us with little disposable income won't be able to call it a drop-by spot on a regular basis. Too bad.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

Well not everyplace has a dollar menu. Homemade nutritious food made with quality ingredients sometimes is more than a dollar.

Susan Todoroff

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

Karen, thanks for your comments! The prices listed are my home delivery prices. The cafe prices are lower- salads start at $7 and soups at 6.50. The breakfast sliders start at $5 and they are a good size and very filling. I hope you give us a chance! Susan

Always Amazed

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

I'd love it if they would post the nutritional/calorie content either in the restaurant or on the website. I can't wait to try it!

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

She does post estimated calorie counts on the website for the home delivery food. She mentioned she'd probably leave off those counts at the cafe, though.

Susan Lignell

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

Congratulations Juicy Kitchen! I can't wait until the cafe opens next week. When I peeked in the cafe last weekend I could see the warm environment that you've created and the menu looks great. I think your cafe will be a big success with the health conscious foodies in A2.

Laura Meisler

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Welcome to the neighborhood and best of luck! Cant' wait to try.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

This looks great! Looking forward to giving it a try.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:12 p.m.

this sounds good. going to check it out.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

Wonderful!! Love to have more little eateries on this side of town! I can't wait to try it! Good Luck!!!

vicki honeyman

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

yay susie and george!!!