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HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Café

Food that's impactful

It's not always easy to convince people that eating healthy can change their lives. And it's not easy being a small business owner. But Monika Kinsman (pictured) is a determined woman who has risen above the difficulties and created a loyal following for her gluten-free, plant-based and delicious juices and meals.

Over ten years ago, Monika's mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Monika accompanied her when she went to a health institute to see how she could beat the odds. They learned about healing from food and how critical raw foods can be. Her mom has now been cancer-free for 10 years; she had surgery to remove the malignancy, but never had chemo or radiation. It was all about diet change. Monika thought, "Someone should open a restaurant with this kind of food in Seattle." And then she did, 10 years ago on December 17, 2008, and she called it Thrive.

"HeartBeet's food is about 85% organic, primarily raw except for the soups and grain dishes. Food is fresh, live and enzyme-rich. "We're very careful about the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15," explains Monika. "For example, our greens, strawberries, and most of our veggies are organic, as well as our nuts, spices, and many other items. What's not are avocados, ginger, and sometimes fresh young Thai coconuts, which we crack open ourselves for our pies, soups, and smoothies. We also make our own almond and oat milk from scratch."

She has created her own recipes and also uses those that her staff members dream up. "We refine them over the years and I change the menu every few months, removing things that aren't selling well, and adding new dishes." Her favorites and customer favorites often overlap. "My favorite bowl is the Buddha Bowl and it's the most popular as well," she says. "The original yum smoothie is the Coconutty with fresh young coconut meat and water, cashews, dates and pink Himalayan salt. The Peanut Butter Cup is a very popular smoothie also. You can choose from five protein options. My favorite juice is Northern Light with apple, basil, lime, cilantro, celery and ginger." Anti-viral and immune-boosting. Who could resist when it tastes great and does this much good?

Thai bowl

Their juice club is $100 per month. Customers get eight 32-ounce jars a month-two gallons of fresh juice. The juice stays fresh for three days, so depending on how the customer is using it informs how much they take at any given time. "Some people come in every other day and get a jar, some get two jars at a time, some more. Our juice cleanse program is for people doing a concentrated cleanse for three days: no food, just four jars of fresh juice per day. People might do this once or twice a year. It gives your digestive system a break, eliminating fiber and adding nutrients." The Club is really a maintenance program and saves time for people, so they don't have to buy all the ingredients, juice at home, clean up, and do over. It's all about convenience.

They also offer alkaline, ionized water which helps fight the three main causes of disease, premature aging and sickness (acidosis, dehydration and free radicals). "People come in and fill their 5-gallon water jugs in our Water Wellness Program and can pick up unlimited water for just $30 per month."

Monika has also started a spin-off company called Pure Pies. These are sold at HeartBeet as well as other restaurants. Pies are gluten-free and vegan. Think Chocolate Mousse Torte, Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel, Key Lime Eclipse, Tiramisu Magic (another customer favorite), Pumpkin Eclipse, Truffles, Raw Energy Orbs, and dipped Macaroons.

Despite the benefits of the juices and food and her great ideas, the past ten years haven't been easy. When the light rail station construction began right at her location, it stopped business. She almost had to close and determined the best way to stay alive was to sell the name Thrive to another company. That's when her business was renamed HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Café. She thought she was safe, then the City of Seattle removed the parking in front of her shop to create bike lanes. "We're a unique business in that a large portion of our business is take out: people call in and pre-order or stop by to pick up. I did a little research and found that 80% of our customers parked briefly in front of the shop. Without that parking, our business went down. Our mantra is convenience, and this was not convenient."


Her second five-year lease was coming to an end and the landlord wanted her to sign for another five years. "I couldn't do it, there's no way without that parking in front. I looked around and found that 'Zaw was leaving their Queen Anne location. A few years ago, about the same time we redid our interior, 'Zaw redid theirs. It's very similar with white subway tile, and similar flooring. Our demographic is 65% women. Queen Anne is an established neighborhood, with plenty of pedestrians, and there is parking. I'm fourth generation Seattle and went to McClure Middle School on Queen Anne. I'm also a fourth generation entrepreneur. The Queen Anne location will be more focused on carry out with just eight seats inside vs. the 20 we have now. We also deliver through third party companies, so people can order online." The Roosevelt location closed on November 30 and Queen Anne opened on December 1.

Monika has been a vegetarian for 22 years. Prior to opening HeartBeet, she worked in tech, policing, and organization development. Her dream is for HeartBeet to eventually be "everywhere" and for everyone in America to "be hooked on superfoods."

"We want HeartBeet to be a second home for people on Queen Anne who want to be nourished; it's food that's impactful with no empty calories. That's why we call it superfood, of course!"

HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Café
1635 Queen Anne Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98109

N'ice cream bowl

Photos courtesy of HeartBeet

HeartBeet is planning a Grand Opening and 10-year Anniversary Party on January 1, 2019 from 11AM-8PM.

Connie Adams/December 2018

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