In November 2019, Amsterdam-based husband-and-wife duo, Rich and Laura Holoday, who own the Smoothie Shoppe, launched a new business to make their delicious, fresh smoothies even more accessible to customers. The business was Detox Box Delivered, through which the couple has been sending ready-to-blend smoothies to homes all over the Northeast. The fact that COVID-19 hit just months after the launch, causing all manner of food delivery services to explode in popularity, gave the business an added boost. Now, with COVID pretty much in the rearview mirror, the Holodays have once again expanded their healthy empire, this time, with an apple cider vinegar brand called Awakened Tonics.
“Awakened Tonics was inspired by a good friend’s grandfather, ‘Grandpa Miller,'” Laura says. “He was widely known as the local holistic medicine man, who spent his life learning Native American health practices and holistic medicine from world-renowned practitioners.” One of Grandpa Miller’s famous elixirs was “The Hot Stuff,” an apple cider vinegar tonic he swore boosted the immune system, healed the body and made people live longer. But did it actually work? “His son was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer and decided he did not want to go through chemotherapy, as his chances to survive were slim,” Laura says. “Grandpa Miller put him on a strict whole-foods diet centered around healing herbs, roots, fruits and vegetables. The Hot Stuff was on his daily regimen. His son was given six months to live, but ended up beating the cancer and is still alive and well today.”
Before Grandpa Miller died—in his mid 90s, might we add—Rich and Laura got their hands on some of his recipes and started experimenting. Awakened Tonics currently comes in three flavors: Spiced (which tastes like apple pie), Island Sunrise (a tropical pineapple blend) and Straight Fire (Grandpa Miller’s original recipe, which is similar to a virgin Bloody Mary). A fourth flavor—the Vitamin C–packed Sizzurp, made with elderberries—is currently in the works. Each of the tonics is 100 percent organic and freshly made in small batches each week.
For those new to apple cider vinegar slurping, Laura recommends taking in two–four ounces of her tonics per day. They can be drunk straight, mixed with water or even incorporated into salad dressings.
You can pick up Awakened Tonics at the Spa City Farmers’ Market every Sunday from 10am–2pm, but Laura recommends getting there earlier rather than later: All three flavors sold out the first three weeks they were at the market.