Spoon got the chance to interview Nick Pace, one of the owners and founders of Nooks & Kindles. Nooks & Kindles is a popular juice and açaí bar with several locations in Nassau County, Long Island. They always use all organic ingredients, which makes me happy to know that what I'm eating not only tastes good, but is good for me. 

Carlie Littman

A little bit about Nick

Nick's full name is Nick Pace. Some of his favorite foods are pizza, "really good" chocolate, ice cream, pancakes, açaí bowls, sushi and peanut butter.  Nick was an elementary education major. He spent a few years out of college modeling and acting. He has always loved making smoothies and juices (he tries to have once healthy juice every day). 

Q & A

Spoon: Where did you get the name Nooks & Kindles from?

NP: The name Nooks & Kindles is really an extension of my personal life. The name is a play-on of my name, Nick, and my business partner's name, Kendall. 

Carlie Littman

S: What brought about the idea to bring açaí bowls to Long Island?  

NP: I have always been really into healthy food that tastes good, and I had searched for places around here, but there was really nothing. Whenever I wanted a good, healthy smoothie, I'd have to go all the way to New York City. I first tried an açaí bowl in 2013 when I took a trip to San Diego. I instantly fell in love with it and knew it was something that would be a hit if it were brought to the East Coast. 

S: How did you open your first juice bar?

NP: Actually, Kendall used to work at Delicacies in the town of Roslyn, and she was talking with the owners about how there was an empty space in the store and they wanted to do something with it. The owners mentioned possibly a smoothie bar, but they weren't sure. So Kendall came to me, and we ran with it. Kendall and I had always loved making healthy smoothies and juices, so when the opportunity presented itself, we just couldn't say no.

S: What was the time frame of opening the juice bar?

NP: It was spring of 2014, and we had about a six month period of experimenting with buyers and recipes. We officially opened in Delicacies on November 1, 2014.  

S: What is your favorite item on the menu? Why?

NP: Oh, that has to be the açaí bowl. Probably because it is so versatile. If I just went to work out, I can add chocolate vegan protein, or if I don't want a lot of carbs, I can take out the granola and add nuts. It can be modified to fit any function. There are so many cool combinations that a lot of our customers like to try. 

Carlie Littman

S: What lesson did you learn throughout the process that you'd like to share with future entrepreneurs?

NP: It's hard to be a business owner. It is so time consuming, so you really need to have a passion for what you're doing. You eat, sleep and breathe the company, and sometimes it's hard to separate it from your personal life. You need to learn to coexist with it always being with you. 

S: What's your favorite part of the whole experience?

NP: The feedback from the community. There was a need for a place like Nooks & Kindles in the area. It's such a crazy good feeling when people order something like the Polar Bear smoothie because at one point it was just an idea in my kitchen. 

S: What do you think is the next step for Nooks & Kindles? Will you open your own storefront?

NP: I don't know if I want to open our own storefront. I like what we do now, and I don't think it's necessary for us to have our own store. We really only have four products: smoothies, juices, açaí bowls, and wheatgrass, and we don't need an entire store to sell that. I'd just like to continue filling empty spaces in other stores like we do right now, in areas where there aren't many options. I'd love to open something in Westchester. 

Carlie Littman

S: What is the overall message of Nooks & Kindles? What do you want to share with the Spoon University readers?

NP: "Everything is 100% organic". We are always transparent with our customers. It's important to us that although organic may be a bit pricier, the ingredients are much better quality and it's fueling your body.

"Perfectly balanced". Everything is healthy, but the flavor combinations are made for them to taste good.

"Mindfully created". All our ingredients have a purpose. Rather than regular sugar and sweeteners, we use organic raw sugar because they have enzymes and minerals. Regular sugar would taste the same, but it's not doing anything for your body. There's a method to our madness. 

Nooks & Kindles is wildly successful on Long Island, and they are loved by many people in the community. No matter what is in store for Nooks & Kindles in the future, I'm sure they will continue to gain the community's support.  I can't wait to see what's in store for them. Check out their menu and locations here.