The Pharmacy Cafe Opens in Santa Rosa

Food is love. Food is happiness. And now, food is medicine?

Eating healthy, whole, unmodified and unprocessed food to heal our bodies isn’t exactly a new idea, but it’s one that’s coming back to the forefront as diabetes, heart disease and cancers related to sugary, fatty Western diets become epidemic.

Chef Jennifer McMurry at The Pharmacy in Santa Rosa (Erica Olsson Photography)

And that’s the mission behind The Pharmacy cafe — thoughtfully-crafted foods that nourish and enrich, rather than deplete our bodies.

“I’m not a doctor,” says co-owner Kim Bourdet, “But people just don’t understand what’s in their food and drinks — where it’s coming from or what’s going into their body,” she adds.

Carrot cake at The Pharmacy in Santa Rosa. (Heather Irwin)

That’s why she and Chef Jennifer McMurry (formerly of Viola Pastry Cafe) have created a breakfast and lunch menu of food with a conscience. Not-so-ironically at a former pharmacy at Brookwood and Sonoma Ave.

Croque Madame at The Pharmacy in Santa Rosa. (heather irwin)

Brilliant yellow egg salad sandwiches are made with rEvolution fermented sourdough bread (a BiteClub fave), eggs from White Whale Farm (the owners of Pug’s Leap cheese) and Jennifer’s own lemon aioli. There’s water kefir from The Kefiry on tap, Bella Rosa coffee and espressos, lassis made with turmeric, ginger and homemade organic almond milk (now an obsession of mine), a luxurious chop salad with house-roasted chicken, or tiny jars of lemon curd with meringue. In the morning, carrot loaf with homemade cream cheese is a favorite, and the carrot cake with cream cheese? Decadent without the sugar high.

Kim Bourdet and Jennifer McMurry at The Pharmacy in Santa Rosa (Erica Olsson Photography)

Kim and Jennifer look for producers with passion, ingredients without GMOs, gluten-free alternatives and portions that satisfy rather than stuff.

It’s not diet food, mind you, but food that you can feel good about eating.

The sunny interior of The Pharmacy cafe in Santa Rosa. (Erica Olsson Photography)

Right now, everything is grab-and-go, making it a perfect quick pitstop that won’t leave you with an afternoon of regret. The duo plan for special dinners, nutrition and cooking classes and much more. Next week, I’ll be doing a deeper dive into The Pharmacy and other “healing foods” restaurants popping up in Sonoma County, so stay tuned.

Focaccia with pea shoots, asparagus and cream cheese at The Pharmacy. (Heather Irwin)

The Pharmacy, 990 Sonoma Ave. #1, Santa Rosa, open 7a.m. to 3p.m. weekdays, closed Saturday and Sunday.

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