“When we moved down here from New York City in 2012, it was basically pizza and Chinese food everywhere. I really missed just being able to just go out and get healthy food. I was juicing at home, and my family was only eating the cleanest foods you could find.
“We are social people, but there were not any options for the kind of food we desired when we would eat out. So we decided to do something about that, and that is how Ocean Organics was born, in 2013. It was slow for people to get our concept at first, but the more we evolved, the more we have developed a meaningful connection to the people who come to our three locations in Jackson, Toms River and Seaside Park.
“Having children, in general, you want them to eat the healthiest foods possible, but with our second child, Emerson, it became crucial. Sometime around 14 months we noticed he stopped responding to his name. The second thing we noticed was around the same time he completely dissociated from himself. He would not look at himself in the mirror anymore, for example. Before that happened, we would make funny faces to each other, and he would play along, but then it just completely stopped. It was scary, because you don’t want to think it’s autism right away.
“He was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with autism. Overall it is pretty much communication-based for him. When he was diagnosed, his communication was at a 9-month-old level. Fast forward to now, at 5 years old, and he can read and write, and even write in English and Spanish. Even though he doesn’t say the words out loud, he has like a photographic memory. Things have developed in ways that don’t make sense for us, but to him makes complete sense.
“He is best friends with his sisters. They cuddle up on the couch and read books, the oldest really looks out for him, and will speak for him. That’s the thing, Emerson is a thinking, speaking, feeling little child, and we have the responsibility to be a voice for him, and Arden, our oldest, does that so well for him.
“With Emerson – and our entire family – what we eat is so important for us. It is so important to have a place like ours where families can just come and eat and know their kids will get the cleanest, healthiest food possible, and not have to worry. We moved away from dairy and meat, and now just make the healthiest, cleanest, whole foods possible with minimal amount of processing.
“We are creative in the way we make our foods. We have desserts and make them tasty using minimal sugar and alternative sweeteners. Like sweet potato black bean tacos or the cashew cheese we make, for example. It sounds really simple, but the ingredients and seasonings come together really well. And the people who come here love the food.
“Our customers are such amazing people. I really feel like every person who comes in here is a friend, even the ones who come in for the first time. It is all about the people we serve here, and helping them get the best food they could possibly want for the healthy lives they desire. It is what I want for my family, and what I want for every person who comes in here. I am on a mission: I want people to know they don’t have to be afraid of healthy food. You can eat clean and it can be delicious. And I really believe the people who come in here feel that with us.”
(You can find the amazing food of Ocean Organics -my personal favorite healthy restaurant at the Jersey Shore- at any of these three locations):
570 Fischer Blvd
21 South Hope Chapel Road
1411 NW Central Ave
You can also follow them on Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/