Kacie Carter is one of the founders and owners of Honey Hi, one of LA's newest and most-talked about restaurants! We met Kacie in December at Echo Park Craft Fair, where our booths were set up across from each other. We found that she not only makes incredibly tasty, healthy food—she's also a super friendly, down-to-earth and generally an all-around awesome person! We were really excited when Honey Hi decided to carry Canyon on their shelves, because it meant we'd get to spend more time with Kacie (...while eating their delicious bowls and cookies).
Food and awesomeness aside, we also relate with and admire Kacie as a fellow entrepreneur. Like her, we are in our late 20's and started our business in October. We were curious to hear more about Kacie's story and how she balances life and work, so we went over to her charming house in Echo Park to make coffee with her (and her cats: Kevin and Gus). Our friend Brandon also joined us and snapped all the photos.
Read on to learn more about Kacie and see the coffee recipe she made us!
C+A: What's your morning ritual and routine:
K: My morning routine used to be a lot more elaborate before starting a restaurant—I’ve had to simplify a lot. I always start my morning with a big handful of vitamins (several strains of probiotics, vitamins D & K2, adaptogenic adrenal support, glutathione and a few others are always in my daily stack). I practice ashtanga yoga most days of the week (at 6am) and then rush to work. I try to make myself an herbal coffee with lots of collagen, healthy fats and medicinal mushrooms as soon as I get to Honey Hi. If I don’t practice yoga, I do my best to meditate for 20 minutes before I look at my phone- but honestly, sometimes I just lay in bed and scroll through instagram until the last minute, ha!
C+A: You started Honey Hi this fall, how did that all come about?
K: I had a really scary health crash in my early twenties. I was allergic to what felt like everything I ate, struggled with constant illnesses and digestive issues and was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease and mold exposure, among other things. Over the last five years I’ve been through an insane amount of challenges, all of which taught me more about myself than I learned in the previous 25 years combined. These hardships ended up being my greatest teacher—through them, I feel like I woke up to my body and the world around me, and I’ve been able to help so many others as a result. Most importantly, I learned to take care of myself.
All of this started with food and nutrition. This passion felt so much more aligned and meaningful to me than my previous career, so I went back to school to become a nutritionist and started brainstorming ideas with my best friend Caitlin for a space that served the kind of food that changed our lives. It started out as a teeny tiny snack bar- we never meant to open a restaurant!
C+A: Is starting a restaurant something you've always wanted to do?
K: Ha! No way. I worked as a fashion stylist in NYC and then in LA for five years before my health issues led me to nutrition and cooking. My calling found me, not the other way around :) But Caitlin and I really felt like the best way to make an impact was to create an actual tangible, physical space where we could interact with and compassionately educate our community. Feeding people is literally how I express care and nourishment to the ones I love, and this has just allowed that circle to open even wider.
C+A: How do you balance your health and relationships with the demands of operating your own business?
K: It’s an ongoing evolution and requires constant checking in, discipline, and—most importantly—compassion for myself. It’s impossible to do everything, and letting go of those expectations has been really important! I make sure to practice a lot of self care in the form of solitude and routines... and I take a lot of baths.
C+A: What was the recipe of the delicious drink you made for us?
K: Brew 2 cups of coffee- blend with 2tbsp coconut milk, 1 tbsp grass fed ghee, 2 tsp MCT oil (I like Brain Octane by Bulletproof), 1/8 tsp each of cardamom, vanilla powder and cinnamon.
C+A: If you could have coffee with anyone, who would it be?
K: Kurt Vonnegut or 2pac. Alice Waters, too :)