Health food stores and juice bars pop up all over the place these days, especially in bustling cities like New York. The newest spot, Honeybrains, may seem like your average healthy restaurant, but the story behind it probably isn't what you'd expect.
Founded by Galit, Tomer and Alon Seifan, Honeybrains was designed with the hope of creating healthy, tasty products that contribute to overall brain function. One of the brothers (Alon) is a neurologist who has spent many years studying how nutrition affects the brain and wanted to use that information to help create the store's products.
The family tapped Van's General Store, an agency based in downtown Manhattan, to come up with everything from branding and label design to the interior design of the restaurant, located at 372 Lafayette St. The agency took an interest in the project as soon as co-founder Scott Carlson met the Seifan family. A year before meeting them, Carlson's mother passed away from Alzheimer's. When Carlson met the Seifans, they talked a lot about the disease, how the brain decays and how this venture would help improve brain health.
"This was really topical in my mind," Carlson said. "I really thought they came to us for a reason. There was some reason I was supposed to meet these guys."
Van's General Store spent a good deal of time thinking about the logo, a head with a hive drawn inside, and all the other components of the store, making sure "there was thought behind everything we did," Carlson said.
A lot of the colors used on the products and bottles were inspired by food, especially the amber color, which is inspired by honey. Not only is honey used in a lot of the products, but education around the benefits of honey is another major goal of the company. Inside the restaurant the agency put a handful of fun facts (that will change every so often) about the brain benefits for different ingredients used in the products, which include soy soba bowls, kale crunch toast and a Mediterranean mind salad.
Carlson noted that the brand will also work closely with customers that come into the restaurant often and, with their permission, work with them to gather data around how consuming these products affects their overall well-being. This data will be used to help the brothers conduct further research around the benefits of certain products and ingredients. Van's General Store is also in the process of creating an app for the brand.