Hi all! My name is Alexis Cozzini and I founded SARCA and Citizen Stone, but am now currently working as the director of brand development for Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen. Our two restaurant locations are 100 E. Walton St and 55 E. Grand Ave. We are also currently scouting locations for our third venue!
BB: How do you increase awareness about Doc B’s, and what are the reasons it is unique for Chicago foodies?
Being the directory of brand development for Doc B’s means that I work with our team to handle all marketing, PR, events, catering, public outreach, social media, website management, packaging and advertising related matters. We just relaunched our website last month and it looks beautiful! Guests really have the opportunity to learn more about who we are and what our process is now. Aside from really beautiful food imagery, one of my favorite parts of the site is our “culture” section. Here we speak about what drives us and makes us who we are as a brand and a member of a global community. We like to inspire our guests to lead a balanced lifestyle so we have developed thought provoking text throughout the site in order to help convey that goal. Our manifesto and quotes of the month are something that guests comment on and really seem to enjoy. Overall, dining with Doc B’s and understanding our concept should be straightforward and relate able for everyone. We are here to serve you a delicious and healthful meal everyday. Whether you need to be on the go, or you have the time to relax and enjoy your meal in our dining room, we always want you to know that we strive to be an extension of your own kitchen!
BB: What is the biggest struggle you have faced as a career woman? How did you overcome it?
I think the biggest struggle always goes back to balance. When I first opened SARCA, I didn’t care about anything else but work. I ran my health and happiness into the ground. One day I met my fiance Craig and I realized I needed to make a change in my personal life so that I could be a great partner for him; ie life with somebody is not all about you, ha! But that transition was a no-brainer for me and while not always easy, was of course worth it! Right now working with Craig is great! HE is insanely busy so it’s nice that we get to see a little bit more of each other. Date nights are on hold, but we are getting married in about a year so we are both excited to be going through that process right now too!
BB: Besides Doc B’s of course, what are some of your other favorite healthy spots in Chicago?
I eat 90% of my meals at Doc B’s throughout the week. When Craig and I get to dine out, we always look for places that are balanced like Doc B’s – meaning you can find fresh and healthful options on the menu, as well as some enticing indulgences. We recently ate at Fig & Olive and loved it. I went to Karyn’s on Green with friends a few weeks ago and was very impressed. I’ve also had some really great on the go meals at Nordstrom Cafe and Lyfe Kitchen. If I have a great meal with great service I’ll always go back.
BB: How do you maintain The Balanced Babe lifestyle?
When I had SARCA and Citizen Stone, it was impossible for me to find balance. My stress levels were through the roof, I got very little sleep, I ate what I could when I could, and I never exercised. Since I have been working for Doc B’s, it’s been easier for me to live a more balanced lifestyle. In fact, that is the very concept behind Doc B’s- balance is key. A few months ago I started exploring the benefits of cutting meat and dairy from my diet. I was experiencing some ongoing health issues, and removing these foods proved to be incredibly beneficial in relieving those issues as well as improving other aspects of my life. I was less stressed, sleeping better, I had more energy and I just felt better all around.
I am not 100% vegan but I do make a strong effort to eat dairy and meat in moderation. It’s easy to see and feel changes in your health and overall well being if you are able to focus more on your intake. It’s been very easy for me to stick to any dietary restrictions at Doc B’s because our menu and kitchen is just so naturally accommodating. As far as fitness is concerned, I’m not going to lie – I hate working out and always have. I don’t drive so I literally walk everywhere. Craig and I also joined a new gym recently and I have taken up swimming. I actually really enjoy that. I can swim for 30-45 minutes, get in my cardio, resistance and stretching, and feel like a new person when I leave the gym. Something about swimming just makes your body feel better, plus it’s very relaxing!
BB: How do you eat healthy without dieting?
Dieting is not for me. I don’t have the will power and it’s unrealistic. I can of course do something short term, but in the long run, I’ve found that I work best having made a commitment to just eat with my eyes open. I cook a lot and am an avid label reader – nothing artificial. Committing to smoothies and juices, salads with grains, seeds, nuts and fresh and unconventional ingredients are some of my favorite things to indulge in right now. I love making veggie summer rolls at home- my friend turned me on to how easy they are to make.
BB: What does your meal plan look like on an average day?
I have never in my life been a breakfast person. I’ve tried for period of time, and then I always go back to my old habit of not really eating until 2pm. I am good about making smoothies in the morning. I always have a salad at least once a day – always the Alexis Kitchen Salad from Doc B’s with added tofu, or the California kale salad. Recently I have added crispy chicken to the California salad and it is amazing! I also enjoy Wok Out Bowls with brown rice, veggies, tofu and a side of carrot ginger miso dressing. I thank god that I do not have any allergies to gluten – everyone needs some carbs in their lives!
BB: What are your top five favorite organic beauty products?
I really love Indie Lee face washed and serums. La Bella Figure makes a body oil that I am obsessed with. I also love their face masks. I have been using a few products from Sisley that are go-to’s, but they are really pricey. I would love to buy more into the collection because there is a new body cream they developed that is supposed to be amazing. I am really into scent and feel. Anything that smells fresh and natural is great in my book. I am always trying new things from these three lines and have never had an issue with my skin sensitivity or issues with product function.
BB: What are your top 3 stay healthy tips while traveling?
It is definitely a challenge to stay on track while you are traveling. One thing I try to keep in mind is to eat the local cuisine. Whatever is fresh and in season wherever you are should naturally be a good option. Staying active is important. If I am on vacation that comes naturally because we tend to walk a lot and partake in fun activities. I also like to pack certain snacks for the plane ride and to keep in the hotel room.
BB: What can we expect from you in the near future?
I’m really excited for Doc B’s current success and future growth. We will continue to expand into new markets and develop our concept. Next on my plate is developing our blog and monthly newsletter which will also include fun features like recipes, cooking demos and interactive videos!