What is an Alpronista Bar?
Yesterday my kids and I went to Antwerp to enjoy a sunny Saturday afternoon and to celebrate my son’s 21st birthday (as well as the 4th of July).
We had a blast walking around the city. We started on the Meir, Antwerp’s main shopping area, and then headed to the Groenplaats (Green Square), Grote Markt (main square), and the harbour. Afterwards we returned back towards the city center, ending up at the Bourla Café Restaurant for dinner (see review here).
While my kids were in Forever 21 looking at the sales racks, I stayed outside and was thrilled to discover the Alpronista Bar right next door. The weather was extremely hot and muggy, giving more excuses than I needed to look for refreshments. The Alpronista Bar is a place to get a healthy snack, many featuring Alpro products. Alpro produces many plant-based items, such as soy milk, almond milk, vegan yogurts, etc.
Outside of the store was a wagon filled with various fruit. Inside were wood tables with baskets of fruit and other Alpro products. The entire space felt cozy and inviting. At the end of the store was a counter where you could order and pay for smoothies, vegan ice cream and other treats made from the products you saw in the store. All items were about 2 euros each, a reasonable price for the products.
I chose a Pleasure Smoothie (almond milk, mango, strawberries and green tea) and received about 10 oz (300 ml) of a healthy refreshing treat.
A friendly welcoming place to purchase and enjoy healthy snacks at a reasonable price? What a novel idea! The refreshments were vegan and also served quickly. Where else can you find such a nice choice for you and your family as you walk along a main shopping street? Most juice bars charge a hefty price for a smaller portion of juice. The Alpronista Bar seemed to come from a parallel universe…once I discovered it the thought of it being so original seemed so strange.
So what is the downside?
The Alpronista Bar in Antwerp was set up in a temporary space, only lasting about a month. It will close down at this prime location on 11 July 2015. Since the financial crisis, new businesses often rent temporary spaces to test their concept on the market. They occupy spaces that are not rented and are available for a short-period of time. Renting a temporary space is a win-win situation. The new business does not need to come up with a huge initial investment to give their idea a try and the landlord has its space rented in an attractive way while it continues to look for a more permanent tenant.
Although I prefer organic plant-based products over Alpro products, which are not all organic, I love the idea of the Alpronista Bar. It’s a welcome alternative to the chemical-based junk food sold on our commercial streets. Alpro products by the way contain no GMOs. It also enables Alpro to mainstream its brand recognition while inviting people to try their products.
The sad news is that it’ll only be there until 11th July 2015. Hopefully, Alpro will have received enough positive feedback to encourage it to start opening (permanently) other Alpronista Bars around Belgium and beyond.
How would you like to have such a healthy alternative near you?