The Art of Healthy, Fast Casual: An Interview with Homespun Kitchen

The Levine Family

As humans, we’ve become hyper focused on the art of making things easy.

We trained ourselves to shop in stores with the word ‘convenient’ in the name, even taught ourselves how to buy groceries from the comfort of our own couches. And when you combine this obsession with the fact that we’re living in a world that thrives on constant forward progression, often at breakneck speed, it’s quite easy to see how convenience became king.

In theory, these helpful innovations are supposed to be revolutionary. 

Amazon will tell you how much time you saved by shopping with them from the comfort of your own home, time that you once wasted by visiting their brick and mortar competitors. And you’ll be so happy to think of all the time you now have! All because you chose to buy your toilet paper from a computer instead of a cashier. And with time being such a precious thing, you’ll now be free to use it on more wonderful things, like finishing a 500-piece puzzle that has been plaguing you, or taking your kids to the movies. 

And just like that, another big name corporation will have Pavlov’s Dog’d you into thinking convenience equates to good. 

But what happens when convenience isn’t so good? 

For the best example of this, let us turn our gaze to the McDonald’s and Burger King’s of the world - franchises built on the model of “fast” and “easy”. Pushing products that contribute to national obesity rates, health crises and more, it’s quite easy to find flaws in the notion that convenience is always in the best interest of humans.

One person who caught onto this pitfall early in life is Aaron Levine, owner and operator of Homespun Kitchen in Beaches Town Center. “Growing up, my parents struggled with us eating healthy at home,” he says. “They were both working, so I saw how much of a battle that was - unhealthy, fast casual became a staple for us.” 

Like many working households, the struggles of balancing time, work and finances can often make the appeal of fast food much more alluring. “I often wondered why we couldn’t get stuff that was healthy and delicious, but also fast and convenient for us - so that was a big motivator [in starting Homespun Kitchen] for me.” 

Aaron’s notes from 1995 while working at Wendy’s

After working as an engineer for 5 years, all the while “building plans for the future”, Aaron and his wife, Angela, finally opened Happy Cup. The frozen yogurt “was a way for us to get our feet wet as first time owners in the restaurant business.”