by: Danny Litin
My Personal Journey
The initial vision for Passionflower is a personal one. While living in Denver, Colorado for five years, I was immersed in a culture heavily focused on exercise, wellness, and alternative healing. There was no shortage of unique shops or gathering spaces for like-minded individuals to meet and converse. While in Denver, I fell in love with the mountains and took full advantage of all they had to offer – snowboarding, longboarding, and hiking were a part of each of my weekends. I also caught the health-conscious bug and began to research herbs, supplements, and other alternative forms of healing. I was enamored by the benefits and flavors of kombucha, jun, coconut water, probiotic drinks, and other herbal remedies. These elixirs and tonics helped me limit my intake of alcohol and coffee, and offered me a chance to explore my personal sense of wellbeing.
Upon returning to Minneapolis to raise my son Zoriah, I attended the University of Minnesota where I created a multidisciplinary studies major with focuses on ethnopharmacology (the study of traditional plant medicines), anthropology, and art. I studied with world-renowned ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna. I had the opportunity to travel with him down into Peru and Bolivia to partake in traditional shamanic rituals, learn about cutting-edge research into superfoods, and explore the amazing culture and beautiful land of South America. The day I graduated, I took a job with Dennis at his life sciences start-up, Symbio Life Sciences, as the first hire outside of the founding team. I was yet again immersed in a culture focused on supporting the leading researchers and inventors within the field of ethnobotany. I missed the mountains, but was a part of a team of superheroes working to try to save the world.
Minnesota seemed to lack establishments with a diverse selection of products and a welcoming atmosphere like I had grown accustomed to in Colorado. I sought out places to find authentic and inclusive communities, but only found coffee and tea shops where social bubbles seemed to be established and guarded – I wasn’t used to everyone being on their phones and computers. If I wanted to be social, the main option was a bar where I was met with intoxicated individuals. The conversations lacked the authenticity and respect I so craved. I would return home to my older brother, a recovering alcoholic, also struggling to find a place to socialize during his path to sobriety. The establishments around town I could find lacked a modern edge, high-quality customer service, and a unique selection of offerings. From these struggles, both my own and my brother’s, came the initial idea of Passionflower: a socially conducive community gathering space focused on health and wellness which is curated through the preparation of tonics, elixirs, and nutrient-rich superfoods.
The drink menu at Passionflower will consist of beverages that are formulated for either inducing an effect – the “Elixirs” (calming, stimulating, aphrodisiac, etc.) or to assist the body in the healing of ailments – the “Tonics” (headaches, menstrual cramps, sore muscles, etc.) We are currently working with world-renowned herbalists, both Twin Cities-based and from across the country, to develop the perfect blends of herbal extracts for each drink.
Our drink menu will also include smoothies to assist in maximum protein and vitamin intake after workouts, and to ensure that our guests are getting their daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Passionflower beverages are non-alcoholic and have proven health benefits backed by scientific data.
The food offerings will be focused on superfoods: Açaí bowls, dragon fruit bowls, and even a decadent chocolate mousse – don’t worry, it’s got avocado! We want to highlight as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible, but also make accessible the many ingredients that are only now being realized for their health benefits.
Optimal health is a system and a way of life. People are realizing that feeling good means more than just working out, eating healthy, and not drinking alcohol. Passionflower’s goal is to create a safe space for people to explore the different elements of optimal health while being supported by a community with extensive resources. We want both employees and guests to feel empowered, inspired, and ready to discover their truest selves when they are at Passionflower. Our vision is that Passionflower will be a magnet for people who are ready to commit to their wellbeing, as well as find their place as a member in a strong and supportive community.
Passionflower is more than a cafe that serves food and beverages. It’s a community, a culture, and a way of life. We hope to inspire our guests, our employees, our community, other businesses, and the rest of the world to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Passionflower at Alchemy
Passionflower is both extremely excited and honored to be partnering with Alchemy. We believe our product offering will have great resonance with, and relevance to, the needs of the Alchemy community and beyond. Witnessing the way in which the Alchemy members interact with one another, and the world around them, is inspiring to say the least. Their energy is electric, their dedication is motivating, and their smiles and laughter are contagious. Much like the way Alchemy has brought together different forms of fitness practice, we too are driven to bring together the worlds of traditional herbal medicine and modern research.
We wake up early and stay up late to formulate the healthiest, most delicious, and sexiest looking beverages and foods you will ever set your eyes upon and touch your lips to. We are so excited to share our offerings with you and grow together as one strong, badass, world-changing, trendsetting, and sexy AF community.
Danny Litin is the Founder of Passionflower. He’s a father to the coolest and most beautiful dude in the world, Zoriah Re. He lived for a short time in Israel during high school and loves experiencing and exploring other cultures around the world. He’s an avid snowboarder, longboarder, tree climber, hiker and all around nature fanatic and is always on some type of adventure. One day, in the last week before graduating high school, Danny decided it was a good idea to get pulled behind a car on his longboard going 40 MPH. He ended up getting the speed wobbles, falling, and fracturing his skull with internal bleeding. He’s not sure if he died that night, and feels as though his life is getting more and more beautiful to the point of realizing he is in heaven. Between overanalyzing the human condition and exploring the depths of his psyche, Danny loves venturing into the farthest reaches of the human experience in hopes of finding gratitude, acceptance, balance, healing, laughter, compassion, and peace.
[The PYL Series highlights individuals that don’t just tolerate discomfort to purse their legend, they anticipate and embrace it. Knowing what you want, and knowing that you’ll do anything and overcome all obstacles to achieve it is not easy, but it is the only way to reach your own legend. Pursue it vigorously, and the universe will conspire to help you achieve yours too.]