October 28, 2021
Former Ace customer Terri was one of the many beloved NYC eateries forced to close its doors due to the pandemic. But now, Terri fans can rejoice. Michael Pease and Craig Cochran, Terry’s co-founders, have opened a new venture: NuLeaf, which boasts an elevated “plant positive” menu with healthy options for vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians alike.
“Terri was more focused on handheld sandwiches and wraps,” says Reid Mangel, NuLeaf’s Marketing and Social Media Manager. “At NuLeaf, our menu is more balanced, with bowls, salads, and smoothies. Some of our favorites from Terri have stayed on the menu, like the Chicken Caesar Wrap, but we brought in some new items, like the BBQ Bowl.”
Reid’s favorites are the Bacon Chicken Sandwich and the Chorizo Fiesta, the latter of which is one of their most popular items. He also has nothing but words of praise for the PB Cookie Dough Smoothie. “I had no idea that it was even possible,” says Reid of the vegan drink, which boasts açai, cherry, blueberry, mango, banana, and agave, with a soy milk base. “It’s crazy. I would never know it’s vegan!”
NuLeaf also offers seasonal items, all of which are created by Craig alongside NuLeaf’s head chef, Victor Delacruz. The upcoming fall menu will be launching soon and includes a Kabocha Squash Salad, a Fall Salad, a Thanksgiving Sandwich, and a Thanksgiving Bowl, which comes with chicken, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and gravy. The crown jewel—and Reid’s favorite autumn item—is the Thanksgiving Sandwich.
The brainchild of set designer Molly Hellring, NuLeaf’s aesthetic is eye-catching: a lot of bright colors mixed with wood, leaves, and greenery. “She wanted the design to take New Yorkers out of the hustle and bustle and give them a place that’s relaxing,” says Reid. “A bit of nature, a bit of an escape from the city.” Both of NuLeaf’s locations have a living plant wall, which has become something of a staple for the brand. The Flatiron location’s wall, however, is record-breaking—the longest plant wall in New York City.
NuLeaf also takes sustainability seriously. “Part of the reason that Mike and Craig are vegan to begin with is that they’re environmentally conscious and they want their brand to reflect that,” says Reid. “We want everything to be eco-friendly and renewable. We recycle and we make sure that we are as sustainable as possible and that we’re doing our part to take care of the earth.” Other measures include using compostable packaging and corn-based utensils. And, of course, working with Ace helps reduce their carbon footprint, too!
NuLeaf may still be budding, but the team already has big plans in the works, including a third location on Wall Street. They’re also launching a collaborative dish with self-taught vegan cook and Top Chef alum Priyanka Naik. NuLeaf is excited to be hosting the launch party for her new cookbook, The Modern Tiffin: On-the-Go Vegan Dishes with a Global Flair, at their 23rd Street location on Tuesday, November 9th—one week after her menu item launches at NuLeaf. (Tickets are available here.)
If you haven’t stopped by one of NuLeaf’s locations yet, we highly recommend it. You can visit them at their Flatiron location (23 W 23rd St.), their Hell’s Kitchen location (888 8th Ave), or follow along on Instagram to stay up-to-date on all their projects. Happy eating!