Karen Pride is a spark plug. Recently taking over Yoga Pearl, located in the heart of it all on NW Davis, she is now the proud owner of not one, but two businesses. Her first venture was Prasad, a vegan and raw-food friendly restaurant that gets a large rush during the breakfast and lunch hours.Karen’s love for food and yoga was fueled by her busy college schedule. She found peace in her once-a-week yoga practice and as yoga became more essential to her daily life, so did healthy cooking. The restaurant world gained significant importance in her life when she worked in the kitchen of what would soon be Prasad, on NW Davis. Karen’s love for yoga only flourished as she observed the yoga studio right next door. The peaceful and happy disposition of every customer to visit Yoga Pearl persuaded Karen to approach the owners inhopes of making the studio her own. Needless to say, this was a success.Although Prasad and Yoga Pearl differ in activities, their mission is the same: to provide health and wellness to fuel the body. Yoga and food go hand-in-hand, and Karen fell in love with them both.Karen believes Portland helps cultivate what you want and where your passions lie. With enough energy, you can find creative minds here to help you capture your dreams. The PDX people want to see others succeed and do well. It took a lot of time for Karen to integrate into the Portland culinary and yoga scene, but “Once you’re in, you’re in for life.”E+E: Everyone knows, you are what you eat, but is there something beyond that for you?Karen: I feel it is a matter of mindfulness and balance. The more connected we are with our bodies, the more we can feel ourselves inside and out, and take care of ourselves physically and emotionally. What you put in is what you are going to get out. That being said, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a great brew, a cup of coffee or the amazing food around here. There is an important connection between understanding and balance.E+E: You just took the yoga space over less than four weeks ago, do you teach as well?Karen: No, not now, maybe someday. I’ll be completing a teacher training program this year.E+E: As far as the food side of things, have you ever been trained in cooking?Karen: After high school I went to culinary school to become a pastry chef. I thought it was more fun than anything else. I got to play with chocolate sculptures and all that fun stuff. I was trying to figure out how to combine art and food.Most of my training from food has been from spending hours and hours in the kitchen and having major interest in it. Reading amazing cookbooks and working in all sorts of restaurants in a variety of positions has been the best training for me. E+E: Where do you see the business growing in the near future?Karen: On the yoga side, we are really pushing our retail store. We have some great brands right now that complement your body. A few of these brands are Spiritual Gangster, Elisabetta Rogiani, meSheeky, Kira Grace and Prana - with Om Girl and Brandy Melville coming soon. We have yoga mats from Jade, Manduka. I love them all!On the food end, I would really like to expand to other parts of the city or maybe even a different city. I like the combination of the two businesses so maybe I’d do something similar, with a restaurant on one end and a studio on the other. Time will tell.E+E: What’s your favorite thing about Portland?Karen: I’m definitely in love with this city. My friends, and even my boyfriend tease me about how much I love Portland.The restaurants are my favorite. I love all of them; there is so much great food. And I love that people love to eat in this town, and they take it seriously. I’m never at a loss to find someone to go to dinner with, share a great meal with, have a drink with, it’s great. I love that people take food seriously and have fun with it.
Prasad925 NW DavisPortland,OR 97209503.224.3993
Yoga Pearl925 NW DavisPortland, OR 97209503.525.9642
Photos taken by: Lori Jo Daniels