Guest Haus presses on in its first year

PARK CITY, Utah. — After relocating from New York City with her family, Guest Haus owner Jennifer Sutton found herself trekking to Salt Lake City for the fresh-pressed juices and cleanses that were a regular ingredient in her diet and lifestyle.

“I started juicing at home a lot and cooking more at home during the pandemic. [I was] going to Salt Lake for a lot of these things and spending a lot of money,” said Sutton. “I thought, ‘this is crazy, why don’t we have something like this up here?’ I was also observing the shift in population here. I came from New York, but we’ve been coming out here a really long time, but just seeing where people were coming from and that they were staying. We had all these people from California, Arizona, and New York. These people are used to having their local cute juice place where they go and have a smoothie or a juice and a salad, and that’s part of their routine two to three days a week. We didn’t really have that here.”

Sutton saw a gap in the market, created a business plan, and sought out a space to make this idea a reality. In its first form, Guest Haus focused on fresh juices and smoothies but quickly adapted to bring salads, sandwiches, toasts, and other healthy snacks to its menu, along with matcha drinks, coffees, and espressos.

Founding partner Anna Barrett came on board after graduating from the University of Utah, searching for a non-traditional career option. Barrett had suffered a car accident and found a path to recovery through holistic foods. Sutton knew Barrett’s deep dive into functional nutrition would be an excellent match for Guest Haus.

“I really wanted to be local first and tourist second to a certain degree,” said Sutton. “Prospector was really appealing; I just felt like in terms of the next [big] area of Park City, that was where things might be happening. It’s easy for locals to pop in, grab what they need, and go on their way.”

Aside from healthy and fresh foods, the shop incorporated adaptogens and other supplements into its store and food and drink options. Guest Haus has used, and sold mushroom supplements from B Corp certified Rainbo, created by a holistic nutritionist out of Canada, since its opening in September 2021. Guest Haus sources mushroom adaptogen blends from Anima Mundi, an herbalist apothecary out of Brooklyn.

“Something we do a lot is trying to stay on top of the functional wellness, adaptogen type markets. Mushrooms have been a big thing from the beginning,” she said. “There’s just so much research about the benefits of functional mushrooms as part of our diet, whether the tincture or powder extract form. Getting to introduce people to these types of health supplements, I feel there’s been a huge interest in them. We spent a lot of time looking for brands we believed in that tasted good, didn’t ruin a smoothie or a coffee, and are clean.”

Sutton also keeps the menu as local as possible, as she scouts out farmers’ markets and uses local vendors. The adaptogen hot cocoa Lococo is used and sold at Guest Haus, and Luna’s (gluten-free) Kitchen provides the baked goods.

“One really important thing is sourcing as many local and whole foods as possible. For our sandwiches, we source our bread from the baker out in Midway called Hawk and Sparrow; his sourdough is incredible. I’m a big believer that fresher is going to be healthier.”

Guest Haus focuses on healthy diets, but it also focuses on mitigating its environmental impact. Juicing inherently produces a lot of waste because the machines used press juice out of fruits, nuts, or vegetables and leave behind the pulp. However, Guest Haus either composts that pulp or reuses it. The protein bites, for example, reuse pulp from its almond and cashew milks. Its juices and milks come in glass bottles, which Guest Haus will take back and credit the recycler $0.50 per bottle.

Sutton focuses on fresh menus swapping ingredients as they wax and wane with the seasons. Guest Haus also offers fridge stocking services for visitors, part-time locals, weddings, and events. Sutton has formed healthy relationships with like-minded vendors in Park City.

“One of the things I’m loving, and I’ve learned so much, is the importance of quickly jumping in with the local business community here. It’s a very supportive network. I’m just really excited to see how this grows within the community,” said Sutton.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from some of the hotel properties and coffee shops…I think the immediate reception that we’ve had and the support from the community have been so great. It’s so exciting to see what comes in the next few years since we’re not even a year old.”

Sutton has quickly developed Guest Haus into Park City’s ‘cute local juice shop’ and then some in under a year.

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