There is a block in Boulder known as The Village, where 90 percent of businesses are locally owned; The Village also has the highest ratio per square footage of women-owned businesses in Boulder. It is on this block that you will find the relatively new home of Shine Restaurant & Potion Bar. Shine is owned by the dynamic triplets known as The Blissful Sisters but even better known to locals as Jessica, Jill and Jennifer Emich.
One afternoon, I follow Jessica out the patio and through the little fairy garden to a cement table behind the restaurant where the sisters like to go for breaks and meetings. We sit down and Jill joins us shortly with a potion for me called Fairy Bubbles. Jennifer arrives and I have to say I feel right at home with these three; I have three sisters of my own (two of whom are identical twins), so naturally I want to get right to the important stuff: “Did they ever play tricks on anyone in their teenage years?” They laugh and share stories of switching licenses, switching boyfriends and other shenanigans. When they laugh, they all three get the most amazing laugh lines, and their whole aura seems to, well, shine.
I ask them, “Why Shine?” In addition to their restaurant, the sisters have a cookbook out called “Eat, Drink, Shine.” Their Shine Potions are sold in local grocery stores and have recently made their way to Amazon. Shine is their way of life, so we delve deep into what that means to them.
It comes down to their mission: nourishment from the inside out to help people shine from within, and connecting with community outwardly in an authentic way. The ladies embody “shine” in their day to day lives through their restaurant, from knowing where their food comes from and from knowing what their dollars support.
It comes down to their mission: nourishment from the inside out to help people shine from within, and connecting with community outwardly in an authentic way.
Since I’m about to go into business with my own sisters I was particularly interested in their thoughts on the topic. As always with sisters, it’s complicated. Jessica put it beautifully when she said, “it makes us bump into each other, find ourselves and then surrender. Without the business, our relationship wouldn’t be as close. The business is a blessing because it peels back the layers and forces us to go through whatever is there.”
Each of the three has their own strengths and roles they play. Jessica was born first and is the alpha. First to get married, the only one to have kids (two daughters). She is a perfectionist and loves to make sure everyone is ok. On the business side of things you can find her in the kitchen and overseeing the menus. Her favorite potion is the Golden Eagle (a seasonal drink) and on wild nights she likes to add tequila; her current favorite dish is the 100 percent grass fed NY Strip Steak.
Jill is the middle of the three and she is definitely more apt to get in trouble. She considers herself a rebel and the black sheep. She was the last to get married (recently). In the restaurant she does community outreach and all things potions! Her favorite potion is the Owl Eyes with Tequila, and she loves adding CBD during the day for a grounding effect. She also loves the brunch and biscuits!
Jennifer is the youngest of the three and the most organized. Her sisters describe her as the “nuts and bolts” – she tightens everything up. In the restaurant she is all about the front of house operations and knowing the guests and what makes them smile. Her love of the staff shows when she speaks of their dedication and knowledge. Jennifer is currently loving the Golden Eagle with rum and the creamy fettucine.
The sisters have been serving Boulder for 20 years, and it is their pleasure to do so. They want you to know that when you come to Shine you are supporting local farmers, and everything is sustainable. They have new bamboo straws, their herbs are fair trade and organic, and somedays you will see the local farmers coming right in the front door. They soak all grains, nuts and seeds because it’s more nutritious and easier to digest. Plus, they prep days in advance which is rare these days. No white flour, sugar or potatoes. Gluten free menu. Only whole foods, real sweeteners. Everything is baked on site.
The space is intimate. The hosts are lovely. The food is nutritious. The vibe is local.
The effect is 100 percent pure Shine.
Photos by Greg LefCourt
Originally published in the Winter + Spring 2019 issue.