Joy, co-owner, a nutritional counselor since 1985, graduated from Tufts University Magna Cum Laude, and is certified by the Pritikin Longevity Center and Hippocrates Health Institute. Her passion for counseling and healing through great food lead her to join Bart Potenza at The Healthy Candle in 1988 where they began creating foods and menus tailored to the nutritional needs of clients from Joy’s private practice, and the Healthy Candle’s ever-growing customer base. Their partnership has flourished, and Joy and Bart have joined to create Candle Cafe, Candle 79, a growing catering and wholesale business, and the internationally best selling Candle Cafe Cookbook.
In addition to time spent at the restaurants, Joy avidly promotes their mission beyond the restaurants’ walls. She has written and lectured extensively about food and nutrition, sharing her expertise with an ever widening audience as more and more people become mindful of the positive effects of healthful eating. She regularly leads workshops and teaches courses on diet and nutrition. Joy has appeared on The Today Show, Good Day New York, CBS News This Morning, The Food Network’s TV Food Diners, and has been a radio guest on Joan Hamburg, The Howard Stern Show, and Walden’s Pond with Sheldon Walden on NPR. Joy serves as a board member of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Lunches and Wellness in the Schools. She is also an active SVN member. Her quest is to continue changing people’s awareness of health and well being and its effect on the planet and future generations by bringing farm fresh vegan food to as many people and as many tables as possible!
Bart Potenza, founder, with over 30 years in the health food industry, continues to excite his loyal following with his innovative ideas and concepts in the organic vegan movement. Bart, along with his partner Joy Pierson, has created three successful vegetarian dining establishments including Candle Cafe, Candle 79 and Candle Cafe West. The original Candle Cafe was the first restaurant to be certified by the Green Restaurant Association and all three restaurants are at the forefront of campaigns to green NYC and the restaurant industry. Candle 79 when it opened 11 years ago was one of the first upscale, organic, vegan restaurants in the country. At the vanguard of health food marketing and vegetarianism, Bart is a proud member of Green America, Social Ventures Network, Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, The Presidents Club at F.A.R.M., P.E.T.A. and Farm Sanctuary. Additionally, Bart is a published author, both in his contribution to the Candle Cafe Cookbook and in a compilation of his daily aphorisms Look Two Ways on a One Way Street which was published by Lantern Books in 2008. The Candle restaurants under Bart’s leadership have also spawned Candle Catering, Candle Cafe Frozen Entrees, the Candle 79 Cookbook and the Candle’s newest book, Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe.
The success of Candle Cafe, Candle Cafe West and Candle 79 proves Bart’s original assertion that eating super healthy vegetarian food is a choice that impacts not only individual health, but also the health of the planet. Bart’s “daily bread” is his quest to make our world better for all humanity. He continues to be inspired by the growth and significance of the green movement.