It takes me a while to find Clean Market. I mistakenly get off a stop too early on the subway and decide to walk instead of wait for the next train. I then take the wrong exit before, and only realize that I am walking in the entirely opposite way a few blocks later. I blame it on Midtown, a neighborhood I'm never in, and having a hectic workday prior to this. I am late, sweaty, and frazzled by the time I walk through the door for my appointment. Yet, as I make inside the wellness hub—that functions as a treatment center, retail space, and a cafe—my heart rate instantly slows down and I relax. The minimal, bright space, outfitted in a white color scheme, wood detailing, and lots of greenery, feels like somewhere outside of New York City. It's serene and somehow, given its location, quiet. After I am done with my cryotherapy, infrared sauna, and IV NutriDrip treatments, I feel even more so like I just left the city and went on a retreat upstate.
When I share my experience with Lily Kunin, founder of Clean Market and the very popular wellness website Clean Food Dirty City and author of Good Clean Food, I can hear the excitement emanating from her voice: "I love that you felt that way! It's definitely what we want people to come in and experience: some type of state change. So whether it's just from one of our functional smoothies or one of our services, it is a little escape from the city and an experience that kind of, like, takes you out of that everyday hustle and bustle." In fact, it's one of the reasons the recent L.A. transplant (who previously lived in New York) wanted to open the space specifically in Manhattan. "I love L.A., but it has a lot of health and wellness incorporated into every neighborhood," she says. "I felt like there was a really big need, and that Clean Market was filling a gap, in New York, especially in Midtown. I wanted it to become this oasis and retreat from the busy, hectic energy of New York."
An LED sign—that reads, "energy, flow, detox, brain, immunity, beauty, gut health"—welcomes visitors. And while it may seem like a trendy way to decorate a space that will, undoubtedly, attract millennials with its buzzy services, it's also a reminder of the backbone of everything that Clean Market offers. "In functional medicine, when those seven pillars are all working together and aligned, you’re achieving optimal health and well-being. So we really picked out services that we felt supported those functions in the body, and the same goes for every single product and item on our menu as well."