‘It’s Just Been Amazing’: Barvida Marks One Year on Elm Street


Avocado toast at Barvida on Elm Street.

Asked what his first year in business in downtown New Canaan has been like, Barvida owner Brennan Branca says “it’s been overwhelmingly positive.”

Barvida Owner and Founder Brennan Branca at the 137 Elm St. location.

The organic vegan juice bar and café he opened last November at 137 Elm St. has seen a steady stream of customers, according to the Darien native, and his business is integrating into the community in ways he couldn’t anticipate. 

The New Canaan location is Branca’s second, after his native Darien, though even there he had patrons coming down from the “Next Station To Heaven” to sample cold-pressed juices, smoothies and organic foods including bowls, wraps, salads and toasts.

“When we were in Darien, we had a bunch of people from New Canaan come over and ask us to open,” Branca recalled. “And as soon as we opened, we had a bunch of people come in that kind of knew the name and honestly, everyone in New Canaan has been extremely nice, more so than I could ever imagine. They were extremely welcoming. Everybody was super excited to have us here. It’s just been amazing. We’re getting woven into the fabric of the town, and it’s fun. Every day we’re meeting more and more people. They’ve been amazing, really. I couldn’t ask for anything better, honestly.”

Inside Barvida on Elm Street.

The business has already sponsored a Holiday House Tour, donates to the New Canaan Food Pantry and has joined the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.

Laura Budd, the Chamber’s executive director, called Barvida “a welcome addition to the Elm Street scene,” adding, “Brennan and his team have embraced the spirit of New Canaan by participating in Food Revolution, Sidewalk Sale and the Taste of New Canaan Stroll.”

Budd added, “Congratulations on one year and we look forward to many more years to come.”

Branca recalled launching the original Barvida in 2020.

I remember the first year of that one and now to have the first year of my second one is just wild,” he said. “It’s been absolutely amazing.”

The Barvida Bowl in the foreground is The Açaí Antiox with Peanut Butter and pink bowl is The Perfect Pitaya with Cacao Ganache.

The most popular New Canaan items include the PB Cacao Powerhouse smoothie (organic banana, plant-based chocolate protein, raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, peanut butter, Awshwagandha, Himalayan salt and goat milk—$12.99), Mood Manager smoothie (organic banana, pineapple, blue spirulina, almond butter, maple, Himalayan salt, vanilla, agave, cinnamon, date and almond milk—$12.99) and Rival Bowl— “kind of a take on the rivalry between Darien and New Canaan,” Branca said—which includes a kale base with blue spirulina, bananas, vanilla protein powder, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, agave, coconut milk and toppings such as granola, strawberries, blueberries and goji berries ($14.99).

“Those three are really taking off,” he said.

Asked for his message to the community on occasion of the one-year milestone, Branca said, “I would just like to thank the town of New Canaan for welcoming us. They’ve been so unbelievably supportive. I can’t tell you how many people come in that I meet every single day. I’m just really grateful to the town.”

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