For a midday boost of fresh juice, nutritious rice bowls and strong coffee, Wild Island Juice Bagels and Bowls is the place to be.
Chris and Julie Hogle, who have owned restaurants together for the entirety of their nearly 20-year marriage, opened the cafe in early January.
“We want to give our kids healthy food and be able to use the incredible food that people grow here,” said Chris.
The couple say they saw a need for farm-to-table breakfast and lunch offerings that were affordable and friendly for families. They purchased the building on Urner Street across from Key Bank late this fall.
Wild Island uses chicken eggs from the Hogles’ own brood, and everything else on the menu is from either local farms (pickings are slim in the winter) or organically grown off island. In the spring and summer, the menu will feature local veggies and salad mix. The menu includes smoothies and juices, brown rice bowls with toppings like fried eggs, black beans, spicy pesto and kale, speciality grilled cheese sandwiches, a daily soup and bone broth with veggies and organic roasted chicken and Local Goods coffee.
Chris is the chef, and Julie is in the restaurant every morning at 5 a.m. to make bread and her signature bagels. She says the key to her “chewy on the outside, soft in the inside” bagels is that she boils them before baking.
Chris and Julie met at Rosario Resort, where he worked in the kitchen and she was a baker. They married in 2000 and the next year opened the Sunflower Cafe in Eastsound, which they ran until 2007. After that they moved to Eugene, and the couple bought Studio One Cafe a block from the University of Oregon. The restaurant was originally started by a chef for the Grateful Dead. While living there, they were foster parents and eventually adopted eight-year-old Conrad. Later, Julie gave birth to twin girls, Willa and Nora.
But the allure of Orcas called them back, and they returned a few years ago to be closer to Julie’s mom and put Conrad, who is now a 10th grader, in the Orcas School District. Chris helped run the deli at the Orcas Food Co-op and Julie was making European-style wedding cakes when they decided to open Wild Island.
“We can’t stop with the restaurant thing apparently,” laughed Julie.
Customers order at the big wooden bar, and their food is brought to them. There is also a small play area inside for children. The two decided to go with a casual setting and nutritious options for breakfast and lunch, which has been proven to be well received by the community.
“We ate like this in Eugene,” said Chris. “It’s healthy, everyday food.”
Wild Island is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cafe number is 360-298-3404. The Hogles will be holding fundraisers once a month to benefit a local nonprofit. Call Julie at (541) 579-5389 for details.