Friday, February 26, 2010

Akasha Organics seeks new beginnings

Ketchum guru Ananda Kriya is ready for change

Express Staff Writer

Express photo by David N. Seelig Ananda Kriya is closing Akasha Organics in Ketchum.

The grinding of greens and vegetables is a common sound in Akasha Organics any day of the week. In the back of Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum, Akasha Organics' owner Ananda Kriya has been juicing and creating healthy foods for Ketchum's dedicated health-conscious set for 18 years. But, today, Kriya was juicing for the last days of business.

"I am totally fine with it," he said. "Shiva has come up and given me a kick in the butt."

Kriya is closing Akasha Organics and is selling everything from prayer flags and glass containers to deity sculptures, organic make-up and furniture. The closing comes as the bookstore works to fix plumbing problems in the historic building on Main Street. Bookstore owner Cheryl Welch said it's an emergency situation and requires tearing apart the Akasha Organics space.

Kriya would like to leave without having to pay any bills.

"Everything is for sale except for Shiva and the oil lamp," Kriya said.

Kriya is known as Ketchum's guru due to his dedication to delectable health food, tasty smoothies and his Hindu beliefs. He is a tiny man, svelte and extremely slender, with a long gray beard, which today is braided. He has a flair for inline skating and skiing in gold spandex.

Akasha Organics hosted 12-day juice cleanses, sold organic vegetables and fruits from local purveyors and was often a spot for meditation and conversation for many.

"I have options and alternatives," Kriya said. "I may put all my energy into building a [Hindu] Sri Murugan Temple. I am keeping the [juice bar's] phone number and all ideas are welcome."

Kriya said he thanks the owners of Chapter One for giving him a nice theater over the past couple of decades.

To contact Kriya, call 726-7555.

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