Christopher Taha wants everyone to chill.
Leaving a more paint-by-numbers life plan behind, in 2013, he drew on his California upbringing and opened healthy, tasty, relaxed Bushwick, Brooklyn restaurant, Summers. Since then, the concept has grown into a full-fledged lifestyle brand, including a Soho outpost, wholesale juice and namesake apparel—all designed as a kind of West Coast-inspired escape from the chaos. Recognized for its cool take on the everyday, Summers has collaborated on events with the likes of Alexander Wang, Patagonia, Peloton Cycles and Martha Stewart Weddings.
Here, Taha shares why it’s all about appreciating the simple things:
Live The Process: How did growing up in California shape your healthy lifestyle?
Christopher Taha: I was born and raised in Palm Springs. The best part about growing up there and in the Laguna Beach area was being able to experience so many different environments and cultures. It gave me the opportunity to be very active: While I was in college at UC Irvine, I would surf in the morning, go to class, then go snowboarding at night. The outdoors played an integral part in my life and having a balanced diet was key.
LTP: What inspired the idea for Summers?
CT: My parents owned an Italian restaurant, so, naturally, I was inspired by their work ethic and my love of the food business stemmed from there. When I moved to New York City, I initially planned to attend dental school and worked part-time jobs as a server at various top-tier restaurants. When I came up with the concept for Summers, my plan changed. I went on a trip to Nicaragua with some friends during the winter of 2013, and it hit me. I realized there weren’t many New York City spots that had a relaxed and chill atmosphere with healthy, tasty eats. I wanted to create a place for people to hang out and enjoy good food in a calm atmosphere.
LTP: When did you officially start Summers and what now comprises the brand?
CT: Simply, the brand is meant to be fun and represent a chill and relaxed lifestyle. Summers opened in the Summer of 2013 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is now also in SoHo as of November 2015. Today, we are well-known for our egg sandwich, cold-pressed juices and amazing coffee from our local roaster, Devocion. Recently, we began to wholesale our juice to select cafés and workout centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Additionally, I recently added pokē to our menu and opened a bar in Bushwick called, Father Knows Best, where we use the Summers cold-pressed juices as mixers for our specialty cocktail program.
LTP: As a busy guy in a chaotic city, how do you keep yourself feeling healthy and balanced?
CT: Health is the most important component to the food at Summers—to advocate a lifestyle focused on a balanced diet composed of great quality ingredients. In keeping with a balanced lifestyle, I do my best to stay hydrated and eat a well-rounded diet. Surfing is my favorite way to escape the chaos and reset. I, unfortunately, am not as active as I was in California, but I do my best to enjoy nature and break away to the beach as often as possible. Surf trips are essential in the winter to keep sane.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
CT: Happiness to me is to live a simple life with delicious food, surrounded by awesome people and good surf!
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
CT: For me, to “Live The Process” means to live with a purpose and goal, whatever that may be; just doing it 100 percent and riding that wave of life.