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Say, That Hits the Green Spot

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The Green Spot and Market, which opened on N. Buckner Boulevard about a month ago, is perhaps best described as a feel-good 7-Eleven: You pull up, pump some biodiesel into your hybrid and snag yourself an Odwalla bar and a bottle of Pom. It doesn’t get more biodegradable and antioxidant and earth-friendly than that.

Attorney Bruce Bagelman and Smoothie Factory owner Alvaro Garza opened the joint, after realizing “this side of town is ignored by the natural industry,” Garza tells Unfair Park. “We just realized there’s a large group who want to eat healthier and service their cars.”

Garza, who operates the station day-to-day, calls Bagelman the biodiesel enthusiast. “He has a hybrid and a bio-diesel vehicle,” Garza says. “We’ve been working on this about a year and a half.” Bio-diesel, of course, is a renewable fuel, which comes from corn oil, soy oil, even recycled grease and chicken fat. And the station offers two flavors: From an underground tank you can pump B-5 diesel, which is a mixture of 95 percent petrol and 5 percent biofuel. You can also buy B-99 or B-100 in five-gallon containers.

“The state has certain regulations limiting what can be pumped from underground,” says Garza.

The fuel, he says, is competitively priced with diesel, now about $3.85. Listed on a biodiesel retail Web site, the station attracts hybrid and diesel drivers not just from the neighborhood. “People have shown up often and from all over,” says Garza. “We’re the only guys doing biodiesel in the metroplex.”

Biodiesel is cleaner-burning and issues better-smelling exhaust. It’s the only fuel to have successfully completed emissions testing in accordance with the Clean Air Act. It emits no carbon dioxide, the culprit in the greenhouse effect. You’ll feel better about driving that big honking SUV if you use biodiesel.

Garza wanted the shop inside to be a convenience store offering only healthy selections. “It’s like a mini-Whole Foods,” says Garza. “We strive to have a higher standard of healthy choices for people.” The shelves and freezers offer Amy’s Organics, Kombucha, Pom, Virgil's Root Beer, Izze (100 percent fruit juice but carbonated), “functional” drinks, all natural “isotonics,” Ezekiel breads, all kinds of teas and such dairy products as drinkable yogurt and soy milk.

In a concession to the addicts out there, the store does offer Coca-Cola, but only from Mexico, where real sugar is still used. But no Cheetos, the ultimate junk food for the road. “We do have Barbara’s Cheese Puffs,” Garza says. “Put them side by side, and you would be blown away.”

The Green Spot’s service to mankind doesn’t stop there: "All our hot cups that we serve coffee in are made from renewable resources and are 100 percent compostable,” Garza says. “Our cold cups lids and straws are all made from corn.” As are the utensils --all 100 percent bio-degradable. The plates and bowls are made from sugar cane. No kidding.

Gourmet sandwiches, salads and wraps are prepared locally by Roost Catering. There are many “vegan-friendly” choices. The bio-friendly entrepreneurs plan to set up a chain of Green Spots. First, says Garza, “We want to prove the concept.” --Glenna Whitley

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