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Aug 11, 2021 ConnectPay

Small Business Spotlight: Roots To Rise

Small Business Spotlight: Roots To Rise

Demy Martin is hardly a stranger to the inner workings of owning a business. In fact, as a serial entrepreneur, growing and nurturing multi-unit ventures is an environment he thrives in. He started with Blockbuster video stores, transitioned to a large-format signs company, and then took on one of his biggest undertakings to date: heading up Dunkin’ franchises across Florida for over twelve years.

But despite these accomplishments, there was something Demy was missing. While he had a passion for running a business, he wanted to pursue something more local – an opportunity where he could truly lay down roots in his community, so to speak.

And it was with this desire that Roots to Rise was born. Demy decided to depart from his Dunkin’ franchises and open a health-focused café in the heart of Waltham, one that offered organic and locally sourced ingredients with every order.

“In yoga, the cue ‘roots to rise’ means to plant a strong foundation on the ground to enable you to grow tall, stable and wise,” the Roots to Rise website reads. “We believe you cultivate health and happiness from the ground up, starting with the foods you eat.”

So, that’s exactly what Demy did – he built Roots to Rise from the ground up, providing fresh food that promotes the well-being of every customer. Demy explains, “The idea behind Roots to Rise is to curate a menu that is both delicious and healthy. And we don’t just say it’s healthy – it really is all about health.”

The café itself is trendy and inviting, with serene white furniture and cool, gray flooring that Demy’s daughter and wife picked out themselves. However, it’s the extensive menu that really keeps customers coming back through the door. For breakfast, customers can enjoy overnight oats, acai bowls, breakfast sandwiches and a selection of bakery items. For lunch or dinner, Roots to Rise provides a large array of salad combinations, warm bowls, soups, sandwiches and wraps. No matter the order though, every single option offers a vibrant and unique take on healthy, fresh meals.

“At the end of the day,” Demy affirms. “All that really matters is the food.”

Roots to Rise officially opened to the public in March of 2021 and welcoming new customers into a café on the heels of a national pandemic was a feat within itself. Yet, with his positive attitude and entrepreneurial sprit, Demy has already managed to make Roots to Rise a staple in the community.

“To me, the best part of being a business owner is actually building the business,” Demy relays. “You work a lot harder and it’s a lot less lucrative but waking up every day with the stimulation of building a business – that’s both challenging and fun.”

It’s this mindset that continuously pushes Demy to keep going, innovation always front of mind. As Demy found success with Roots to Rise, he didn’t want to stop there. In addition to his café, he wanted to find a new way to safely share his food with the world. And then, he was struck by a new idea: Farm Shacks.

Farm Shacks can be found in private office buildings and medical centers across Massachusetts, as well as in two public locations in Waltham and Framingham. A cross between a high-tech refrigerator and a healthy vending machine, Farm Shacks are open 24/7 and are stocked full of cold-based Roots to Rise menu items, made fresh daily right from their Waltham location.

“There’s nothing in the shack that’s not in the café,” Demy says. “It’s all delicious healthy food, and we really do source good ingredients.” Then Demy laughs. “It’s not unusual for the busiest time of day to be around 6:00PM. People will actually do their dinner shopping in the Farm Shacks, so they don’t have to cook at night.”

To use the Farm Shack, all a customer needs to do is swipe their credit card and pick out the food they want, charged only for the items they specifically take out. Each meal is provided in “sealed, sanitized and tamper-evident to-go containers” that are perfect for socially distancing during COVID. Demy himself receives an alert when food is low, and he will restock the Farm Shacks daily if needed. Any unpurchased meals are donated directly to the Waltham Boys and Girls Club before they spoil.

“A lot of people are starting to return to their offices. I want them to have in-house healthy food items that they can easily access. It’s delivered daily, really is delicious, and is a great option for anyone,” Demy describes earnestly.

He goes on to say, “The pandemic was a huge negative for the food business, but as we come out of it, I actually think we’re in a really good spot. I wish it didn’t happen, but we couldn’t control it. And now that it has happened, the combination of my café and my shacks is very relevant right now. Business gets better every single week.”

Demy doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon either. In fact, he’s already arranged to open one more Roots to Rise café in Burlington, MA by the end of the year, along with bringing Farm Shacks to another fifteen locations.

Through it all, Demy is truly proud of the success he’s unearthed so far. “I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time. I wake up every day and do the best that I can. I listen to our customers and crew and I try to make the best decisions moving forward. I really try to create an environment that people enjoy being part of.”


If you’d like to try Roots to Rise or you’re interested in a Farm Shack for your office, make sure to visit Demy’s website at

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Published by ConnectPay August 11, 2021