Down The Aisle:Kerrilynn Pamer and Cindy DiPrima

Co- Owners of CAP Beauty Interview and Images by Aimee Brodeur

There are two kinds of shoppers in the world- those who endlessly hunt for their most coveted items, and those who aren't interested in investing that sort of time. As a vintage and thrift store digger myself, I relate mostly to the first. To be honest, there is an endless amount of shit out there in the food world, as well as in the worlds of clothing and beauty. When I stumbled upon Kerrilynn and Cindy's store, CAP Beauty, I felt an instant kinship. They bring that same spirit of the hunt with them to the grocery store. Shopping with these ladies is one hell of an education, so as you can guess, I was in grocery heaven (if such a place could exist). As they hollered over multiple aisles at the tiny West Village market, I burned through pages and pages of notes filled with tips, tricks, products, and opinions. These women are the real deal, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share their wealth of knowledge with you

Do you have a routine around buying food?

C: There’s definitely a big shopping trip once a week for us. I do shop at Whole Foods, they deliver to my house for free. It’s probably the closest thing in the the city to one-stop-shopping. I have kids and so there are just certain staples you need to have in the house with them. If there’s a playdate on Thursday, I know I’ll need to have strawberries and snacks for the kids. I usually do a combo of Whole Foods and the little independent places.

K: I shop like I’m a billionaire (laughing). I don’t go out a lot and we don’t order in, so I’ll spend $15 dollars on a bag of olives instead of having a $15 dollar cocktail.  It’s an accessible luxury. We’re across the street from Life Thyme, but I mostly go to  Integral Yoga Natural Foods and Natural Apothecary.

So what made the transition from the one big stop to lots of little trips?

K: I think the way I now eat made a difference. I eat tons of vegetables, so by default I was like, “I am going to buy vegetables every day.” My husband hates Whole Foods, so now we go to little healthy stores.

Any specific places that you have sought out for items that you love and are hard to find?

C: I feel like so many things are becoming rarified. We order our bread from a place in California called Grindstone Bakers.  If you order it on Saturday they’ll ship it on Tuesday, but you have to order it in multiples of four because that’s what fits in the box. It’s incredible. There’s one that’s a millet and quinoa.  Very simple ingredients, no fillers, and just a little fermented apple cider. We just discovered the quinoa and fennel. It is off the chain.

K: Cindy’s right, our rarefied tastes make us seem like assholes but it’s really that our taste is getting more and more specific.

C: I used to always buy the gluten-free bread from Our Daily Bread at the farmer’s market. I’m not celiac, but at a certain point it’s not just about avoiding gluten. There are so many crappy breads out there. I’d rather eat something from She Wolf Bakery that has wheat in it than have some bad gluten-free bread. If it’s not healthy, I don’t want it.

You guys are like the best people to talk to about this, which makes sense since you are starting to incorporate food into CAP Beauty.

C: We’ve done a bit of food from the beginning. It chose us, in a way. We had a couple of food items and they worked out better than we ever expected, so we just kept adding more. It’s not like we’re forcing the food on our customers, it’s more that they were starting to ask for it.  I think there’s trust, also. Just because it’s from Whole Foods doesn’t mean it’s healthy. There’s pretty good chocolate, and then there’s truly healthy chocolate. There’s a difference.

K: Have you tried Honey Mama’s chocolate? The best. It’s out of Portland, Oregon. Cindy likes the coconut one. I like the mint one.  It’s really delicious. When I became a vegan I got really into food. I used to go to the butcher Ottomanelli’s  all the time. I was friends with them, they’re all brothers. When I pass by now, I’m so tempted. But I transitioned my diet to just eating plants. So I was like, “How do I make my food the best within this realm?” It was really exciting and fun to keep learning and expanding on [my diet].

How have your routines changed (if it all), over the last five, ten years?

C: It changed a lot. We’ve always been into cooking and entertaining. It’s almost like now there’s a higher standard for what we want to be eating. It fuels more curiosity to bring in new elements.

K: Now that I’m vegan, it’s almost more simple and more complex at the same time. I was really into cooking from recipes and I always felt kind of bad about it. My mom’s an amazing cook and she thinks cooking with recipes is rigid. I was saying to my husband just last night that we have virtually nothing in the fridge. And in the past that would’ve meant eating a meal out. I’d say, “Let’s go to Franny’s”, but now it’s a challenge I look forward to. I’m like, “GAME ON!” I have learned to understand flavors a lot more and how they should exist together. Before, I was reliant on heavy seasonings for meat. Now, I don’t feel like I have that in my arsenal, which makes it more simple and so good creatively. Now I don’t feel like I am limited.

Would you say you’re still getting the same types of food?

K: No, totally different. I LOVED meat. I’d be like, “Where can I find the most obscure pork?” I was INTO it.

What made the change for you?

K: I did this cleanse with Cindy. This 21 day vegan cleanse through Kris Carr. She’s great.

C: She wrote a book. It was her challenge to go veggie for a week. I’ve always leaned pretty heavily on veggies.  As a kid I didn’t like the texture of meat. I always thought it was a cool thing that when you’re an adult, no one makes you eat meat! That said, now I’m way more flexible. My husband is French and the son of a horse butcher. He’s very curious about the way I eat. On our first date he asked if I could cook. I told him I make really good salads, and he thought I was full of shit. But now he begs me to make my salads!

K: My husband used to be a vegetarian and I’d be like, “Enough with this!” But 21 days into the cleanse, I felt totally different. It used to be… That’s how you celebrated- eating meat. My husband would call it “meat fest”. Meat was always synonymous with celebration, success, and holidays. It would feel cozy. But now I totally reoriented that mindset.

Was there ever a beauty tip you were told about that’s now a part of your routine?

C: Toners. I never thought it was an important part of the beauty process, but now it’s a part of mine. A person told me you need to change your physiology every day. Whatever it is- sex, a cold shower, breathing exercises. Being intentional about it. I hate the cold showers, but I believe it works very well. Or throwing your arms around for thirty minutes straight. I was so tired last night, but it works. You feel really different afterwards.

What are some of your favorite brands that CAP carries?

K: We’ve turned a lot of people on to adaptogens. When we started CAP, we started really slow with Sun Potion, and I think we had Reishi and Tocos. They’re out of Santa Barbara. They did well. I remember when we opened our store and Sun Potion came to the opening. It was kind of this revelation for us- people wanting this information. We had been open for three days, and we had forty or fifty people lining up to learn about adaptogens.

C: People love the CAP Beauty elixir for how delicious and transformative it is. The coconut butter is also a huge one. We’re not saying this lightly- ours is really the best. Our facials too. The whole technique at CAP Beauty is about working the skin manually. We have a proprietary technique of massage. Stimulating collagen. There’s also an aspect of that you can do it at home. Someone compared it to the dentist. You can brush your teeth at home, but you have to come to the dentist every six months. Same with the facials, you can come to us for a facial once a month and continue to do it back at home. I think the biggest thing is that beauty isn’t just topical products. Especially having celiac’s, it doesn’t matter what products you’re using on your skin. For me, if I eat gluten, my skin will just erupt. That’s why we believe it comes from within. It starts with your gut- what you’re ingesting. It starts with what you’re eating.

K: Beauty is also a larger idea about how you engage with the world. It’s really antiquated to see [the cover girl model] as a singular idea of beauty. We’ve tried to come at it in a way that everyone has access to. I think the beauty industry hasn’t always been a place where people feel they have access. With this approach, everyone can tap into it.

What is your favorite wellness product that is food-based?

C: Eating more vegetables than you think you need. Medicinal mushrooms. Outside of the adaptogens are these concentrated forms of nutrition ashitaba, and even freeze-dried food like fennel to sprinkle on top of a meal. If we have any kind of food philosophy, it would be tune into yourself and do what feels good, in a long term way. Does your body feel good when you’re engaging with plants? When you’re exercising a lot?

What are your favorite grocery spots in NYC?

C: Perelandra, this super old-school juice bar. They have refrigerated bulk bins. The Green Market. I actually really love Dean & Deluca. They’ve been really good recently. Also Eataly is close to our home.

K: I weirdly love Elm Health. It looks like a pharmacy, but they always have these weird discounts. We used to be members of the Park Slope Food Co-Op. The food is so delicious and outrageous, but I don’t have the time anymore. But it’s brilliant. My job there was to do check-out. It’s so much fun to see what everyone was getting. We also go to the farmer’s market at Grand Army Plaza. There’s a few stands that are amazing there. Willow Wisp Farms, this guy Greg we love there. There’s this woman, Kira Kinney. She has a stand called Evolutionary Organic. She grows greens, makes hot sauces, she does arm wrestling on the side, totally a tough woman. My husband makes his own sauerkraut and he’s become friendly with her because he sources his cabbage from her. Her food is exquisite.

Favorite go-to meals you find yourself eating each week?

K: For both of us, a huge salad. A tricked out salad with sunflower seeds, gorgeous greens, avocados, olives. That’s a daily. A more weekly thing is roasted cauliflower. We have this recipe we both do with nutritional yeast and tons of turmeric. It’s really comfort food-y.