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Ithaca Gets A Culture Shock

Written by Conor Harrington

Culture Shock celebrated its opening with a performance by local band ZGress.

A new Ithaca eatery is shocking college kids and locals alike with its cultured confections and cuisine.

Marian Flaxman said she opened Culture Shock on Cayuga Street in Ithaca because she saw something missing in Ithaca, NY.

“There is so much amazing food that is being done across the country that wasn’t happening here, which is silly because Ithaca is so progressive and forward-thinking,” she said.

Culture Shock owner Marian Flaxman serves customers a glass of jasmine kombucha.

After graduating from New York’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Flaxman lent her hand to a small start-up company created by Ithaca alum Samantha Abrams ’08.

“I worked for Emmy’s Organics for about a year doing their sales and marketing and now they’re all over the country,” she said.

So, enter Culture Shock­ – a family friendly eatery by day and a happening hangout by night. There will be rotating art shows adorning the walls and live entertainment filling the air every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.


Flaxman's daughter, Aurora, was a big part of the inspiration for Culture Shock.  She sits in the front window area, which serves as a study and lounge area.

The menu will feature bountiful salads, hearty soups, and low-fat frozen yogurt. Everything is made with organic, live-cultured, and local ingredients with plenty of options for everyone.

“The philosophy is as fresh as possible and as fun as possible,” she said.

Flaxman said she feels like she’s living her dream through opening Culture Shock. With a few IC students by her side to staff the restaurant, she’s ready to shock the city with her new, electrifying eatery.




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