As soon as you step into Juice Bar, you are instantly energized by the bright decor, upbeat music and friendly staff. And this is even before you order one of Juice Bar’s colorful concoctions chock-full of vitamins and minerals!
The engaging juice makers behind the Juice Bar counter are extremely knowledgeable and helpful in guiding you to the perfect drink, meal or snack to satisfy your cravings and nutritional needs. This juice joint is a guilt-free, body-nourishing haven, as Juice Bar prides itself on being the tastiest and healthiest “fast-food option” in Hoover.
“Birmingham is super progressive right now in the food movement, and there has just always been a really good food scene here,” says Kimberley Rushton, owner of the Chace Lake location. “I just think that, right now, with all the young people coming here to work, juice needs to be a part of the city because it’s a healthy and easy on-the-go option.”
When Kimberley found out about Jon and Vui Hunt’s journey to a happier and healthier life through founding Juice Bar, she was hooked right away. The Nashville-based company was looking to expand its brand and Kimberley saw a niche for juice that needed to be filled in Birmingham.
“Fresh Hospitality is the parent company over Juice Bar and was already big here with Taziki’s Cafe, Little Donkey and Octane Coffee Bar & Lounge,” says Kimberley. “When the concept was being introduced to Fresh Hospitality, I met with the founders and just fell in love with their concept. It was something I wanted to be a part of and something I would like to educate others about when it comes to healthy eating.”
Juice Bar is mostly vegetarian and gluten-free, organic as much as possible and is built on 100 percent whole produce. Juice is not only trending on the health-foodie circuits but its benefits also are impressive. It’s like drinking a flavorful liquid vitamin, packed with natural antioxidants, essential minerals and living enzymes that revitalize and detoxify your body. It’s also a “fast food” option that won’t leave you in a mid-afternoon slump. “I enjoy giving people a reason to rethink their lunch break as a time when they do not have to compromise their health just because they are pressed for time,” says Kimberley, adding, “and it’s delicious!” Kimberley knew this forward-thinking, health-conscious approach would be something that appealed to people of all walks of life.
“Juice has kind of swept from the West Coast, where there are all sorts of juice bars everywhere, and then to the East Coast up in New York; now it’s making it’s way through the Southeast,” says Kimberley. “There’s a lot of room for growth in the health world, especially here.”
Juice Bar offers all sorts of options, from simple juices, to superfood-packed smoothies and satisfying lunch options that will keep you energized throughout the day. Whether you’re a kale-eating health nut or a drive-thru diva, Kimberley says that everyone can find something to enjoy on the menu.
“A lot of people are scared of green,” says Kimberley. “I think that the green here is not scary. Sure, you can get a Super Greens juice with wheatgrass in it — and that definitely is a little more earthy tasting — but the Sweet Greens juice is always a favorite. Whenever we pass out samples of it, people are usually happily surprised with the taste. Our founders, who made the recipes, are super passionate about healthy food and creating things that are not only good for you but that taste really good, too.”
Juice Bar also offers basic smoothies like Very Strawberry that is simply made with strawberries, banana, and juiced apple for children or health-nuts-to-be that are still skeptical of drinking their veggies. Or, for the juice aficionados, the most power-packed, fiber-heavy menu option is The Doc, loaded with kale, spinach, mixed berries, bananas, ginger, juiced apple, spirulina and probiotics — supplying a substantial portion of your daily nutrients in one tasty drink. But Kimberley’s favorite is Matcha Green, made with matcha green tea powder, maca powder, cashews, spinach, lemon, banana and almond milk. There are plenty of food items as well, from pad thai noodles to overnight oats and quinoa salads made fresh in-house every day.
The store works with like-minded local companies to incorporate their Birmingham-based products into the ingredients list as healthy, locally sourced options. Kimberley started by sourcing her honey from Foxhound Bee Company in Hoover and sells Better Kombucha from Homewood. Kimberley has enjoyed the feedback from customers and is working to bring in more of the hard-to-find, locally sourced products that make Birmingham so special.
Juice Bar also offers one-, two- and three-day cleanses to detoxify and rejuvenate the body from the inside out. These cleanses can be done as often as the customer would like, and Kimberley and her staff work with customers to ensure a safe, healthy and happy cleanse — whether it be for weight loss or simply to detox.
“I did a three-day cleanse last week and I’ve done several others with some of the employees since working here,” says Kimberley. “We like to be able to relate to customers and tell them how we felt after doing cleanses. Juicing is great because your body is not working to process the food because it can just go straight into your bloodstream. You’re getting all of these concentrated vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can boost your immune system and detoxify your body, and you’re being energized by pure, natural sugars.”
Kimberley enjoys being able to use Juice Bar as an opportunity to engage locals in conversation about health and wellness and is working on ways to educate the public through workshops and classes. Her Chace Lake location is currently offering summer workshops on essential oils, taught by an expert from the area. She is also cooking up plans for more gatherings and events to get the community excited about living healthier lifestyles and providing them the means to actually implement healthy living.
As the Juice Bar franchise continues to expand throughout the Southeast and Midwest, Kimberley is excited about the opportunities it has to grow in Magic City, as well. “We definitely want to grow this location and are planning on opening more Juice Bars in Birmingham,” says Kimberley. “We are just going to work and continue to keep doing what we are doing to help people balance a healthy lifestyle.”
Juice Bar currently has one location in Birmingham at 4745 Chace Circle, Suite 109, Hoover, AL 35244. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To find out more about Juice Bar, visit ilovejuicebar.com.
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