Natural Juice Cafe is Gainesville's one-stop-shop for fresh juice and foods. The cafe has been around going on its sixth year, so maybe you have heard of it, but if you haven't, it's worth trying and your health will thank you for it later.
Owner Brett Copeland said the juice bar started as an idea of his wife's, but business got so busy he had to step away from his job to pursue the side business full-time.
"It was interesting," Copeland said. "It was the first juice bar in Gainesville, the first thing of its kind, so we really didn't know what it was going to do because it was such a different concept for here," he said.
Natural Juice Cafe is located off of Limestone Parkway, tucked away in what seems to be the perfect location. The business shares a building with a spa - also owned by the Copelands - Habersham Bicycles and Georgia Front Runners, all businesses geared toward a customer base that likely follows a health-conscious life.
Copeland and his wife believed the juice bar was an element the Gainesville area was missing, because fresh juice and healthy eating is such an important part of their lives to help them maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
"You take whole fruits and vegetables, run them through the juicer and it pulls all the fibers and stuff out, but leaves all of the nutrition in it. It's like taking a big, huge multi-vitamin," Copeland said. "In order to get that much [nutrition, vitamins and minerals] out of vegetables, you would have to eat so much that your jaw would get sore chewing it," he said.
Copeland said the business goes through roughly 30-40 pounds of fruits and vegetables a day. Copeland said the cafe's biggest seller is "Fifty Shades of Green," a 16-ounce drink that contains two whole apples, two whole cucumbers, 2 stalks of celery, 2 leaves of kale, a lemon wedge and fresh ginger. It is no wonder the business goes through so much produce.
According to Copeland, the most effective and beneficial product on the cafe's menu is a shot of wheatgrass, the first sprout you see when growing a wheat plant. Because it is the sprout and not a matured wheat plant, it is a gluten-free product.
"It's actually the most nutritious food on Earth as far as by weight. It has more vitamins and minerals than anything else," Copeland said. "One ounce of wheatgrass is equivalent to eating almost a pound of spinach," he said.
Copeland said for most people, one or two ounces is the body's limit until it can get used to it. He said if you take more, it will take on a cleansing affect. Yikes!
Besides the fresh juices, the cafe offers house-made kombucha on-tap, and a fresh ingredient menu with items such as soups, salads and sandwiches.
Copeland said the cafe is the perfect place for someone who wants to eat healthier, but doesn't know where to start or how to do it.
"Everyone has gone to a friend's house who eats healthy foods and it doesn't taste good, and that was one of the primary things we wanted to make different about here," Copeland said. "We were able to give people something that is good for you and tasted good, too."
Copeland said the business is holding off on major expansions for now, but they have added delivery to their services this year.
Small Business Spotloght is a periodic feature highlighting unique small businesses in AccessWDUN's 10-county coverage area.