Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Vegan Mofo: My Favorite Late Summer Food Is Juice!!!

Today's Vegan Mofo theme is "favorite late summer food." And truth be told, I have a lot of favorite late summer foods — tomatoes, cantaloupe, hot peppers from our garden, snow cones, ice cream, basically all the things that I won't be eating much of in the fall and winter months. But Midtown Memphis is getting a new juice bar, and they're having an opening party this weekend.

Sweet Greens, Ginger Greens, We Got the Beet, Orange You Glad, and Fresh Greens.

I wanted a chance to feature I Love Juice Bar, and it seemed to work best into the summer food theme. I drink fresh juice all year round, but I definitely drink more of it in the hot summer months. And around this time of year, I'm trying to hang on to summer any way I can. So bring on the fresh juice! And smoothies!

Matcha Green smoothie

I Love Juice Bar is a juice and smoothie franchise (with vegan food items!) opening a Memphis location at 553 S. Cooper this weekend. They specialize in affordable juices and smoothies — a 16-ounce starts at $5.50! 

Sprout Sandwich with "Orange You Glad" juice

For my out-of-town/international readers, some background: Memphis has had one all-vegan juice bar (Cosmic Coconut) and two vegan juice/raw food trucks (the Raw Girls) for some time. But Cosmic Coconut is way far away from my house in Midtown, about 20 minutes. And while the Raw Girls operate one of their food trucks in Midtown, it's not open all the time. I Love Juice Bar will be Midtown's only brick-and-mortar juice bar!

Spring Rolls with "Orange You Glad" juice

Juice Bar is a franchise, but it's owned by a local — Scott Tashie, the same guy who owns Cosmic Coconut. Scott took a few minutes to share the scoop on Juice Bar, which will have its opening party this Saturday, September 19th during the Cooper-Young Fest beginning at 7 a.m. I've heard there will be juice pong (Like beer pong! But with juice!) and free samples. Read on for more details. 

Vegan Crunk: Why did you decide to bring the I Love Juice Bar chain to Memphis?
Scott Tashie: I spent some time in Nashville about a year and a half ago and came across I Love Juice Bar. I loved the atmosphere, the energy, and the juice was awesome! Being a lifelong Memphian, I want to see businesses in this city that promote growth and can contribute to the overall wellbeing of our residents. The I Love Juice Bar concept seemed like such a perfect addition to our dining scene, so it made total sense to customize it for Memphis.

What sets it apart from Cosmic Coconut?

I Love Juice Bar focuses on delicious juices and smoothies made with simple ingredients, whereas Cosmic Coconut offers a wider range of food options. However, we are actually about to make some changes at the Coconut in the near future, so stay tuned!

What's your favorite juice on the menu? Favorite smoothie?
My favorite smoothie: Smooth Beet. It was the first smoothie I tried from I Love Juice Bar, and I became an instant fan. The sugar from the beets sweetens the smoothie, while giving it a cool color and really nice texture. My favorite juice has got to be Sweet Greens. I'm always on the go, so getting to drink my greens and having it taste so great is a huge plus for me. There are over three cups of leafy greens in one of these juices!

I'm most intrigued by the essential oil shots. How do those work? Are they smoothie add-ins? Do you just shoot them on their own?
We have formulated shots using the essential oils to give our customers a quick boost, offering them separately from the smoothies and juices. They are excellent for increasing alertness and concentration, helping with relaxation, and fighting allergies.

What food items will you offer?
We will be offering a tasty sprout sandwich, spring rolls, a kale salad, a parfait, hummus and veggies and seasonal soups. All are fantastic on their own or to complement a juice.

What's planned for the Saturday opening? I've heard rumors of juice pong!
The rumors are correct! Juice pong, live music starting mid-morning, and some great giveaway prizes throughout the day on the 19th. Oh and of course, there will be lots of juices and smoothies! Hope to see you and your readers there!

1 comment:

Tea and Sympatico said...

Essential oil shots sounds intruiging! We are about to get a vegan juice bar in my little town too and I'm so excited.