Celebrating 2 years – Part II

Celebrating 2 years Continued.  

As the 19th of November approaches and I look back over all we have accomplished these past 2 years, I want to say thank you to our customers, friends & supporters & provide answers to frequent questions.

Why Fresh is so Important Vitamins are delicate and erode quickly.  They are particularly sensitive to heat, light, & time.  So pasteurized juices (high heat), those on the shelf for days, weeks, months, have little natural nutritional value.  Fresh juices, on the other hand, particularly if using local organically grown produce, have the maximum levels of minerals, vitamins, live enzymes & nutrients that your body can quickly absorb and begin using. Try one of our juices, you will feel the energy kick within minutes (not from sugar or caffeine)!

Why Did I Open the Juice Joint? –  It was two things, 1) the declining quality of our Health Care System (Policy & Insurance driven – not provider driven) and 2) my own health issues.   I am a type II diabetic who, in the past, enthusiastically relied on medications and easy solutions to solve my health problems.  If there was a medicine, I took it, if there was an easier, more time efficient method, I opted for it. Things changed four years ago. After teaching for two decades at the college level, I began working with my husband (independent physical therapist) who owns his own practice to help him adjust to the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act (hospital employment of independent referring physicians and thus initial declines in referrals, declining reimbursement, escalating costs, massive increases in paperwork).  After banging my head against a brick wall for four years trying to work with the government, insurance carriers, our representatives (State and Federal Level), I realized that the health care system we have taken for granted is disappearing.  It became very clear to me that I could no longer rely on the medical system to care for me, certainly not in my old age.  So, I decided to take more responsibility for my own health and help others do the same.  The Northgate Juice Joint was the result.  I had already been juicing at home and knew it could make a difference in my diabetes and my overall health.  But, I could not find local juice that was fresh, made using organics or that included vegetables, particularly greens and no added sugars or chemicals.   The Juice Joint is my solution…. fresh, local, and organic, juices/smoothies & now food available to the public.  We all need to take a more active role in our health!  I’m still a work in progressJ

Educating Consumers – Part of our mission is education.  Thus, we hold free classes, showing community members how to make some of our most popular items, how to grow food in small spaces with little resources, how to use herbs in food and hair/skin products, how to recycle, how to become a Certified Green Restaurant, and information on why using fresh is best & why organic matters.  I am available to speak at any organization or group function.

Giving Students/Faculty/Staff/Community an Option – I am a mother of a 17 year old (15 at the time we began).  She intended to go to TAMU and major in animation.  I wanted her to have a place she could go to relax, enjoy flowers/plants, and eat/drink something healthy and delicious.  We provide a beautiful, peaceful urban garden, full of color, greenery and fresh air.  We have “toys” and other stress relieving items so students (faculty & staff) can relax and take a rest from the busy, stressful pressures of school/work and at the same time give their body needed nutrients that fast food doesn’t provide.  Everyone is welcome… we are pet friendly…come enjoy life!

Vegetarian and Vegan (Raw) Friendly –we believe fresh produce & herbs with little processing provide tremendous benefits for everyone.  We are not adverse to Paleo, Fat Blocker, Whole 360, or other programs and intend to expand our menu in the future.  Our underlying message is that the best foods are: natural, not processed, fresh (local) and chemical-free.   So, we provide vegan options but will not likely serve processed vegan items.  We provide vegetarian options but will always provide organic options for the dirty dozen and use local whenever possible. We will be providing baked goods in the future but they will be home-made from scratch.  I am always open to suggestions and want anyone who shares our interests in good health, sustainable practices, and sharing information to feel welcome at the Juice Joint.

The Future – We are opening a commercial kitchen in Bryan so we can provide more healthy food options at the Juice Joint.   We are also considering the purchase of a food truck for those who can’t come to Northgate (remember parking is free 11am -2pm).  We are expanding our catering services (e.g., weddings, birthday parties, ring dunks) and deliveries (minimum orders).  If you have any ideas or suggestions, let us know.  If it’s possible and financially feasible, we’ll do it. I’m posting weekly blogs in the New Year, sending out an email news short and pursuing new uses for our outdoor stage (poetry readings, local artists, new classes).

Although just words, these are heartfelt and sincere… “thank you; customers, family, employees, suppliers,  advisors, interns, & community partners for making this dream a reality…”.Lisa Bradway, Owner Northgate Juice Joint