When most of us wake up in the morning, the first thing we reach for is a cup of quick-brewed hot coffee. Running between work, home and after-school activities, it seems like we can’t get through the day without on-the-go meals and several more cups of coffee.
Bianca Szyperski, a busy mother of four, realized that she desperately needed to change this routine.
“I was always driving around and ended up at a coffee shop. I’d go in and inevitably also come out with a pastry. I was really struggling to find healthy foods,” she said.
Szyperski and co-founder Mala Raman hoped to solve this everyday battle, and in 2013 opened Jujubeet’s flagship store in Bellevue. A juice bar, Jujubeet offers healthy choices for an on-the-go clientele.
“We wanted to open a store that no matter what you chose, it was going to be good for you — not processed,” Szyperski said.
Jujubeet expanded across Lake Washington to open near University Village a year later. But many of the clientele that they were serving lived on the Eastside, and Szyperski and Raman wanted to bring their menu closer to customers. A growing fitness community in Redmond, along with the city’s growth helped make the decision to open Jujubeet’s newest store in Redmond Town Center.
“This is the first time we’ve had a store in a mall-like setting, but there’s lots of foot traffic, which is really what we’re targeting,” Raman said.
Jujubeet employs about 30 people across their three locations, including an on-staff dietician who offers advice on how to create nutritional recipes while avoiding face-scrunching flavors and textures that “all-natural” diets tend to create.
Take, for example, Jujebeet’s “artisan” juices. “Happy Greens,” “Carrot Zinger” and “Just Beet It!” pack a nutritional punch, the store owners say, without tasting like the bottom of the vegetable drawer. “Carrot Zinger” includes carrot juice, green apples, ginger and lemon, but the spiciness of the ginger is really all that you taste, with subtle notes of lemon and apple. The carrot is almost unnoticeable, making it a hit with people who otherwise might not have tried it because of the reputation of juice cleanse-style drinks.
Jujubeet also offers a full range of salads, wraps, snacks and sweets.
For those with a sweet tooth, Jujubeet offers tasty treats like cinnamon truffles, raspberry-cashew tortes and chocolate pots, all costing around five dollars. But even these treats offer health benefits, Szyperski notes, explaining that cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has been shown to help with attention and focus issues like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Customers Bettina and John Clowry are friends of Szyperski, and believe that a juice bar like Jujubeet is a more cost effective way to make healthy choices throughout the day. Juices cost between $7.95 and $9.95 and smoothies run between $7.95 and $10.95.
“It’s awesome, so much better than just grabbing a cup of coffee in the middle of the day,” Bettina Clowry said.
“We’ve tried to do juice cleanses at home,” her husband, John said. “You buy the juicer and have all the intentions of using it, but you never do. And by the time you buy all of the fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to the juicer, it’s no longer cost effective.”
Jujubeet also offers three different 10-day wellness challenges, costing about $350, which include a three-day juice cleanse, a yoga package and a hydrotherapy session at a spa. Additionally, Jujubeet provides email support with recipes and inspirational information to keep clients motivated throughout the wellness challenge.
Jujubeet’s mission statement, in part reads, “We believe in seizing the moment — it only takes a moment to treat your body right; it only takes a moment to make a fresh start.”
Ashley Walls is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.
Photo: Fresh, artisan juices are at the core of Jujubeet’s menu. “Just Beet It!” (pictured center) is a mixture of beets, carrots, green apples and lemon. Courtesy of Bianca Szyperski