Juice and salad bar ready to give Carson City a healthy shot
Douglas County couple Bryan Murphy and Kacie DeKruse didn’t expect to receive such a warm welcome to their Carson City-based juice and salad bar business, So Juicy, before opening July 8.
They had about 900 followers on Facebook, and they’d received numerous requests online and in person about when they’d be ready for business at 208 N. Carson St. The community was eager to try the couple’s menu of mixed juices, assorted smoothies, wellness shots and salads with choices to include chicken, tofu and other healthy assortments.
“I think there’s a huge demand for this in our area,” Murphy said. “People are e-mailing, texting, ‘When are you opening?’ We have guys working here every single day. … We have gyms wanting to partner up with us.”
The building So Juicy sits in was built in the early 1910s and Murphy said it still has the original ceiling. The space is about 1,450 square feet with a full patio space in the back. Former tenants include a bakery, an Italian restaurant, a grocery store and it was even converted into a gym for former personal trainer Bijhan Jazani, who owned Body by Bijhan.
Murphy, currently working full-time during the day as a sales manager, and DeKruse have painted, changed the flooring, torn out the tea bar and restored paneling to make room for a display refrigerator and pick-up station, community tables and more to provide a welcoming atmosphere.
The inspiration for So Juicy came from Murphy and the difficult transition before his first wife, Andrea, died from brain cancer. Doctors placed her on a juice diet as they tried surgery and chemotherapy, but the process to squeeze fresh juice drinks daily was time-consuming, DeKruse said. The couple said they’d wished they had a place like So Juicy at the time to be able to purchase drinks at their convenience.
“We want to give our community a healthier option,” she said. “The juices, healthy shots — nothing has sugar. We’re never going to order sugar. The dates are what sweeten the smoothies.”
All of the dressings for their salads are vegan, she said, including their assortments of ranch, bleu cheese and Thousand Island.
Customers can choose their greens, from a spring mix to spinach, kale and romaine, and add a variety of toppings including avocado, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, radishes, edamame, strawberries and more. If they want extra protein, they can add shredded chicken or tofu.
DeKruse, who previously worked in restaurants and studied chemical engineering and education, wants to use her experience in her new business. She has plans to engage the employees she hires in games, scavenger hunts or activities in the store to help the community learn how to become healthy and choose drinks or salads to help them make even smaller changes in their dietary habits.
“We just want to help people get healthy,” she said. “For me, a lot of what I want out of this business is to educate people.”
She said she’s currently creating a cleanse guide offering detox schedules and regimens to help those interested getting back on the path to better health succeed with proper guidance. They break down better cooking techniques and routines of raw fruits and what their enzymes can do throughout the week with cold-pressed juices, steamed vegetables and salads.
She hopes the opportunities to learn more about the ingredients or processes of creating the drinks will encourage everyone to try new drinks or salads and set them on a healthier path, especially with a coldpress on a hand that will give their fruits and vegetables 25,000 pounds of pressure.
“With the coldpress, you’re getting 100 percent of the vitamins and minerals,” she said. “If you drink one of these juices, you feel it instantly, where, if you drink just apple juice, you just get a little sugar high.”
Murphy said he hopes patrons will learn the importance of picking up an all-natural diet.
“Our passion is the justification for starting this business,” he said.
Murphy and DeKruse said they’re grateful to their family and friends, Dave and Cheryl Agresti and Shalyn Lewallen, for the support they’ve provided. They’ve also worked with their vendor, Fifth Street in Sacramento, in purchasing their blenders and equipment.
“It makes me appreciate small businesses so much,” DeKruse said.
For information about So Juicy, visit http://www.sojuicyjuice.com or follow Murphy and DeKruse’s page on Facebook.