Interview: The Weekly Juicery

{So excited that our awesome intern, Holly Godbey, has put together her first interview for us! We are so grateful to have her on our team while she works towards her degree at the University of Kentucky. Without her editorial help and morale boost, SK wouldn’t be nearly what it is today. To learn more about Holly, visit our team page—but first read her post about a new and innovative green Lexington business.}

Tucked away on Old Vine Street in downtown Lexington is one of the most refreshing and outright charming storefronts that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting since moving to the city. It’s called The Weekly Juicery, ran by the lovely owner, Kimmye Bohannon, and her business partner, Elizabeth Beal. They offer the freshest in cold-pressed juices and specialty smoothies, my favorite being the seasonal and delicious Holiday Apple. I was recently given the privilege of chatting with Kimmye at The Weekly Juicery, and was given quite a few more reasons to love this new and thriving establishment.

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What exactly inspired you to open a juice bar?

Well, my neighbor Elizabeth and I—we had previously juiced for each other for a long time, a few months at least, and we felt so much better. It’s life-changing. It’s not something like a diet or a magic pill or a secret sauce. It’s just a way of living and it makes good sense. And you just feel so much better that I said, this is something that everybody needs to experience, but it takes so much time to actually gather the produce you need, source it organically, and then it’s a process to clean it up and put it away.  So from the very beginning our mission has been to make healthy juice convenient for many people, which is why we deliver.  In our society, unhealthy food and convenience are closely related. Healthy and convenient not so much. So we are one thing—healthy and convenient.

When you buy your produce, do you buy locally?

We do, our main produce supplier is Bluegrass Produce. And he’s planning on overwintering kale and organic beets for us. Everything they do is sustainably grown, even though they don’t have organic certification. There’s just a big component of organics in that things come out of our local soil, I believe that to the fullest. And so yes, we do source everything we can from local people during the growing season. And he’s helping us take that approach little further, saying, you know what, I’m a soil scientist, I can overwinter kale, I can overwinter beets for you. And that was something that would have been not a possibility without using those guys. And then in the summer, yes, they source everything they can for us locally.

How has the community responded since you opened?

Oh my gosh, probably better than I could have ever imagined. We started by doing weekly subscriptions of juice. We had a kitchen and we delivered. We would make our juice and then deliver to our customers. We started with five and grew to a hundred pretty quickly and that’s when I said, oh my gosh, we could open a retail juice bar. And I felt comfortable doing that, because I thought well I’m having enough weekly subscribers that if no one walked in the door for a couple of years, I could make it, because of the weekly subscribers. Well, our retail traffic has actually passed over our subscription revenue already. It’s exciting. I mean the store was a really great idea. It’s a very high quality product. We don’t cut any corners. We coldpress it. We use organic produce whenever we can. And we try our very best to not even use plastic, we use glass. Because it’s better for the juice and it’s sustainable. We do a bottle deposit similar to one of the old milkman. If you’re a weekly subscriber, your juice arrives in a cooler bag and the next delivery, you leave your juice bottles and cooler bag out and we trade you. And people have really responded to that. There’s not a lot of that left, of what things used to be. Personal delivery, to your door, in glass, and so people respond very well to that. And the way that works in our retail juice bar, we charge you a dollar bottle deposit, and then we’ll give your dollar back when you come back. We don’t want to make money on our packaging, we just want to be able to be able to use glass bottles.224901_399295780108068_1481111586_n

What’s been your target customer base?

I wish I could tell you a definite demographic. But we have customers of all ages, both men and women, young and old. But that’s the good thing. A lot of people are doing this. We don’t really have one segment that’s my target. I want to target everyone. This is good for everyone.

How has the juice business become a part of your lifestyle and, vice versa, your lifestyle a part of your business?

I find that I’m slowly learning more things about cleaning up my home eating game as I’ve spent more time with the raw food, and this way of eating and drinking. My three children and I—they’re five, eight, and nine—and my husband. I’m slowly bringing things to them. We don’t have dairy in our home any more. We switched to almond milk. It’s just a small switch, and that’s what I love about this sort of really natural approach to eating and food. You don’t have to follow some very strict regimented program. You just eat things that make sense and you don’t eat those things that don’t. And then you sort of pick and choose whatever works for you at whatever time it is. So like we stopped eating dairy for the most part. We’ll occasionally have cheese on a pizza, because we want a healthy balance.  To really be a good advocate of what you do, you yourself have to be that model. My children are becoming a lot more conscious of things that are healthy and natural things to put into them and things that aren’t.

Do you plan to grow the business, like open another location, deliver to more areas?

Oh yeah, we do. In 2013, we want to open another store here, maybe go to Louisville and get a store there. And you know, those things are about creating a juicing movement, not so much about operating another store front, but by reaching a broader group, which is our work.

Which that’s really great, because previously there wasn’t anything like this in Lexington. The only things close to this we have are more of “smoothie” places.

Well, you know, the smoothie is really interesting and we even have some marketing material which talks about it. The art of a healthy smoothie is just that, it’s art. You have to be extremely thoughtful about the ingredients you include and how you combine the ingredients together to create a healthy product. You hear of these people going to work out and then going to get a smoothie and suddenly they’ve racked up nine hundred, a thousand calories. Either with a very heavily sugared smoothie or even dairy, which is problematic for a lot of people. I would much rather see them go a dairy-free route when they’re making a smoothie. And we cold-press the juice that goes into our smoothies, which does two things. One, it makes it so flavorful, that you don’t have to use as much. So instead of eight ounces of a pasteurized orange juice, you can just use three and get the same amount of flavor, so the calorie content goes down, the sugar content goes down.

You don’t use dairy in your smoothies at all?

No, we don’t use any dairy here. None.

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How do you dispose of your waste here from the juicing and such? Compost, etc?

Yes, Seedleaf takes all of our compost and our produce company reuses all of the produce boxes we have.

So you try to recycle as much of your waste as possible?

Oh yes. It’s nutrient rich and organic so Seedleaf has been taking our pulp since the summer.

With the delivering, how exactly does that work?

So if you would sign up to be a weekly subscriber, you can be a three-day, four-day, five-day or six-day subscriber. If you live in our local juice zone, which would 40502, 40507, 40508, we deliver to you twice a week, once on Monday morning and once on Thursday morning. If you’re a three day subscriber, you could choose either Monday or Thursday. If you’re a four day subscriber, you get two on Monday, one on Thursday, and if you’re a five day subscriber, you get three on Monday, two on Thursday. So you have juice for every day. We cold-press our juice, which gives us 72-hours to keep it alive. Lots of people say that time frame is much longer but we try to adhere to that very tightly. And that allows that two-day delivery. If you live outside of our local zone, we will deliver to you once a week on Sunday. The process there is you get the three-days of juice and the rest is frozen since we can’t get there a second time.

Is there a specific plan, such as drink this juice this day, that juice that day, etc?

We usually do, yes. People have gotten pretty good since we started. We always say green on Monday and Friday. And then you drink Beet on Tuesday, Carrot on Wednesday, Kale on Thursday, and on Saturday it’s kind of whatever you want thrown in. So for our subscribers, Saturday is kind of the grab bag.

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What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love working retail. I love working here and doing juice tastings for people and you know I love sort of keeping shop. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do as much of that as I would like, although next year that’s one of my goals, to get back to doing that. I like to educate people about the juice, I want to let them try it, I love helping people who have never tried the juice before. Then when they sign up, they feel good, and I love, love that part. That’s one of my main goals, to get myself back down to doing retail. But I’ve been focused on other parts of the business, so you know, you sort of have to grow a little bit to know what you like, and then get back to that spot.

 

The Weekly Juicery is located at 436 Old Vine Street in Lexington. They’re open Monday through Friday, 7:30 – 3:30 and Saturdays 8:00 – 1:30. To keep up with this new business, be sure to check out The Weekly Juicery on Facebook.

 

{Photos Courtesy The Weekly Juicery}

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Author:Holly Godbey

Born onto a small on-again, off-again farm, Holly Godbey grew up with fresh veggies and a myriad of farm animals. These days, she's a student at the University of Kentucky, where she studies English Literature and hopes to one day obtain her doctorate degree. When she's not writing term papers or working as a receptionist, Holly can be found reading, traveling, eating, or all three at once. She dreams of one day having a backyard large enough for a goat or two and a large dog, or at least being able to grow a tomato plant.

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