Our Health in Action series profiles people in the community who are living Actively Northwest. Follow along each week as we profile new people who are committed to living active, healthy lives through fitness and food.
Like many parents, Bianca Szyperski had trouble getting her kids to eat a healthy breakfast every morning before school—until she discovered juicing. By incorporating juicing into her family’s daily routine, Bianca’s kids were finally able to get the daily nutrients they needed (without even realizing they were eating healthy greens like kale and spinach).
Juice cafes were popping up all over in cities like Los Angeles and New York but were still fairly new to the Northwest. So Bianca and her friend-turned-business-partner Mala were inspired to bring juicing to their home city. What started with two women with a passion for health and fitness has now turned into the amazing Jujubeet team. Read on for more of their story.
ANW: What inspired you to start Jujubeet?
Bianca: There were a few things that inspired me. First, I have always tried to live an active, healthy and nutritious lifestyle with my family. I love cooking, playing squash, running, trying out the newest fitness craze and reading the latest books in nutrition, but it was all just really a hobby. I started juicing for my kids a few years back to give them something healthy in their tummies before they left for school. As I got more and more into it, I realized juicing was an easy way to get those important nutrients in our diet that we normally wouldn’t.
However, time and time again I ran out of the right ingredient (the juice didn’t taste as good when I winged it) or I didn’t have time to clean the juicer right after use. There weren’t any juicing shops close by to get a good nutritious drink in a pinch, which is what initially seeded the idea to create my own.
I suggested the idea to my friend Mala, and the two of us have grown to become a great team. We opened Jujubeet in July 2013 with the goal of offering pure juices with no alterations, additions or fillers. Period. We also hired a registered dietitian who helps concoct our juices.
ANW: What’s your favorite seasonal juice on the menu?
Bianca: My favorite item on the menu right now (this is really hard! I love every single juice) is our “Rhubarb Juice.” We are getting organic rhubarb from the Tonnemaker Family Farm in Snohomish, Washington. We love working with the local farmers and incorporating their produce into our salads and juices! Rhubarb is, of course, very seasonal, but we are usually coming out with a monthly special to feature whatever’s fresh.
ANW: For those newer to juicing, what would you recommend as a good intro drink to try?
Bianca: When a new customer comes in, we first ask a few questions: 1) are they hungry, 2) have they recently been active, and 3) do they want a smoothie or a juice.
For a first-time juicer, I would probably recommend “Happy Greens,” which is one of our bestsellers. It contains fennel, spinach, kale, celery, cucumber and apple lemon—super yummy and refreshing.
My favorite smoothie is the “Be Green.” It’s also simple and can be made easily at home with a high-speed blender. Just take half of a green apple (don’t forget to core it!), a little bit of lemon juice, a small handful of spinach, a small piece of ginger root (peeled), half of a frozen banana, cold water and maybe a little bit of ice. Then blend it all and you’re done!
ANW: What are the main health benefits of incorporating freshly pressed juice into your diet?
Bianca: Juicing is a simple and convenient way to add important raw ingredients and nutrients to your diet in high quantities. There is only so much salad you can eat in a day. I never went into this business because I wanted to change my life; I went into this business because I wanted to help more people have access to really great nutrition in a convenient way.
Bianca and Mala are opening their second Jujubeet location in Seattle at 4915 25th Avenue NE (Northcut Landing) on Thursday, July 10. Stop by between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the grand opening celebration!
Tags: Health in Action