Coconut Grove just got a new juice, smoothie and health food café, but Juicense owner Mariana Diez says she doesn’t want customers to just drink and leave.
Diez, a certified dietitian, welcomes people to stay and talk to her about their nutrition concerns. The company’s logo, a dream catcher, is an homage to her childhood. Diez said it’s a personal touch because her mother collected them for her and now is a symbol of seeing her dream come true.
Last Saturday, she hosted a grand opening celebration with all her family in attendance. Adrian Moreno, her husband and business partner, passed out juice samples and ran food and drinks to tables.
The menu includes 12 juices — including Keep Me Awake with pineapple, carrot, celery, ginger and lemon; and Keep Me Young with sweet potatoes and parsnip — that contain anti-aging and alkalizing properties. Each ingredient plays a key role in digestion and how it affects the body, Diez said.
Juicense will also offer super food toasts, acai power bowls and power shots. And there’s also a puppy pop on the menu. The recipe, made with yogurt and peanut butter, was something Diez came up with for her Pomeranian that loves the creamy spread.
Kurt Peloquin, a producer from New York, said drinking juice helps keep his stress level down and his immune system strong.
“I think there’s vitality to it and the power shots give you a boost of vitamins. Juice is a great way to get those nutrients,” he said.
The idea to open the store has been in the works for the past year.
Diez, who ran an online health consultation company in Washington, D.C., wanted to find a way to interact with her customers on a personal level. Her intention was to share recipes and build a space where people would feel a sense of community.
Now that her store is open, she wants to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers. She’s locally sourcing produce like oranges, zucchinis and avocados. All of the ingredients are non-GMO (genetically modified organism) and organic whenever possible. This allows Diez to rotate the menu according to season. She also plans to create events where people can receive nutrition education.
During the opening, Diez’s extended family, including her grandmother, mingled with guests and talked about how proud she was to see her succeed.
“Our family has been involved in health and wellness for years,” said her mother, Graciela Ibarra. “Mariana has always been interested in nutrition and yoga and spiritual health and wanted to open a place to do this. During the last year she’s really worked hard toward her goal. I am so proud of her and I admire her so much for what she’s done.”
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