Just a hop, skip and a jump away from downtown Bethany Beach, in a quaint little storefront in Ocean View, delicious and nutritious juices are now on offer. Juicebox opened its doors about two weeks ago and has already begun to flourish as locals and visitors alike stop in to try the healthy treats.
Local businesswomen Lisa Daisey — owner of Eco-Bay Kayaks and the Bethany Beach Information Station and director of the Bethany Beach Nature Center — teamed up with Deborah Littleton, owner of Tropical Treats on the Bethany boardwalk, and the seed behind the fruitful enterprise was born.
“We met at her info booth on the boardwalk,” recalled Littleton of Daisey.
“And Debbie owns Tropical Treats on the boardwalk. For the past three years we just talked about it. ‘Oh, when we have our shop one day…’” said Daisey.
“I always wanted a coffee shop, and Lisa wanted to juice, so we figured we’d combine it,” said Littleton. “There’s not something like this in this area. We needed something different.”
When customers walk into the store, chances are they’ll be greeted with a free sample — perhaps some locally made granola or a shot of freshly juiced watermelon. They will also probably meet “Ruby,” Juicebox’s industrial juicer, which makes the majority of the juicy concoctions.
Juicebox offers a wide variety of beverages, including fresh squeezed juices, smoothies and frosties — which made from the juice of up to three frozen fruits and a banana. The store also has a full coffee bar that serves organic fair-trade coffee.
“We can make espressos and lattes,” said Daisey. “We have an amazing coffee called Zeke’s from Baltimore. A lot of people who come in from Baltimore recognize it and like it.”
Daisey was already an avid juicer, having worked at a juice bar and juiced at her home.
“I worked at one a long time ago. I lived in Hawaii, and it was my first job, and I worked there for three years, at a place called Killer Juice Bar. We just made tons of juices,” she said. “Then I’ve always juiced on my own. Anytime friends would come over, I would sample it on them. They would get to try it and tell me what they liked or didn’t like.”
Daisey said that she’s collected recipes over the years but is open to making any juice combination requested.
“You don’t have to stick to just ours. If it’s on the board, we have it and we’ll juice it. We’re definitely open to other people’s ideas too.”
Daisey said that the most popular juice recipe at the shop so far is Popeye’s Punch, which contains romaine, kale spinach, lemon, ginger and apple juice. She said that many people might feel trepidation when it comes to trying juicing, but she insists it’s a great way to live healthier.
“Some people think that when you juice you’re doing a cleanse, and it always has to be intense, and all you do is drink the juice and you’re going to lose all this weight. It doesn’t have to be that extreme. You can just add juice to your normal day, and the health benefits will show themselves,” she said. “When you get something that’s all green, like a Popeye’s Punch, you’re basically getting your whole serving of vegetables. It’s like a homemade V-8, without the sodium.”
For those who are still not convinced, Daisey recommends adding a little bit of fresh apple juice to the juice of one’s vegetable of choice, which she said adds just the right amount of sweetness.
But Juicebox isn’t only juice and coffee. The shop offers a variety of pastries, sandwiches, salads and even sells fresh produce.
“We also serve bagels and homemade pastries and muffins, cookies and lunch, as well. So we have healthy sandwiches, salads and wraps.”
The fruits and vegetables used at Juicebox are all organic and locally grown. The shop even offers shots of wheatgrass, sprouted in Lewes.
“It’s basically a giant shot of chlorophyll. It’s good for your insides. It’s a superfood — it’s a cure all,” said Daisey.
Juicebox is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, and offers free wireless Internet and indoor bar seating, as well as outdoor patio seating.
In the short time their store has been open, both Daisey and Littleton said the community response has been positive.
“Excellent — they’re loving it,” said Littleton. “Our first week was mostly really locals.”
Both Daisey and Littleton said they hope to serve the community in a year-round capacity and will even change their menu with the seasons.
“Hopefully, we’ll pull from the local economy and be a good place to go in the wintertime. You don’t have to eat just healthfully in the summer. Hopefully, the local businesses and the local people here will help keep us afloat throughout the year. We want this to be a place for people just to come and congregate.
“I haven’t juiced a pumpkin,” said Daisey with a laugh. “We’ll just have to go with the seasons and see how it goes.”
The ladies said they hope to bring some healthier, tastier treats to the area, because… well, it’s just good!
“We just want to introduce a healthy spin on eateries in the community,” said Littleton.
“This is a healthy twist… but we still have cookies and pastries,” added Daisey with a smile.
Juicebox is located at 3 Atlantic Drive in Ocean View. For more information, call (302) 616-1025 or visit their Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/thejuiceboxbethany.