‘Forever home’ on the horizon

There will be a meeting of two iconic local businesses this Memorial Day weekend, as Juicebox will be opening shop in the G&E grocery store near Salt Pond on Friday, May 24.

Juicebox owner Lisa Daisey-DiFebo started the company about seven years ago in Ocean View, seated at a prime spot near the trailhead of the Assawoman Canal Trail. Like many small- business owners, she labored to build her company, and found unquestioned success, spreading out the Juicebox name to new locations in Rehoboth and Bayside.

But there was always one small detail nagging at the back of Daisey-DiFebo’s mind — Juicebox was on rented property.

“The property was for sale for five of those seven years,” said Daisey-DiFebo. “I always just felt like I needed to not worry about it and go with the flow. Everyone kept asking me what I was going to do if it sells, and I just kept saying, ‘I don’t know. I’ll just have to find a new location.’ “That’s exactly what happened,” she explained.

Daisey-DiFebo had a relationship with state Sen. Gerald Hocker from years earlier, while running another one of her businesses, Ecobay Kayak Adventures. Then, a few years later, she had a situation at the now-former Juicebox location in Ocean View.

“There was a huge hole that was dug there — I believe it was a sewer main replacement — and it was right before Memorial Day weekend,” said Daisey-DiFebo. “They weren’t going to fill it in before Memorial Day, so what do you do? I called my state representative for help.

“Sen. Hocker is great. He’s a small-business owner, too, so he gets it. He understands that we have three major weekends a year, and if you miss one, you don’t get it back. Between him and Rep. Ron Gray, they had that hole filled in before Memorial Day weekend. The crews worked through the night, and we were able to put up our flag and had a great weekend.”

So, when the Ocean View property that formerly housed Juicebox was sold, Daisey-DiFebo knew where to turn.

“I knew for a fact he was pro-business, so I brought up this idea to him and [Hocker’s son] Gerry, and we just moved forward from there. In my mind, it never hurts to ask. I just didn’t want my name to be lost for a season.”

And now, Juicebox will be available at G&E.

Located near the store’s produce section, Juicebox will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Labor Day. They will have a front counter, according to Daisey-DiFebo, and the entire Juicebox menu will be available, including sandwiches, salads, açai bowls, organic juices and smoothies, and more.

Is this a permanent location?

“If it works for all of us, then we’ll probably be invited back,” said Daisey-DiFebo. “If it doesn’t, then we’re not. The Hocker family’s open to giving it a go, and we’re very thankful to keep our name out there and to have a home. It was a little disheartening to be in business for seven years, to just be done. It wasn’t anybody’s fault or anything. The land was not ours, and the land sold.”

‘Forever home’ is in the works

Daisey-DiFebo and her family did buy a piece of land on Town Road, next to Superior Glass, and the Assawoman Canal Trail trailhead.

“If I could throw a softball, I could hit the old Juicebox,” she said. “I’m elated with the location.”

By next fall, the new Juicebox is expected to be open very close to the original Juicebox, with one small difference: Daisey-DiFebo and her family will be owning this piece of property.

“It’s exciting to have a ‘forever home,’” she said. “We have three Juicebox locations, and every time we go in to a place we have to plumb it and get the electric, and go through the health department and the County, and all those things that all the small businesses in the restaurant industry have to go through.

“But there’s security in the fact that we now own a piece of land,” she continued. “And it feels really good to be able to build that building the way we want it and not have to leave. We can plant the plants and grow the flowers and do all the things we want to do, and feel good about doing it.”

She added that the hope is the new location will be a year-round business, and they will be serving breakfast sandwiches and soups to help generate that 12-month business.

“This is all exciting,” said Daisey-DiFebo. “We are so grateful to the Hockers for giving this a chance, and we can’t wait to build that ‘forever home’ in Ocean View.

Juicebox at G&E can be reached at (302) 616-1025. Their website is at myjuicebox.biz.

Executive Editor

Darin is a native of Washington, D.C, and studied journalism at Temple University. He is a combat-veteran Marine, and has worked as a reporter and editor throughout the country. He is married and has one daughter, who doubles as his harshest critic.