RUTLAND — With all the interest in natural and organic diets, it is no wonder Juice Amour on Center Street in Rutland has suddenly become so popular.
“It has been an amazing response,” said co-owner Katie Churchill, whose shop opened on Dec. 2. “People have been supportive and excited and enthusiastic. People are learning about natural products.”
She believes that is why things have gone so well for the juice bar.
This is no run-of-the-mill juice bar. All the juices are organic and raw, she said, adding that juices, smoothies, salads, soups and cleanses are all available.
A cleanse, Churchill explained, is a program that helps detoxify the body from harmful substances with a variety of natural juices. Over a one-, three- or five-day session, people drink a variety of beverages. For example, the first drink, known as a Sunshine Blend, is a combination of grapefruit, carrot and cantaloupe juices. That is consumed the first day at 9 a.m. At noon that day, the Green Machine, full of kale, celery, cucumber, pear and lemon juices, is consumed. And on it goes throughout the rest of the day. The more advanced a person becomes, the more days are added to the program.
“Cleanses reset the body and detox it,” she said, adding that it gets rid of all the waste that goes into the body from things like junk food. “It reduces cravings for things like sugar, and increases energy.”
Churchill said she follows the diet regularly and has seen a difference in her own health, with more energy.
“It is jam-packed full of vitamins,” she said.
Not all of her juices and smoothies require such rigid commitment as a cleanse. They are both delicious and decadent, according to the menu at Juice Amour. Probably the most popular ones include Sweet Immunity and Berry Monkey smoothie. The first is a combination of orange, pineapple, carrot, turmeric and ginger. Berry Monkey mixes cashew milk (made on site), mixed berries, banana and pear juice. Cleanse juices are all run through juicers to blend everything to a fine texture, while smoothies use a regular blender.
Cleanse programs run from $58 to $350, depending on program and number of days. Individual juices are $8.99, including deposit.
“I’ve done a lot of cleanses. Some people do it on a regular basis,” Churchill said, adding that people have to understand that there is quite a commitment involved, but when they do try it, they see that it is definitely worth it.
While all of her ingredients are organic, she said she also buys locally as much as possible. Much of her supplies come from Black River Produce in North Springfield.
She first got interested in organic juices when she participated in a nutrition program and realized that these juices have a lot of health benefits. She then saw the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” which details the life of Joe Cross, a man who, like the title says, was in extremely poor health. He then jumped into juicing and fought his way back to a healthier life, no longer reliant on medications.
After seeing the movie, she was motivated to devote her own life to it. She sought out other juice bars in the region, and found Juice Amour in Middlebury. She learned that there was a franchise opportunity with the company and decided to start a shop in Rutland.
She also works to make the Rutland location environmentally friendly. All the containers are made of glass, and she asks they be returned to the shop for a 50-cent refund. That way they can be thoroughly cleaned and returned to service, she said. Thus, it will cut down on waste, instead of having to throw away paper or styrofoam cups.
Juice Amour is located right next to the Center Street entrance to the downtown parking garage.
“I love the location,” she said. “There are so many nice businesses around here. There is so much support from the community in general. People even called me at first to see if they could help me out.”
It is also important for her to return the favor. As a result, Churchill said she wants to make her customers feel welcomed, and talks to each one she sees there. “I want to make it a positive experience and make people feel good,” she said.
Learn more at www.juiceamour.com.