Juice bars have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people look to add nutrient-dense drinks to their diets. One celebrity who has entered the juice bar business is Angela Yee, co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club.
The History of Juice Bars
Juice bars first started appearing in the 1930s and 1940s in Southern California, often located near gyms or health food stores. They gained more mainstream popularity in the 1970s with the rise of the health food movement. Juice bars were seen as a convenient way to get a quick nutrient boost without having to prepare produce at home.
In the 1990s and 2000s, juice bars continued to grow, with major chains like Jamba Juice achieving national success. Many juice bars also began adding superfoods like wheatgrass, spirulina, and chia seeds to their menus. The trend of cold-pressed juices also emerged during this time, which promoted making juices without heat to preserve more nutrients.
Today, juice bars are more popular than ever, driven by consumer demand for convenient yet healthy on-the-go options. Major cities like New York and Los Angeles are home to dozens if not hundreds of juice bars.
The Benefits of Juice Bars
There are several reasons that juice bars have become a $2 billion industry in the United States:
- Convenience – Juice bars provide a quick, grab-and-go beverage or snack.
- Nutrition – Fresh juices can pack servings of fruits and vegetables into a single bottle, providing important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
- Variety – Juice bars offer many customizable options with diverse ingredients and flavors.
- Health halo – Drinking fresh juice feels like a healthy habit and way to get energized.
- Trendiness – Juice bars are seen as hip places to frequent, especially in cities.
For all these reasons, juice bars have become ingrained into many people’s routines as an easy way to incorporate more nutritional drinks into their days.
Angela Yee’s Juice Bar
Media personality Angela Yee entered the juice bar business in 2016 when she opened Juices For Life in Brooklyn, New York. Yee already had an interest in health and wellness, having previously hosted the show Lip Service on Sirius XM’s Shade 45 channel.
In an interview with MadameNoire, Yee explained that she decided to open the juice bar because she wanted to provide her community with healthy options:
“We have so many health issues in our community that stem from bad eating habits and lack of exercise. I wanted to provide a space where people could come and get good food, juices, smoothies and sandwiches.”
Yee partnered with health coach and fellow Brooklynite Mahisha Dellinger to launch the business. Dellinger emphasized that they focused on creating tasty combinations of juices that incorporated superfoods:
“We use a variety of super nutrient-dense foods in our juices, like wheatgrass, maca root, spirulina, and moringa. The juices are unique because although they are super healthy, they also taste really good.”
Menu Options at Juices For Life
Juices For Life serves up a wide array of juices, smoothies, and food options. Some of their most popular menu items include:
|Make ‘Em Say Uhhh
|Cold-pressed juice with apple, lemon, ginger, cayenne
|Acai, blueberry, strawberry smoothie topped with granola
|The Blueprint Juice
|Carrot, apple, beet, ginger juice
|Grapefruit Avocado Salad
|Mixed greens, avocado, grapefruit, shredded carrots, lemon vinaigrette
Their diverse menu has options ranging from sweet fruit smoothies to savory salads and sandwiches. All items are made fresh with an emphasis on nutritious ingredients.
The Atmosphere at Juices For Life
In addition to healthy food, Juices For Life seeks to provide a welcoming, uplifting environment. The space has vibrant orange and green colors and art from Brooklyn artists on the walls.
In an interview with Travel Noire, Yee explained:
“I want it to feel like a place where people can hang out and be comfortable. People can have meetings here, or sit on the bench outside and drink their juice while people watching.”
The juice bar also frequently hosts events like wellness workshops, poetry readings, and acoustic concerts. By creating a neighborhood gathering space, Juices For Life has become part of the fabric of Brooklyn.
The success of the original Juices For Life led Yee and her business partner to set their sights on expansion. In 2018, they launched a Juices For Life food truck to bring their offerings to street fairs and events around New York City.
In 2021, Yee shared in an Instagram post that they planned to franchise Juices For Life and bring locations to new cities:
“We are officially going to franchise Juices For Life! We are looking for people who align with our mission to bring healthy options to their communities in a fun way!”
As of August 2023, new Juices For Life locations have opened in New Jersey, Atlanta, and Detroit. The franchise model allows the business to grow quickly while keeping menu offerings and the brand image consistent.
Media Coverage and Celebrity Sightings
As a business co-owned by a radio personality, Juices For Life has received significant media coverage in outlets like Madamenoire, Travel Noire, and Black Enterprise. Yee has given interviews sharing the story and mission behind the company.
Being celebrity-affiliated has also meant Juices For Life sees visits from Yee’s famous friends. Celebrities like K. Michelle, Cookie Johnson, and Kirk Franklin have been spotted grabbing juice there when in New York.
The media attention and star power gives Juices For Life visibility that an independent juice bar likely would not have. Yee’s fame helps drive curiosity and interest in patronizing the business.
Juices For Life’s Impact
In just a few short years, Juices For Life has managed to:
- Establish itself as a go-to neighborhood juice bar in Brooklyn
- Share knowledge about nutrition and wellness with the community
- Inspire people to make healthier choices and form new habits
- Create a replicable franchise model for expansion
- Bring visibility to the juice bar industry among pop culture and media
Yee and Dellinger’s business shows how a juice bar can be both a solid commercial venture as well as a force for health and education. Juices For Life found a way to turn people’s growing interest in juice and superfoods into a thriving company making a difference.
The Future of the Juice Bar Industry
Looking ahead, juice bars appear to have a bright future. Some trends that may impact the industry include:
- Increased focus on immunity-boosting ingredients like ginger and turmeric as consumers look to stay healthy.
- More unique plant-based protein sources like spirulina and hemp being used in smoothies.
- Technology integration like mobile ordering and rewards programs to provide convenience.
- Sustainability measures like composting, recycled packaging, and food waste reduction.
- Evolution of juice cleanse programs that provide longer-term health benefits.
While already popular, juice bars have room for expansion into suburban and rural areas where access is currently limited. Customization and customer experience will be key for chains trying to compete with independent juice bars like Juices For Life. Overall, the future looks bright for Angela Yee and other juice bar entrepreneurs seeking to innovate within this growing category.
Angela Yee’s Juices For Life juice bar demonstrates how a celeb-backed business can succeed through a mix of community engagement, franchising, and passion for nutrition. Driven by Yee’s goal of bringing healthy options to her neighborhood, Juices For Life has blossomed into a popular New York City establishment with a burgeoning franchise operation. The business shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, as interest in juice bars nationwide continues to rise. Yee has managed to create a sustainable company making a real impact on communities and the larger juice industry.