OrganicAF can’t be ‘beet’
By: Jennifer Zeleski
Typically, I am pretty excited about trying new health trends. I had previously heard of natural juice and juice cleanses helping celebrities lose weight, along with their prospective promises such as detoxing your body and helping to fight infections. But even with the ample publicity, it always seemed a little far-reaching. I was never fully convinced by grocery-store samples or popular blog posts that the health benefits were notable. When I recently discovered OrganicAF, a locally-owned juice shop tucked away in High Point, I decided to give in to the curiosity.
For the owners of OrganicAF, Matthew and Priscilla Williams, juicing began at home. Priscilla decided to start making juices to stay healthy, and was able to get her three children to drink them when they opted out of snacks and other food. When they weren’t able to make it themselves, they had to find other sources, and were discouraged with their lengthy drives to Winston-Salem and Greensboro at the time.
Seeing the need in the High Point community, they decided to start sharing their homemade juice with their neighborhood in small batches.
“We started handing out samples at our local pool that had a little label on the bottle,” Priscilla said. “And it just took off.”
Matthew took the opportunity to make a career change and give the community what it wanted by opening the store in August of 2017. He now owns and operates the store full time, and Priscilla continues to work as an ICU nurse at High Point Regional Hospital.
“He makes it taste good, and I tell you why it’s good for you,” Priscilla said. “We really want to make sure everyone is knowledgeable about what they’re drinking and why they’re drinking.”
Priscilla took it upon herself to create an explanatory nutritional guide that lists the benefits of each juice, and states that each 16-ounce bottle is made with 3-5 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables that are cold-pressed to ensure the juice maintains its nutritional value, with no added preservatives or sugar, and absolutely no dairy.
With high confidence in a medical-trained professional, I felt comfortable with trying products that listed how they were going to help my body, and the ingredient lists were impressive.
DarkAF was one of the more intimidating juices I tried that gets its name from one of its primary ingredients, activated charcoal. It has a tart taste and commonly sells out on weekends thanks to its reputation for curing hangovers and flushing toxins from the body. Despite the eerily black color, the taste was just as refreshing as homemade lemonade. But if you’re nursing a hangover, I wouldn’t guzzle it too quickly.
Aside from freshly-squeezed juices, OrganicAF also offers freshly made nut milks and homemade nut butters. Their famous WokeAF is the by far the best product I tasted. Made with almond milk, cold brew coffee, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla, it tastes better than your go-to latte. You’ll want to get one early since they tend to sell out, but if you need a pick-me-up with a sweet twist — and without the guilt of dairy — try it. For chocolate lovers, RoastedAF features cacao and has the chocolaty flavor you would find in a mocha latte. Not to worry caffeine-free friends, they also offer each without the energy boost.
The other high-selling item found in their fridges are the 4-ounce wellness shots that can help with anything from inflammation to boosting your mood. If you’re looking to fight off unwelcome germs, go for the ImmuneAF made from grapefruit, ginger and lemon. Beware, it is sour and refreshing, but is a good one to grab while trying to prevent yourself from catching this winter plague.
“The reason why it is a shot is they’re a more condensed version,” Priscilla said. “It’s really strong and powerful, but gives you overall wellness.”
The menu has expanded since their opening to include smoothies, grab-and-go salads and Instagram-worthy smoothie bowls. Their “LovedAF” bowl is available in honor of Valentine’s Day for a limited time.
It may seem trendy or overrated to some, but as a former “non-believer”, there is something for everyone to try and it’s worth taking your health into consideration. The juices can replace your favorite sports or soda, the shots can be a quick immune-system stimulant and the nut milks can increase your protein intake.
Overall, the store has a welcoming atmosphere and an emphasis on a healthy mindset for its customers. Priscilla and Matthew truly care about nutrition and the quality of their products, and the calm atmosphere is welcoming. The High Point community has an accessible location for freshly-squeezed juice that’s “Always Fresh”.
For anyone looking to try to kickstart healthier choices, there are a variety of options for anything you’re looking for, and its as easy as grabbing it from the fridge. You can taste a sample and take Priscilla’s word for it, you will understand and learn from what’s going into your body.
“I find that when people drink something that is good for them, they feel better.” Priscilla said. “I mean the results are there, you can’t deny it. You have more energy, you feel better, and that can encourage you.”
Jennifer Zeleski is a student contributor to YES! Weekly. She is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications at High Point University.