Juice is on the loose in the Triad
A few short years ago, the chances of you finding a cold-pressed juice bar was pretty much nil. But now, the Triad is seemingly bustling with a selection of juice bars, most offering a lot more than just juice. We’ve been checking out some of the major players on the juice scene. Fortunately, if you live in Winston-Salem, Greensboro or High Point, it’s no longer a big trip to get juiced up.
Organix Juice Bar
1318 Hawthorne Rd., Winston-Salem
George Memory has been on the grow for four years after becoming virtually a household name in Winston-Salem with Organix. From starting out in Ardmore at his little shop with its cold-pressed juice to expanding to smoothies, açaí bowls and toast at Organix in Greensboro (1941 New Garden Rd.), Memory has also had a goal to diversify and fill a void where he sees it.
Which leads us to…
Cafe Vara Du
1961 N. Peace Haven Rd., Winston-Salem
Coming in September, Cafe Vara Du offers its own cold-pressed juices, toasts, waffles, rolled ice cream, açaí bowls, coffee, as well as desserts.
“I’ve been thinking of this concept for a couple of years,” Memory said. “Customers would see the posts of toasts and ask me about the Ardmore location, but I couldn’t offer it there.”
Vara Du means “be yourself,” and Memory said he wanted the space to be a “no-judgment zone” that offers a local coffee shop in the Sherwood Forest area that gives locals a choice of indulgent ice cream while someone else at the table enjoys a healthier option. Memory isn’t stopping there. Plans are already well underway for Cafe Vara Du-Kernersville.
205-O S. Stratford Rd., 400 W. 4th St., Winston-Salem
What started out as a “juice truck” has emerged into a local enterprise with two accessible locations on Stratford Road and on 4th Street in Downtown Winston-Salem. Village Juice has also transcended beyond just juice, with nut milk, smoothies, smoothie bowls, grain bowls and salads, toasts and poké bowls (in the downtown location only). Each bowl, whether fruit-filled or veggie-filled, is carefully thought-out and chef-driven for major flavor impact. Gluten-free options are available, too.
120 W. Lexington Ave., Ste. 101, High Point
A play on words? If you don’t know, ask a college student. But, Matt Williams, owner and operator of OrganicAF, said the “AF” in the name stands for Always Fresh. Williams, his wife Priscilla and their friend, Mike Fulk, opened in October 2017 after many trips to Greensboro or Winston for fresh juice.
“Before, I had a desk job, and my weight got out of control with zero metabolism, and I just wanted to be able to play with my kids,” Williams said. “Being tired was not who I wanted to be, so I started a wellness program–going to yoga and started a more vegetarian lifestyle. The options were slim in High Point, and we started making more juice at home, playing around in the kitchen.”
Williams said once he started bottling his own juice and people started seeing it, they encouraged him to start a juice shop.
“It’s been life-changing,” he said of opening OrganicAF. “I love standing at the register and getting to know my customers. This job suits me so well.”
With the mantra of “drink your veggies,” this little shop in High Point serves a slew of cold-pressed juices packed with goodies like kale, spinach and cucumber while taking the edge off all that veg with fruit. If you’re after something a bit creamier, raw nut milk will be just the thing. Juices and milk have cute names such as BasicAF, CleanAF (Williams’s favorite) and WokeAF (if you need coffee). Can’t you just see them in their juice-naming meetings?
2758 NC-68 Unit 101, High Point
New on the scene but an idea that’s at least a couple of years old is the juicy, baby sibling of the beloved Small Batch Beer and Small Batch Burgers. Owner Tim Walker said he knew that he wanted to open a juice shop when he signed the lease for Small Batch High Point two years ago.
“I’ve always been into fitness and healthy drinks, too,” said Walker, who is also a trained chef. “But also delicious burgers and beer, so we wanted to offer a balance. With Small Batch and Juice Batch, we offer the best of both worlds.”
“There are tons of juices to cater to a more hardcore healthy person, but we will add a little honey to a smoothie or smoothie bowl as well,” he added.
Another exceptional feature: Poké bowls filled with rice, healthy veggies, and tuna or salmon. Walker tested poké with pop-ups at Small Batch for a while. “They’re great,” Walker said. “You get so much from them, vibrant color and crispy and crunchy texture. And they’re easy, healthy and go well with our juice theme and Hawaiian vibe.”
Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.