New juice bar and cafe now open in Jamaica Plain
Nourish your body at Juicygreens
Ammy and Michael Lowney, owners of Juicygreens juice bar and cafe, believe food can be a form of medicine for the body and have instilled this idea into their business.
Opened in late May, Juicygreens offers fresh juices, smoothies, coffee, salads and baked goods in Jamaica Plain.
Ammy tells the Banner that although the couple lives in Westwood, they are familiar with the neighborhood since Michael, a licensed osteopath, owned his own medical practice in Jamaica Plain until he relocated his business, Lowney Medical, to Hyde Park.
Michael learned how to lead a healthier life with a natural-based diet through his own study on medicine and disease prevention and Ammy, a former teacher at Boston Public Schools, has witnessed the effects of what unhealthy food can do.
“I saw firsthand the lack of energy kids have when they don’t eat well,” she says. “But we can choose food that nourishes us.”
Juicygreens’ menu includes cold and warm bowls of fruit with superfoods like acai, goji berries, spirulina, chia seeds and matcha. Customers can also choose more filling bowls with quinoa, mushrooms or kale and savory or sweet toasts with various spreads.
Ammy says they work with farmers throughout New England and New York to source vegetables and fruits for their juices, smoothies and salads. “Everything is plant-based, vegan and gluten-free,” she says.
Juicygreens sources its coffee from Counter Culture Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster with a local distribution office in Somerville. According to Ammy, they chose Counter Culture because they help train Juicygreens staff and they source their single-origin coffee responsibly.
“I always wanted to open a coffee shop,” says Ammy who is originally from Colombia and grew up in Rhode Island.
She pursued the idea by participating in a business startup program at the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation. She was able to pitch her business idea to other entrepreneurs.
“Based on the feedback I received in the program, we were supposed to just do a juice bar but then the community gave me the idea that we should also do a cafe,” says Ammy.
With a sharper business plan in place, the couple began scouting out potential locations all over Boston and came upon 61 South Street, a space formerly occupied by a Harvest Co-op grocery store.
Situated right at the corner of South and Custer streets with outdoor seating, it’s a prime location for a juice bar in an area with other independent local businesses such as Ferris Wheels Bike Shop and 40 South Street vintage shop.
“We like that we bring something a little different to this corner,” says Ammy. “We knew people were missing something here.”
They signed the lease last June and started the year-long process of rezoning and renovating, including painting the outdoor facade a bright lime green.
Ammy says the zoning took about six months because the location changed from a supermarket zone to a restaurant zone.
The cafe is outfitted with hanging and potted plants and an ample stream of natural light shines throughout the heavily-windowed interior.
Then there is what Ammy calls “the community room,” a part of the cafe that resembles a living room with an array of straw chairs, cushy lounge chairs, a coffee table with books on nutrition and a separate corner for children to play with toys or read books.
“We’re a family-oriented place,” says Ammy while also mentioning that the bathroom has a diaper-changing table.
Customers can slowly sip on beverages while conversing with friends or quietly work on their computers in the community room. Or they can attend wellness events hosted by Juicygreens on specific calendar days.
“We want to provide nutritional information to the community,” says Ammy. For example, she says that one of her 10 staff members is also an ayurvedic coach and plans to host a workshop at the cafe.
As owner of a new business in Jamaica Plain, Ammy says her and husband Michael’s favorite part about running their own juice bar and cafe is being able to provide people with jobs.
Ammy adds, “And the smiles that people get after leaving our place.”