Miamians order juice cleanses a whopping 583 percent more than any other city in the nation, which might explain the recent opening of Joe & the Juice, located about a block from Lincoln Road in South Beach.
But this juice shop isn't like the rest. Sure, it whips up a variety of sweet and tangy blends, along with smoothies, coffee, and light bites. But each pour and serve calls for a flashy performance, where juicers balance cups on their heads or heavily tattooed biceps toss utensils in the air for a dramatic effect. Sometimes the juicers might even jump on top of the bar for an encore.
"We don’t have any service manuals that instruct our employees on how to act behind the bar," says Kasper Garnell, head of communications. "Here, our juicers are put onstage, not the products. They are the reason for whatever kind of success we have."
Founded in Copenhagen in 2002, the Denmark-based juice and coffee concept, which has more than 180 locations worldwide, promotes more than flavored liquids. The brand encourages an upbeat lifestyle while serving relatively healthy food and drinks in a modern and hip atmosphere with funky music.
"The U.S. market has always been something we’ve wanted to explore," he says. "It just took us 15 years to get the organizational structure and financial backing. Time will tell if we were right."
While the company places importance on serving high-quality, affordable, and tasty grub to customers, it is also focused on creating a fun work environment for its staff.
Most employees live in large "Joe Houses," located a short distance from Joe & the Juice outposts. The company offers an exchange program that encourages employees to transfer to other storefronts around the world, such as New York, France, Iceland, Sweden, Singapore, and South Korea, providing a job and a place to live for its staff. In Miami, employees can lounge in their house's pool and patio area.
Though the atmosphere at Joe & the Juice is unorthodox, its menu is similar to those of other juice brands in Miami. Find more than 30 juice and smoothie blends, along with espressos, lattes, and iced coffees. Pair a drink with a tuna, avocado, and pesto sandwich, or a chicken and tomato club. Pricing is relatively lower compared to other chains: A 12-ounce cup costs $6.85, a 16-ounce is $7.90, and all sandwiches run less than $10.
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"We try to have the same prices all over the U.S." Garnell says. "Juice and coffee should be something everyone can enjoy daily. We’re also very good at controlling our purchasing, which means less waste and better pricing."
According to Garnell, additional Joe & the Juice locations will open across Miami; leases have already been signed for Brickell and Wynwood storefronts. The South Beach location is the company's first Florida store.
"Building on what we’ve learned from expanding in New York and San Francisco, we try to do a high-profile flagship store, followed by three to four stores in surrounding residential and downtown areas," he says. "That builds local brand awareness without saturating the market too fast."
Joe & the Juice
1600 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; joejuice.com. Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.