Last year, a juice bar craze took off in South Florida, with several new spots popping up across the area. That trend shows no sign of slowing down in 2015.
The latest addition to Miami's crowded juice scene is Raw Juce, a Boca Raton-based cold-pressed juice company. Over the course of the next year, the local juicer has plans for a South Florida expansion, beginning with several new locations in Palm Beach Gardens, Miami, and Aventura.
The idea is to grow the brand locally with a ten-store plan, Raw Juce cofounder Barry Rabkin says, before moving outside Florida, possibly to New York and California.
"It's amazing to see how people have embraced our brand and our concept over the last two years," Rabkin says. "When we first opened, our customers were women, moms stopping in after a workout to grab a juice. Today we see everyone coming in here, from men and pro athletes to college students and kids."
The planned Raw Juce locations include Palm Beach Gardens (2616 PGA Blvd.), East Boca Raton (197 S. Federal Hwy.), Miami Beach (959 West Ave.), and Aventura (19915 Biscayne Blvd.). Others are being considered in Jupiter, Wellington, and Coral Springs.
Raw Juce opened in October 2013 with a signature line of about 16 cold-pressed fruit and vegetables juices, smoothies, a short menu of organic snacks, and raw vegan desserts. Today the product line has grown to more than 20 juices, three premade protein smoothies, and a dozen health "shots." Juices are cold-pressed daily and are made using organic fruits and vegetables sourced locally and nationally.
"We stand very firmly beside our commitment to being 100 percent organic," Rabkin says. "But because we juice daily, it's not always possible to find every ingredient. When we can't find organic, we let our customers know."
The store also offers several organic take-and-go snacks, including raw oatmeal parfaits, quinoa- or kale-based salads, açaí bowls, and several raw desserts such as cashew butter cups (think peanut butter cups made with cashew butter, coconut oil, and cacao).
The most popular menu item aside from the juices, Rabkin says, are the açaí bowls, a dish often served for breakfast at most juice and smoothie bars. The purplish Brazilian superfruit is blended into a thick, ice-cream-like consistency and served in a bowl topped with fruit, oatmeal, granola, honey, or peanut butter. It's often served for breakfast.
There are six açaí bowls on the menu, including Cacao Protein Crunch (banana, mango, strawberry, almond milk, Vega Sport protein, cacao powder and raw cacao nibs, raw honey, flax and hemp granola, almonds, and hemp seeds). The bestseller is the Dragon Bowl, made with pitaya (dragon fruit) and topped with goji berries and bee pollen.