Waco is moving toward local, healthy, whole foods as more of a cultural norm, than a fad, according to the owners of the newly opened, downtown Oh My Juice serving fresh juice, smoothies, salads, and plant-based treats.
Tucked along the side of River Square Center, Oh My Juice was opened by Tierra Barber and Denitia Blount after testing the waters with their products for a year and a half at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market.
Customers can pick and chose from a variety of smoothies, including Berryliscious, Strawberry Blast, Cherry Up, Avocolada, Beets Me or a Recover Me, as well as fresh blend juices, including a Sun-Kissed juice, with pineapple, grapefruit, orange and honey, or a Bugs Bunny, which includes apple, carrot and ginger. There’s also an “n such” section offering energy bites, avocado toast and an acai bowl.
Barber, who received a master’s degree from Baylor University in 2004 in exercise physiology, said they don’t believe in juicing only. Juicing is a way to introduce a lot of nutrients into one’s body on a quicker level and an addition to healthy eating, she said.
“You can’t eat five salads compared to the amount of produce you get with our juice,” Barber said. “It’s just a way that you can introduce it into your healthy regimen and help nourish your body. With juicing, your body absorbs it a lot quicker and so you reap a lot of the benefits a lot faster, they go into your body on a cellular level. With consistent usage and decreasing processed foods and things like that, your body can really experience just healthy changes at the cellular level, reversing diseases and high blood pressure and diabetes and pain and inflammation.”
The co-owners bonded over their experiences with juicing after meeting at the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona before opening the venture.
“(Barber) works for Baylor athletics, my husband is the (sports) chaplain for Baylor. I was there with their entourage and we just started talking about our mutual interest in health, nutrition, juicing, just eating healthy. As unglamorous as it is, that’s how it was,” Blount said.
No processed sugars
Blount, who graduated from Baylor in 1998 with a double major in English and education, said they purchase whole food locally and nothing is prepackaged before arriving at Oh My Juice where one of the 14 people who works there puts it all together. She said they use no processed sugars, but natural sugar, including dates. Out of all the combinations of treats at Oh My Juice, she said, there are three or four ingredients that have preservative and don’t use fillers, including ice.
“It’s a great way to introduce people to healthier food choices. One of the biggest things we try to do is make it taste good. There are a few people who are hard-core juicers who say, ‘I want the green stuff.’ Tierra is one of them. I am not,” Blount said this week sitting inside 215 Mary Ave., suite 101.
“You can see how we balance each other out,” Barber said with a laugh.
“We do have those hard-core people who say: ‘I want green. I don’t care what it tastes like.’ But the general public is not necessarily like that,” Blount said. “They want to transition slower into good food. So, there’s a saying we posted on our Instagram that says, one of the ways to make a change is just to continue to put good stuff in until you finally push the bad stuff out. This is a good way to start that process.”
Whether it’s a quick snack, lunch, energy bites or something on the go, Barber said they have something for everyone.
The duo said so far the customers’ favorite is the acai bowl, which is a thick smoothie, served in a bowl, topped with granola, fruit, honey, almonds, pecans or a variety of options.
The CoCo PB Dreamin smoothie comes in as a close second, even if the color is green because of the addition of spinach.
Blount said customers can’t go wrong eating at Oh My Juice, even if it’s a treat that’s all fruit-based.
“It’s still fresh food,” she said. “We do realize we kind of have a special niche here. Most people don’t serve whole real food in their establishment, and we’re proud of that fact.”
“Like it says in the Bible, we’re not here to heal the healthy,” Barber said. “Sick people are who we need to reach out to, or people who don’t know about juicing or don’t know about healthier living. That’s the population we need to reach out to because that’s the population we want to help.”