If you’ve been to the Village Shopping Center on Three Chopt Road, or even driven by, you may have noticed a familiar store in a new place. Ginger Juice, the popular juice and smoothie shop, opened its new location this past Saturday, Feb. 17.
Although not necessarily new to students at the University of Richmond because of its proximity to campus, Ginger Juice's new larger location allows customers to sit and eat with friends or work in a quiet space.
I went to the store last week to speak with owner Erin Powell about her new location, as well her reflections on the past few years with the company. Powell founded her business in 2014 and started selling juice at farmers markets before opening the first retail location in the back of the Village Shopping Center in October 2015.
She originally started juicing because she wanted to increase her son’s fruit and vegetable intake, and eventually decided to leave her previous job to begin Ginger Juice. The name was in honor of her son, who has red hair, and is essentially the "ginger" of Ginger Juice, she said.
With 25 staff members on payroll between two locations, the Village and Greengate, Powell is still looking to hire more for the new location. The menu has also expanded with the new location, ranging from smoothie bowls to toasts and superfood lattes.
“Our bestseller is the gleaming bowl but I really love our toasts, they're so good,” Powell said.
Powell wants to stay true to the “small meal” type of restaurant that is not necessarily dictated by a certain hour to eat, she said. After conducting surveys with her customers in the summer about when they come in, Powell realized a lot of people come at different times and there was not necessarily a more popular time, she said.
“Our biggest value is convenience, so we're really trying to work on convenience, like with our mobile apps ... We also have a cooler where you can run in and grab something, and we’re working on our operations to make speed a priority,” Powell said.
Powell said that the first week opening the store had definitely been rocky, but only because they had more customers come in than they had initially expected.
“We have customers who are in here multiples times a day that go to University of Richmond, mostly women, some sports players too and some coaches, so thats fun,” Powell said. “We see a lot of really nice students who come in to get stuff for their friends too, its so sweet.”
When asked what makes them stand out from other juice and smoothie shops in the area, Powell said she believed it was all thanks to their juicer.
“We’re the only company in Richmond that does the cold-pressed juicing technique which is a superior technique for juicing,” Powell said. “Were the only company in Richmond to have this type of juicer.”
Junior Lily Howlett believes that Ginger Juice's app is extremely easy to use and is a big time saver when it comes to busy college schedules, she said.
“There aren't many healthy food places on and around campus, so Ginger Juice is a quick and easy option," Howlett said.
Over the past four years, Ginger Juice has become one of the more popular locations for UR students to grab a quick bite, and this new location is proof of how Powell’s hard work and dedication has paid off.
Contact lifestyle contributor Sophie Pilkington at firstname.lastname@example.org.