The Juice Laundry wants customers to start doing the most important kind of laundry. Located walking-distance from campus on River Road, it promotes the power of raw, organic fruits and vegetables as the key to wellness, not the latest diet craze.
“The Juice Laundry is a play on words about laundering your body — so taking in good food and cleansing your body from the inside out,” said Billy Salter, owner of The Juice Laundry RVA.
The Juice Laundry is serious about providing the cleanest food possible, Salter said.
“We’re 100% organic, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, soy free, peanut free and dairy free,” he said. “So, all that really leaves you is plants.”
The Juice Laundry is Richmond’s only 100% organic juice bar, Salter said.
UR students Rosie Rittenhouse and Camilla Durham, sophomores, said they could taste the difference in The Juice Laundry’s organic ingredients.
“This is my first time coming here, but it seems fresher [than other juice bars],” Durham said.
Rittenhouse said nearby juice bar Ginger Juice seemed artificial after she ate at The Juice Laundry.
Eating at The Juice Laundry also lessens consumer impact on the environment.
“We are a 100% compostable restaurant,” Salter said. “What that means is that everything from the food scraps that come out of the juicing process to the containers that we serve you food in, the straws, the spoons, lids are all 100% compostable.”
The Juice Laundry has a contract with Compost RVA, Salter said. Once a week, employees from Compost RVA pick up the compost from the restaurant, turn it into soil and give it to local farmers.
“We pay for the compost service,” Salter said. “All the compost is given away for free, so the farms aren’t having to pay for that.”
UR student Caitlin O’Hare, sophomore, said she believed the pricing at The Juice Laundry was too high.
“I think the price ranges are better at Ginger Juice and The Pit and The Peel,” O’Hare said. “My roommate got a juice for $10 at The Juice Laundry, and I think that’s kind of a lot.”
The Juice Laundry has transparent pricing that shows customers the true price of its food and what the menu price compensates for, such as organic produce, labor and compostable packaging. A detailed chart of its transparent pricing is posted in the store.
The restaurant’s open kitchen also allows for transparency in how its juices are made.
The Juice Laundry has a bottle return system that helps the environment and customers, who get $0.25 off for every Juice Laundry bottle they return to the store. The bottles are then sanitized and recycled back into the production process, Salter said.
The restaurant uses sustainable products for non-food-related aspects as well, such as vegan soap and recycled toilet paper.
Mike and Sarah Keenan founded The Juice Laundry in Charlottesville in 2013. There are now three stores in Charlottesville, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Richmond.
Avery Finkelson, a University of Virginia student, came to The Juice Laundry RVA when she was home for fall break in October. She said The Juice Laundry near UVA was her go-to place for studying.
“If I’m not going to the library, I’ll come to The Juice Laundry,” Finkelson said.
Salter said the RVA location was also built for studying. There are multiple seating environments — high-top tables for collaboration, two top tables for studying, bar seating for individuals and comfortable seating with couches — and USB ports throughout the store for student convenience, Salter said.
Salter said he hoped The Juice Laundry would become a gathering place for UR students.
Salter said he had signed a contract with Mike Poplaski, corporate marketing account executive at UR, to put coupons in the basketball programs. Salter is also meeting with UR strength and training coaches to create custom pre-workout and post-workout drinks with UR labels.
The sustainable and study-friendly juice bar has an extensive menu that incorporates both fruits and vegetables.
Salter said The Juice Laundry's best-selling smoothie was the Coco Verde. Another customer favorite is Bradley’s CB&J, which is The Juice Laundry's take on PB&J, he said.
Richmond locals, sisters Lucy and Ellie Call, said they came to The Juice Laundry because of the food’s fresh taste.
“First of all, it’s delicious,” Lucy said.
Ellie echoed, “Second of all, it’s delicious."
Any of The Juice Laundry’s superfood smoothies can be made into a smoothie bowl with toppings such as fruit and granola, which is made in-store. Customers also have the option to create their own flavors.
In addition to smoothies, the store sells gluten-free overnight oats and vegan chili.
There is also a grab-and-go station with pressed juices, nut milks and lattes, including the fall favorite, pumpkin spice latte. Salter said the “Bolt,” a blend of house-brewed gyoza tea and maca root, was perfect for an energy boost.
“It’s every bit as potent as coffee, but it doesn’t give you the jitters,” he said.
Salter said The Juice Laundry’s natural products were ideal for keeping students focused and energized.
The store’s hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Contact news writer Emma Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.