Raw passion: Juice Life blends together love and health

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 17, 2018

By Jessica Coates

SALISBURY — Ashley Honeycutt said there were a number of reasons she and her husband, Mark, decided to open Juice Life in Salisbury.

“With it being local and family-owned, we did consider other towns in other areas,” Ashley said. “But we knew with Salisbury being our hometown and how much we love Salisbury that Salisbury is where we wanted to be.”

But it was more than that. Ashley said the lack of healthy food options in Salisbury concerned her.

“And we wanted to make a positive impact, and that was one area where we felt like we could do that,” Ashley said.

Ashley said many of the options people think of as healthy might not be as they seem.

“The No. 1 enemy … to nutrients is heat. So most of the time, we’ll get juice from the grocery store and it’s been pasteurized or heated,” Ashley said. “If we go and eat a vegetable plate and think, ‘Oh, I had a really healthy meal,’ the foods are cooked to death. And so what we’re lacking is that raw, healthy food,”

Ashley said eating raw fruits and vegetables is “key” to a nutritious diet.

“Fruits and vegetables have those live enzymes, phytonutrients there trapped in their cell balls. And if we can press them and get every bit of that out and we have it in a live, raw juice … we can drink those and it just floods our body with all of those important, raw vitamins and minerals and things that our bodies need,” Ashley said.

When it opened just over a year ago, Juice Life just offered juices and smoothies.

They now have an assortment of oatmeals, toasts and “energy bites” on their menu.

“We wanted to make sure before we add something (that) we can do it right. So we just added things a little bit at a time,” Ashley said.

Ashley said she wants to continue adding things to the menu.

“We’re getting ready to kick off our salads, but we want to do all of our dressings house-made,” Ashley said. “And so until we can have those recipes perfect, we don’t want to have salads.”

Ashley said Juice Life also usually has a smoothie and juice of the month.

The ideas for those are usually the results of experiments that happen during slow periods in a workday.

“We have a really good time — a difficult time, but a lot of fun — experimenting (and) trying to find good recipes and flavor combinations to make things taste good,” Ashley said.

She said sometimes they go through 10 or 12 options before they finally get a good one.

“We’ll have a new blue smoothie for July, which we’re really excited about. And it gets its beautiful blue color from blue spirulina, which is super healthy for you. It’s one of the most nutrient-rich substances on Earth,” Ashley said.

In addition to adding healthier options to Salisbury’s food ecosystem, Ashley and Mark said they had another, bigger purpose in opening Juice Life.

“We wanted a business that would reflect the love of Christ in just everything. We wanted it to be a positive influence and be a fun, safe environment for those team members that we have here working for us,” Ashley said.

Juice Life now employs about 25 people.

“And most of them are young, so it’s another family for us,” Mark said.

“And we try to run it like a family,” Ashley said.

Ashley and Mark also frequently treat customers like family.

On a table just inside the door, there is a glass vessel where visitors can submit prayer requests.

“We value our team and our customers and relationships above all. Praying for them is a privilege,” Ashley said. “We encourage and give our team the freedom to love on people by deciding together on special ways we can make a difference in lives, no matter how small it may be.”

Ashley and Mark chose a Bible verse to guide the way they run Juice Life — 1 Corinthians 10:31.

“‘So whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ And that’s something that we try to think about all the time,” Ashley said.

Juice Life is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

It is located at 712-B Jake Alexander Boulevard West.

For more information, call Juice Life at 704-603-8959 or visit juicelifeusa.com.