“Our motto is — ‘We’re in pursuit of your health.’”
Juice Me Too co-owner Bondine Leonard uttered those words against the active background noise of the juice bar, which she runs with her daughter and business partner Patrice Landers.
written by LaTria Garnigan // photography by Erin Gray Cantrell
The morning of our interview was relatively quiet for the Austell-based business, save for the occasional customer delightfully known by name or order, a welcome break for our editorial invasion.
It’s been two years since the juice bar opened its doors to the public and momentum hasn’t seemed to fade. The location could have something to do with that. It is perfectly positioned across the parking lot from an LA Fitness, and throughout the morning we saw several customers who looked to be dressed for the gym come in and purchase their goodies.
“I wanted to be in the Cobb area because I knew they didn’t have anything over here,” said Patrice. “One of my friends was working at LA Fitness and said they were moving to Brookwood Square Shopping Center and I dropped everything and came over here.”
That decision has paid off. Since opening, Patrice and Bondine haven’t had to market the business at all.
The relatively small location packs a big punch. They offer freshly made and packaged, cold-pressed juices in either an 8-oz or 16-oz size, made-to-order smoothies of your own flavor choices or you can pick from one of the many concoctions on display, and a variety of vegan-friendly meal options — which have outpaced the juices in sales. A sample of the meals include: kale salad, walnut meat wrap (It’s delicious!), veggie wrap, tropical (acai) bowl, peanut butter bowl, signature oatmeal and avocado pudding.
With the arrival of fall, customers can see a slight switch up of the menu, with Patrice saying they will begin to offer a couple of warm items, along with local coffees and teas.
An example is the new nourish bowl that includes a lot of protein — spinach, beets, quinoa, chick peas, avocado, scallions — and is topped with hummus and a tahini dressing.
“Fifteen percent of our sales are in juice and everything else is in food. Everything we create is out of love and a lot of our customers said they try to do this at home and it doesn’t turn out right,” joked Patrice.
You could shop at Juice Me Too for the great tasting food or juices, but perhaps one of the main reasons could be your well-being. Patrice noted the majority of their customers are paying more attention to their health, even if they are hesitant of a little green drink.
“Definitely more consumers now are being concerned about their well-being,” said Patrice.
“With Juice Me Too what brings customers back is the customer service. The food is good and even those who are scared to drink a green smoothie, we tell them the spinach just makes it green and they’re excited about that.”
Patrice and Bondine are a dynamic duo of ownership for the healthy eatery. While Patrice can be credited with the great tasting recipes, Bondine brings the necessary medical knowledge to the mix as a veteran nurse — something that has helped the business flourish.
Bondine is also no stranger to entrepreneurship. While being a nurse for the past 32 years, she was also a small business owner once before, having opened a gym in the late ‘90s.
“I opened the gym because you started seeing a trend of obese people and I was concerned about their health.”
That same concern and care has carried over to her work at Juice Me Too. Using her healing knowledge of food, Bondine helps to determine what ingredients are helpful for certain ailments.
“When you go to the doctor they want to find out your nutrition and exercise history,” she said. “Because what we get in, that’s what’s gonna be put out.”
Bondine strives to help heal the customer’s whole mind, body and spirit.
“I want people to feel better, because if you don’t feel good you can’t reach your potential.”
While still enjoying their two-year success, Patrice and Bondine steadily have their eyes on the future and that future includes franchising, not only around the metro area, but internationally as well. Patrice has her eyes set on opening a flagship location on the island of St. Maarten — the namesake of one of their popular juices.
“St. Maarten is a place we’ve visited in the past 16 years and we’ve fallen in love with it,” said Patrice. “We’d like to establish a chain in the Caribbean and work with the farmers and cultivate fruits and vegetables and create meals from what they grow there.”