The Juice Kitchen - Worth the squeeze? / by Gavin Higgins

*This is not a paid endorsement. If a place or product is bad I will tell you it's bad.*

I had to collect a few items from a client who was briefly in Ballito and she suggested meeting at The Juice Kitchen, at the Ballito Lifestyle Center opposite Zaras. I'd love to tell you that I was unearthing the newest gem on the North coast, but then I'd be a big fat liar, they opened on the 2nd November and I've just been late to the party.

When you walk through the doors the first thing that hits you is the "No Nonsense" approach to the layout of the store. The far wall is stark brick with a simple yet stunning vintage-styled sign saying JUICE. To your left are some wooden crates with fresh fruits and vegetables which are clearly organic and look like they have literally just been pulled out of the ground or picked from a tree. To your right is a display-cooler full of yet more super-fresh ingredients and the star of the show; the juices. 

The decor is definitely no mistake, and is obviously a reflection of the values of this business. This is clearly a case of letting the products do the talking which in this day and age of advertising and marketing is very refreshing. On returning to the office and checking out their webpage here I was struck by the following passage: 

"The Juice Kitchen is an organic, cold pressed juice business established in and born out of a genuine passion for providing the body with the highest quality nutrition available in the modern world- raw fruit and vegetables.

From farm to bottle' we grow juice and bottle all our ‘liquid sunshine’ under organic principles and are based here in Hillcrest on our farm in Summerveld"

This is not a business hopping on the healthy-food bandwagon in order to make a quick buck, these are people who genuinely care about putting out a great product that helps their customers.

Speaking of people, Zora and Sandile make a hell of a team manning (and womanning) the store! While Zora was giving me a crash-course in juicing and detoxes, Sandile was juicing up a storm behind the counter. Zora told me that as quickly as they can get the bottles onto the shelf they seem to fly off, I'm not surprised, in the short time I was there I saqw no less than 20-30 go out the door.   

Shari, a friend who had popped in to collect her juices, treated me to my first Ginger Shot as she warned me "Watch out, it burns a little on the way down". It felt like what I would imagine chewing on a handful of pickled-ginger at a sushi restaurant would feel like, but in a good way if that makes sense. It hit me straight away and I have to say I'm stunned with how immediately and how intensely energized I felt. Not 10 minutes before that Shari had asked me why I looked tired and I had explained that I was up for training at 4h20 this morning, not 10 minutes after this I was singing along to music on the drive back to the office, full of beans. 

They have all sorts of juices. They have juices for hangovers, juices for colds, juices for weight loss, juices for energy and so many more. They also offer various juice detox courses for different objectives too, and Zora will be able to tell you a lot more than I will, so pop in for a visit and a chat with her. It was too difficult to choose just one to taste so I left with 6 and Caro and I will be tasting them all for the next day or two. Of course these are completely preservative free so we will have to get through them fast!

All in all I'm so glad I went in and tried it because I know it's somewhere I'm going to end up visiting often in the future. Who knows, maybe it will even help me lose some of this wedding weight, I'll let you know in a future blog-post.

Buen Provecho!