Jersey Couple Finds Joy and Profit in Health Bar
Three years ago Seth Amoah and Kelli Mouzon opened a juicing bar called The Juice Bar in Merchantville New Jersey. Their goal is to provide nutritious and healthy food and drinks using freshly pressed fruits and vegetables as a nutritious alternative to fast food and junk food. The concept is catching on. They have a steady clientele with new customers coming in daily and soon they plan to open a new store in Atlantic City.
They both are college graduates but they did not major in business or nutrition while in college. Seth majored in kinesiology, wife Kelli majored in education. Seth grew up in South Jersey and his parents believed in fresh vegetables and fruit as their dietary mainstay. “My mom and dad were both raised on farms; they have a great appreciation for fresh food, vegetables, fruit, plants, herbs and plant life. My dad is from Ghana West Africa and my mom is from Beaufort South Carolina. I was raised in Sicklerville New Jersey in an environment where dealing with plants, having a garden is what I saw. We even had an apple tree in our yard; we were the only family on the block with an apple tree. I always ate pretty healthy even when I got older and moved away from my parent’s home I still kept those same habits.” shared Seth.
As a physical therapist’s assistant and later as a therapist himself, Seth blended his interest in nutrition with his interaction with his clients. He met Kelli who is from Philly but who didn’t grow up around gardening and plants. Seth’s regimen helped persuade her to eat healthier. Being around Seth and trying to eat healthier made her a believer. “I grew up in the exact opposite of Seth. Our family ate healthy but not necessarily doing the gardening or going to the farms to get fresh fruits and vegetables. We ate the best we could where we were. I have to credit Seth for getting me into it like I am now. I always knew about nutrition but not to the extent I know now being with Seth. Over the years seeing him play football at college, the physical therapy, the exercise regimen how could I not get into it dating someone like him? We both became vegetarians and once we got into the business I’m here juicing every day.”
Seth felt he was destined for something other than physical therapy so he started saving his money with the idea of opening a business that provided healthy choices. After saving for a few years he and Kelli decided to open their establishment in Merchantville New Jersey a small community adjacent to Pennsauken and Cherry Hill.
The location proved to be just what the young couple needed to work out the kinks in their business. “We looked at a lot of other places in other towns but to be honest it was the slower vibe, Merchantville is a nice walking community with and old school feel and they watched us grow and as we grew the town is growing with us.
We knew how to make the smoothies and juices but the flow, the lines, ordering the foods, buying bananas that are yellow now but also buying green ones that will ripen so we can make the drinks and buying the other fruits, vegetables and ingredients for the salads and sandwiches we had to quickly learn all that; and the people were patient with us. I believe in another town on another street we would have been run out of town. Here they are more patient.” stated Seth.
“We were a mess. We were very, very slow but our set up and preparation is different now. When I was in school Seth was here by himself. Dave is our chief cook and he is Seth’s friend’s younger brother so we are like family. Now we have loyal customers who often come in several times a day” added Kelli.
Before they opened the business they tried an assortment of ingredient combinations for the smoothies and juice recipes. Kelli was the taste tester and Seth the quality control person. They decided on menu offerings and hired a good friend as the cook to make the salads and sandwiches. After three years the store has developed and cultivated a loyal and growing clientele.
Recently the couple was approached by the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City and asked to open a small juice bar in their facility next to the Hotel’s Matrix Fitness gym. They are excited about the opportunity but remain dedicated to their core values and principles of customer service in everything they do. “We will have to swap it out. Seth will probably get it up and running then we will take turns working there.”
Long term the couple dreams about additional locations but right now they are focused on expanding services where they are, possibly providing deliveries. “We get a lot of requests for deliveries especially lately and we are thinking about using Uber Eats, Door Dash and Grub Hub. We’re also asked why we don’t have more bottled juices. Seth is very protective of our brand and quality control so we really have to be diligent about bottling the cleanses and cold presses because they require different blenders and take a longer time; it’s a different process. But it is something we are considering.” shared Kelli.
The Juice Bar is located at 20 Centre Street in Merchantville New Jersey. They are open Monday through Friday 7 AM to 5 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 3 PM and closed Sunday. For more information call (856) 324-0436.
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