This week’s mugging is ripe with flavour!
RIPE Juicery is not only a go-to for those looking for a morning energy boost, but also a great place to eat for any time of day. The healthy alternative to the daily grind has been open in Barrie at 118 Dunlop St. E. since May of 2015. Being busy and full of customers is a good thing for owners Meghan Muise and Lindsay Haley who were not only hoping for a thriving business financially when they started RIPE, but also wanted to spread their love of all things health to their city.
Those who feel that RIPE is only for grabbing a smoothie or some detox juices should probably head in and check out the menu. A variety of salads filled with delicious vegetables, rice and/or quinoa can be eaten in-house or on the run. There are items similar to what RIPE offers in grocery stores but the difference is those items are flash-pasteurized at high temperatures killing off vital nutrients where RIPE uses a hydraulic cold presser which keeps the healthy parts in the juice allowing your body to absorb what it needs. Haley says that most people are surprised when they come in but usually become regulars after one purchase.
“I think that we have the stigma from people not in the know that you can’t be filled up by eating here and trust me that’s not true,” said Haley. “There are so many different selections to choose from whether you’re starving or just need a quick bite but everything on the menu will keep your energy up and fill your dietary needs; we’re very happy that so many in town have chosen to come here regularly.”
RIPE does have its mainstays as well as those who just drop in on a warm day for a cool drink. Being in the downtown Barrie core gave the duo a chance to become a part of the small town feel of the area and that means a strong breakfast crowd. Haley, who has a background in yoga, sees the exercise folks as well as the business owners hitting RIPE for an organic, plant-based start to the day.
“With a yoga studio just across the street and a ton of businesses all around us, the morning is one of our busiest times,” said Haley. “It was a popular habit for the younger business owners to come in and continue the juicing and healthy eating they’ve become accustomed to, but then it caught on more and more with the older crowd. I was really happy to see that because it was like the whole raw, organic and plant-based eating idea was going from trend to a way of life, and that should be a good thing for everyone in our society.”
While both Haley and Muise have a background in the restaurant industry, the friends share a love and history with the health industry as well. Muise was previously involved in the area of mental health, particularly an addictions counsellor at the Royal Victoria Hospital. The 30-year-old Muise believes that a healthy mind and body lead to a healthy life and was so excited when their first location opened up.
“This was a culmination of many ideas coming together for us but getting down to it we just wanted to give people the chance to eat healthy,” said Muise. “I like to live a physically fit lifestyle but certainly with my background in mental health I’m a firm believer that the healthier you are physically the better you can feel mentally.”
The shop that started on Dunlop now has a location in Muskoka’s Lake Rosseau and another opening on Barrie’s south end at 371 King Street Unit 4 within the week. Muise knows that people are making better life choices then they ever did which is helping the company grow, but also lending a hand to the expansion are the items on the menu that taste great and are great for you. The parfaits are some of RIPE’s most popular items for those looking to fill up on the go as are the acai bowls. Whatever your choice, Muise knows that once you make it a part of your daily routine you will feel great and want to keep it going.
“I know how easy it is to just go grab a fast food combo and carry on with your day,” said Muise. “But this is just as easy once you make it a conscience decision; once you substitute your regular routine with a healthier choice it doesn’t take long before you just naturally grab the products that are better for you.”