The juice trend is starting to inch eastward, with a new player opening at the brisk intersection of Grand Avenue and Gaston Road. I Love Juice Bar is a young company founded in Nashville, which has begun to populate the Dallas area with branches at Park Lane, and in Allen and Plano.
Each location has a different owner. Opening the Lakewood branch is Sohail Basirat, a Lakewood resident and fitness buff who wanted to bring something healthy to the neighborhood. He's taking over a former optical shop which he has remodeled, with a targeted opening date of early August.
"I have a background in finance, but I've always had a passion for being healthy and active," he says. "I work at at the UFC gym right above it. I wanted to bring something that was healthy, and mostly vegan, raw, and vegetarian. The documentary Fat Sick & Nearly Dead is what got John Hunt, the owner of I Love Juice, to start this company. The subject, Joe Cross, got on a juice diet and changed his life."
I Love Juice Bar differentiates itself from its competitors in the way it does its juices. "We juice it fresh in front of you, versus the method that other juice bars use, from a factory where it's cold-pressed," Basirat says. "You can also customize it however you want."
Unique smoothie options include the cacacacao made with avocado, banana, and cacao, topped with cacao nibs, hemp seeds, and goji berries. They don't use ice in their smoothies (hello Smoothie King), nor do they add sweetener (ahem Jamba Juice).
The other element that sets I Love Juice Bar apart is its diversified menu. In addition to juices and smoothies, they also do edibles such as salads, soups, and bowls, plus coffee, snacks, and a grab-and-go area.
Basirat also likes the culture of the organization. "It's a young company, not very corporate, and very friendly," he says.