Sippin' on Juice and Juice
The people carrying Planet Smoothie into the Farmer’s Market clearly don’t know.
If they’d just gone to the Calhoun Street side, where the red-tented food huts convene, they would’ve seen a fresh new face right on the corner.
It’s not their fault. A juice bar isn’t a new concept—major cities everywhere have their share and The Sprout was Charleston’s first. But why—dear God, why?!—hasn’t there been one downtown all these years?
Introducing Wendy and Mike Ezelle, your saviors with high-power blenders and juicers. The Juice Joint just opened with the first Market of the year. It uses all the buzzwords to get healthies excited: “local,” “nutrients,” and “stronger than coffee.”
The Market was an obvious place to start, with its affordability and ideal demographic. Week one proved them right. The husband-and-wife team sold out of practically everything, which is exciting and terrifying when there’s a line. Still having pears and apples and being creative-types, they knocked on the door of their neighbor, local strawberry farmers, and said, “If you trust us, we’ll make you something awesome.” And since this is a happy story, they did. Now they’re sourcing their strawberries from Maple Ridge Farms.
“Charleston has been the first place I’ve lived that’s been so locally focused. That’s been huge,” says Wendy. Moving here in 2008, she has always had two jobs: the one that pays the bills and the one that doesn’t. The latter has always been her true love, aside from Mike, who made her passion his passion. “Charleston has a need for it, and we want to fill it.” Together they’re unstoppable and full of delicious, liquefied freshness and ideas. It’s safe to assume their children will have some kind of superpowers.
“Anyone can source smoothie mix, add milk and ice, blend, and go. You get super high and crash. We really want to do the made-to-order, fresh aspect of it. We only add super foods to make it more nutritious, and to help you feel good longer.”
(Also good for hangovers, FYI).
So say you’re strolling through the Market. There are a lot of people and the sun is beating on you so hard you feel like it hates you. You’re seeing mirages. You need sustenance. There’s the Beach Bum, a Pina Coladaesque smoothie that makes you feel tropical but not guilty. The Spring Chicken is a caper of veggie and fruit juices and will have you running a marathon before noon. Then there’s The Reviver, the Joint’s souped-up take on the classic carrot-apple-celery-ginger combo—the dirty martini of the juice world. All will leave feeling re-energized and sustained.
Like crack. The healthy kind.
The Juice Joint made a drink named after us! Go see how we taste!
“The CHARLIE” – 4 strawberries (local is better) + juice of one pear + juice of one apple + trust
Story by: Jessica Kenny
Photos by: Jason Layne