Being a mother is a tough job, and being a stay-at-home mom was the career path East Lansing resident Mary Hargrove chose for the past 14 years – until now. Last month, she chose an entirely new adventure by opening up her very first business, Clean Juice, in the midst of a pandemic.
The certified organic juice bar opened on Aug. 28 at its location at 641 E. Grand River Ave. Clean Juice only uses USDA-certified organic premium ingredients for its 10 cold-pressed juices, smoothies, açaí and Greenoa bowls, toasts, wraps, and other offerings. The cafe also offers superfood add-ons like fresh, organic spices, which can be added to any smoothie or juice.
After trying the Clean Juice product in February 2020 at one of the nearly 100 other stores nationwide, Hargrove immediately knew she wanted to open up her own store and that East Lansing was the perfect spot. Offering healthy, grab-and-go lunch options within walking distance of campus made the location ideal.
She describes the transition from stay-at-home mom to entrepreneur as “stressful at times, but worth it.”
This mother’s passion for health and nutrition began when she was a child and continued when she had her own children.
“We started eating organically when the kids were born and it has been something my husband and I have continued to grow more passionate about over the years,” she said.
The store differs from other smoothie cafes and restaurants in that it’s a certified organic establishment, Hargrove said.
“We don’t add any sugar to any smoothies or juices or açaí bowls. We use natural sweeteners like maple syrup, dates, honey, and almond butter,” said Hargrove. “We also offer a gluten-free option for all of our toasts and wraps. Our granola is also gluten-free which people love to hear! If you happen to be vegetarian or vegan all of our menu options can be made to fit your lifestyle. Our salad dressings are all gluten-free and dairy free.”
For new customers, Hargrove recommends The Berry Bowl, which consists of açaí blended with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, honey, and almond milk and is topped with granola, banana, goji berries, and seasonal strawberries.
Personal favorites of Hargrove’s include the Greenoa Bowls, which she describes as a clean juice version of a salad; protein toast on gluten-free bread; The Hardcore One Juice, which is a green juice; and The Coffee One, consisting of almond butter, almond milk, banana, cold-brewed coffee, dates. Menu items range from $5.25 to $10.25.
The cafe offers indoor dining and online orders via their mobile app. First time customers can receive $5 off their order by using the app and rewards system.
Delivery is available through Grubhub, DoorDash, and UberEats.
Clean Juice is located at 641 E. Grand River Ave., and is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.