EL CENTRO — With its ever growing population, the El Centro Chamber of Commerce introduced it newest small business October 10. However, this business is something all residents can get behind.
Joy Juice, located just off of La Brucherie and Adams, had it official grand opening and ribbon-cutting Thursday, October 10, but has been in business since early May. Joy Juice provides a healthier alternative to the mostly sugar-based drinks available at convenience stores
The need for a healthy drink and smoothie shop was conceived out of pure necessity by its owner, Juan Salazar, who said that there was no place to satisfy his sweet tooth along with a healthier diet.
"I weighed around 285 pounds, and I wanted to start eating healthier, but I couldn't find many places that didn't serve drinks without sugar," said Salazar. "So, I felt the need to have a place that served healthy food and drinks. Since I couldn't find one, I decided to make one, not only for me, but for my community."
With more and more residents moving to El Centro and Imperial from other parts of the county, the need for healthy alternatives is something the city wants to introduce to its residents.
"We always look at new businesses that want to be part of the chamber and we help them by spreading the word out to locals about their opening," said President-Elect for the El Centro Chamber of Commerce Carla Kuhns. "There's a tremendous boost that we get for the chamber when new businesses open up. It shows that we are continuously growing and are striving to make the city of El Centro the best it can be."
Joy Juice, like several small businesses in the Imperial Valley, is a family affair; many of Salazar's family members run the day-to-day operation.
"We pride ourselves in providing a healthy alternative to the residents here in El Centro," said Oscar Perez, Salazar's uncle and business partner. "We use agave as an alternative to sugar, which I think helps the flavor even more in our drinks."
One thing that Joy Juice prides itself on is a family-friendly attitude toward business, which they feel carries on to their customers.
"We want the people who come into our store feel like family," said Salazar. "For me, that's what is going to help us attract more people to come in and enjoy our healthy side of drinks."