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The view from here: Saadia's Juicebox offers fresh juice, salads, Persian snacks and comfortable seating in Jackson Ward. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
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A snug lounge area occupies the front of the café and juice bar. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
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Owner Saadia Yasmin says opening a juice bar and coffee shop has been a decade-long dream. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
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Toward the back of the business is a yoga and dance studio, which Yasmin hopes will also be used as a communal space. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
Whether you find wellness through a yoga class, a turmeric-touched fresh-pressed juice, an early-morning shot of espresso or some combination thereof, new café, juice bar and yoga studio Saadia's Juicebox is here to help you achieve it.
After roughly 10 years of dreaming of starting her own business — and nearly one year of planning and renovations — owner Saadia Yasmin opened the bright and cheerful shop at 402 1/2 N. Second St. last Thursday with acai bowls, smoothies, "wellness shots," Persian baked goods and more.
"A lot of love went into this place," Yasmin says, "a lot of thought went into this place."
It's light and airy, an atmosphere that echoes the menu: raw juices and smoothies that focus on vegetables and spice just as much as fruit juice, decreasing your drink's sugar content. Take, for instance, the Savory Surprise, made from avocado, lemon juice, carrot juice, ginger and cayenne, or the Popeye Power, with tomato, celery, cucumber, carrot, parsley, bell pepper and kale. Those who need a sweet fix can find it in options such as the Banana Java, with coffee, cocoa, protein powder, banana, oats, chia seeds and cardamon, or The Eye Opener, with oats, orange, turmeric, ginger, vanilla, honey and maca. Juices and smoothies range from $5.40 for 12 ounces to $6.30 for 16 ounces, and, for a limited time, if you post to social media and tag @saadiasjuicebox, you'll receive 20 percent off your drink.
Yasmin also offers acai bowls, chia puddings, salads, a full espresso bar, and shots in such varieties as wheatgrass, "hangover," "immunity" and "energy." In the back is a mirrored studio where, beginning this week, the Juicebox will offer yoga and belly dancing (for class information, keep your eyes on Facebook). Over the next few weeks a soundproof door will arrive to separate the space and eventually allow Yasmin and her yoga instructors to offer hot yoga.
She's still testing out the hours — today is the first day she opened shop at 7 a.m. — but if Saadia's Juicebox can get enough traffic in the morning, Yasmin says she'd like to remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with the space's last yoga or dance classes beginning at 7 p.m. and ending around 8 p.m.
Saadia's Juicebox is a bright addition to the neighborhood, and the latest in a recent burst of fresh-pressed juice bars popping up around Richmond; North End Juice Bar opened last December in the Museum District, and the Fan-area The Pit and the Peel recently announced its expansion to Carytown. (And, of course, we've got Ginger Juice Co. in Henrico, Ellwood Thompson's in Carytown, Crush in Shockoe Bottom; the list goes on.)
It's a busy market, but Yasmin is thrilled with her new contribution to the scene, thankful to the community and appreciative of her husband, who encouraged her to pursue her dream..
"We've been going through this journey of finding the space and purchasing the space and changing the space, and it's finally open now," Yasmin says. "I can't believe it's happening."
Saadia's Juicebox is now open at 402 1/2 N. Second St. For announcements about yoga, dance and fitness classes and hours of operation, follow along on Facebook.