On Monday, Nicole Salvo and Erin Thacker opened a different kind of shop in the Short North. They launched the neighborhood’s first juice bar—a grab-and-go-style, raw and organic juice shop with a natural-meets-industrial feel (an intentional design, Salvo says, to really make the vibrant-colored juices pop in the case).
And it does. A glass case filled with bright purple beet juice, orange carrot juice and green herb-based juice is one of the first things you see walking into Native Cold Pressed (771-A N. High St.).
Admittedly, I’ve never been one to cleanse or juice, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I stopped in for a first taste this week. What impressed me most was how approachable the concept felt. Roughly a dozen juice varieties were clearly written in chalk on the wall, separated into categories (like the aforementioned carrot, beet, herb and green) and with spicy and sweet options under each one.
When I confessed my newbie status to the girl at the counter, she directed me to the best (and slightly sweeter) juices for me. They just so happen to be two of the juices that founded the concept, she added—Spicy Carrot and Sweet Beet (see the end of my post for my first impressions). She also explained that each 16-ounce glass bottle—branded with the Native feather and a checklist of ingredients on the back—contains two servings and will last 72 hours in the fridge.
Salvo says the shop is designed to appeal to those new to juicing, as well as those who have been doing it for a long time and don’t need any added sugar. The owners (who became fast friends at a yoga event nearly two years ago after discovering they both wanted to open a raw juice bar) also want the concept to be socially responsible. So they are working with local food waste recycling company Eartha Limited to recycle pulp and offering 10 cents off your next purchase for every Native glass bottle you return.
The 16-ounce bottles range in price from $8 to $10. I’m told 8-ounce portions are on the way and will cost around $4 to $5. From a first taste, Native’s juices seem like a great, on-the-go healthy option.
Here’s what I tried:
Spicy Carrot: This one includes three simple ingredients—coconut milk, carrot and cayenne. And it very much tastes like all of the above (and I recommend being a carrot-lover to try this one). There’s definite heat from the cayenne, which adds a great kick. And the coconut milk gives it nice thickness. I’d say it’s more on the savory side than the sweet.
Sweet Beet: It’s made with beet, ginger, apple and lemon. With no added milk (almond or coconut are the options at Native), it’s much thinner than the carrot. If you love ginger, definitely get this—the umami flavor sort of settles on your cheeks and the roof of your mouth. You can’t taste the apple and lemon, but you can feel the citrus. This is the one I’d reach for between the two.