Most days when customers walk into the Clean Juice location in Classen Curve, they will see franchise owner Jasmine Parker operating the huge cold-pressed juicer through a window.
The labor-intensive practice keeps a variety of organic and nutrient-rich bottled juices well stocked for customers to grab on the go or for a curated juice cleanse.
“We’ll never juice anything that’s not organic, and we want you to see the whole process,” Parker said. “It makes it so that you don’t take for granted walking into a full fridge. We’re back here working for you and get to see exactly what is going into your juices.”
The Clean Juice franchise, which started in North Carolina in 2016 and has expanded to 90 locations in 21 states, is the only organic-certified franchise by the USDA. Its commitment to keeping ingredients organic is emblazoned on its first Oklahoma location, 5810 N. Classen Blvd., Suite 3.
“The typical person eating non-organic produce will consume around 16 pounds of chemical pesticides every year,” reads one of the messages on its Classen Curve location.
The franchise’s commitment to organic products has helped it stand out in a crowded national landscape with competitors like Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
“Our success and growth has been and continues to be fueled by growing demand for healthier fast food options — specifically food that is organic and non-GMO — among millennials and on-the-go moms,” said Landon Eckles, who co-founded Clean Juice with his wife Kat in Charlotte, in a 2019 press release when the franchise was celebrating opening 60 stores.
Clean Juice arrived in Oklahoma at the start of February thanks to Parker, who became a franchise owner at just 25 years old. While in graduate school for geology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, she kept seeing a Clean Juice location throughout her daily routine.
“It wasn’t until my health started decreasing that I finally got through the doors,” Parker said. “I played soccer in college [at Stephen F. Austin in Texas] and I had a lower back injury, three herniated disks. When I run or I’m standing too long, it affects my nerves and I’ll lose feeling in my right leg. One morning, my back just went and I had trouble moving around. For a month, people had to come over to help me. It was a crazy whirlwind.”
She was in so much discomfort that she couldn’t stand long enough to make breakfast in the morning, so she picked up smoothies and juices from a nearby Clean Juice before or after near-daily chiropractor appointments.
“I found out they were franchising and reached out, didn’t tell anyone,” she said. “I was planning a wedding and finishing my masters and moving to Oklahoma.”
Her husband grew up outside Tulsa in Bixby, and he took a job with his company’s office in Oklahoma City. Parker said Clean Juice was immediately interested because they had yet to expand into the Sooner State. The hard part was deciding to leave behind the field of geology, at first.
“It was an all-at-once ‘I know this isn’t what I’m going to do’ identity crisis,” Parker said. “Well, then what am I going to do? My father was vice president of an oil and gas company, and he just retired. I decided when I was 16 that I was going to be a geologist, and I had tunnel vision. I never looked away, knew I’d get my masters and never questioned. I developed my whole younger self around this idea, and it all came crashing down at once.”
After entertaining a few other options, Parker settled on the idea of working with Clean Juice because of her background in health and wellness as an athlete, and the ability to hire and train staff taps into her history of coaching.
She said Clean Juice headquarters is helpful answering questions and guiding her as a first-time business owner.
“They’ve been amazing to me because I have so many questions,” Parker said. “It’s not like, ‘We’ve done this before, and she needs to get it.’ I love it. I don’t know if all franchises are like that in terms of connection you have with home office, but I feel very, very lucky.”
Clean Juice offers fruit-filled acai bowls, savory grain and salad Greenoa bowl and a variety of toasts in addition to juices and smoothies. There are two types of juices available at the store: customizable counter-pressed juices and bottled cold-pressed juices.
The cold-pressing process allows the bottled juices to retain maximum nutrients capable to store for four to seven days, Parker said. Counter-pressed juices are made with a little bit of heat and retain nutrients for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Counter-pressed juices can be customized with add-ons like protein-rich almond butter, anti-inflammatory turmeric and fiber-rich pitaya (dried dragonfruit).
Clean Juice offers curated juice cleanses that range from a four-bottle juice-until-dinner all the way to a five-day cleanse. Parker said that if customers want to do anything more than a two-day cleanse, call the store beforehand to make sure they have enough cold-pressed juice.
“A whole-day cleanse is 15 pounds of fruits and vegetables, so you’re full and I loved it,” she said. “It helped with fatigue. As soon as I’d get home at 6 p.m., I’d be exhausted, and when I cleanse, I have so much energy. I feel like I can go all day and all night and I can use that energy somewhere else.”