The story of Juby True begins in the late 1990’s when Sam Fox, the creative force behind the 13 different Fox Restaurant concepts met the world-renowned leader in integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil, at one of Fox's restaurants in Tucson, Arizona. Sam was skeptical of Dr. Weil’s claim that “a restaurant could serve great food that would just happen to be good for you”. After cooking with Dr. Weil at his ranch in Tucson, Fox came to understand how delicious healthy food can be and, on October 27th, 2008, the new partners opened the first True Food Kitchen in Phoenix to great acclaim.
With Sam’s “yin” insisting that every recipe taste great, and Dr. Weil’s “yang” riding herd on the nutritional value of the finest organic ingredients, the partners opened 10 successful True Food Kitchens in Arizona, California, Texas and Colorado. In 2012, they joined Executive Chef Michael Stebner to write a cookbook, TRUE FOOD: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure, demonstrating the underlying passion for excellence behind True Food Kitchen. All True Food Kitchen locations feature dishes that closely adhere to the principles of Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. They are intended to be a new kind of restaurant: “one in which delicious flavors, healthy nutrients, environmental awareness, and an inviting atmosphere come together to create an unforgettable dining experience”.
“It’s the combination of Sam’s insistence on great taste and Dr. Weil’s careful audit of nutritional value,” Kelly Watkins, Juby True’s General Manager, answered when I asked her why Juby True was different from all the other juice bars that were cropping up across the country. “They both have a passion for excellence that inspires us all to make our products the highest quality available anywhere.”
Juby True is an affectionate contraction of Juice by True (Foods). The Juby True juice bar is a natural extension of a True Food Kitchen that enables Fox Restaurant Concepts to “bottle up the simplicity and healthy goodness of True Food Kitchen for on-the-go convenience,” says Sam Fox. “We wholeheartedly believe flavor and nutrition can exist together on a plate as well as in a glass.”
After meeting Kelly Watkins, I began to understand the genius of Sam Fox. He hires people who share his passion and then empowers them to help him run his company. An oncology nurse, Kelly left nursing to study the medicinal and healing aspects of food. “I’ve spent many years in medicine and several more years feeling 'sick' before really understanding that illness is, in a sense, a biological communication of one’s life...I also started to see the impact of food (both good and bad) on the body while I was an oncology nurse, and I realized that my focus needed to be on teaching people about food and wellness BEFORE they became sick. This was my inspiration for opening Juice Core, the first organic, cold-pressed, juice company in Phoenix."
I immediately understood why Sam Fox hired this woman away from her own company to run Juby True. When the opportunity to join Sam Fox and Andrew Weil in their efforts to develop Juicing as a natural extension of their already legendary True Food Kitchen presented itself, Kelly jumped at the chance. “I knew, with Sam Fox and Dr. Weil, I would be able to have a real impact on health and nutrition.”
The natural skeptic in this old restaurateur that rears up whenever I hear the term “health food” forced me to ask Kelly this turnaround question, ”Why juicing? I mean, with all these greens and nuts and beans on the menu at True Food Kitchen, why grind it all up and drink it?”
Kelly gave me that patient look I often get from people who know what they’re doing when I ask a foolish question. “For your body to function efficiently it requires proper nutrition. All of the ingredients selected by Dr. Weil in a True Food Kitchen pack the highest nutrition punch available anywhere. In every bottle of Juby True juice you get the nutrition impact of approximately seven pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. So juicing is the best way to highly concentrate nutrition and deliver it gently to your body. In liquid form, it’s also a lot easier to digest all those leafy green vegetables.”
Kelly was on a roll. “So much illness is a result of poor nutrition,” she continued. “With Sam making sure that every nutritional juice we concoct also tastes great, we have something at Juby True you can’t get anywhere else; delicious, concentrated health food. Cold pressed juices naturally boost your immunity, making you feel rejuvenated, full of energy, balanced, and excited to be alive.”
I wasn’t sold yet. “What’s all this ‘cold pressed’ business?” I asked cynically.
Kelly got up and led me back into the commissary kitchen to demonstrate a cold press juicer. “Cold press juicers use just enough pressure to extract the juice while preserving its vitamins, enzymes, trace minerals and overall nutrients up to five times more than any other juicer,” she explained as a chef plunged vegetables into the hopper. “Your juicer at home, for example, typically utilizes a fast-spinning metal blade that spins against a mesh filter generating quite a bit of heat, which destroys some of the enzymes in the fruits and vegetables. The heat also oxidizes those nutrients, rendering less nutritious juice than a cold-press juicer.”
I was finally sold when Kelly began to offer me samples of Basillion, a combination of green apple, spinach, basil, lime, chlorophyll, and cayenne; and Sweet Karma concocted with apple, parsley, spinach, kale, romaine, and ginger; and Little Miss Sunshine, a great pineapple, pear, ginger, and mint drink that I really love. Much to my surprise, everything was delicious.
Juby True offers Almond Milk Blends for $6; Cold-Pressed Juices for $7, $8, and $9; work out boosting Hydrators for $5; Fresh blended Smoothies for $8; and a variety of coffees, teas, snacks, and sweets.
Fox Restaurant Concepts currently operates two Juby True juice bars at True Food Kitchen restaurants and one free-standing Juby True with a commissary kitchen that delivers fresh juice to the other juice bars.
"We do not use high pressure pasteurization because it destroys much of the nutrients in fresh juices, so we keep juice in our refrigerators for a maximum of three days."
As long as Sam Fox remains dedicated to great taste, and Dr. Weil and Kelly Watkins watch after nutritional value, Juby True is sure to become a dominant player in the thriving health-conscious restaurant market.
Article posted in April 2015 Issue