Business Spotlight: The Juice Box
When a basketball player suffers a serious injury, a seriously bleak period can follow. For Kali Terry, the story was much the same. An injured achilles tendon meant at least a year off the court. “It was a real low point for me,” he says. “I was depressed.”
Lucky for him, he was dating “this hippy,”
and she told him he should try juicing. Had he never been injured, he probably wouldn’t have tried it, but he figured, he’d try anything to feel better. Even fresh squeezed beet juice. He hated it.
“I had never even had a beet, much less a whole juice made from them!” But, he decided to keep at it, in spite of the crazy-colored, earthy liquid. “The more I did it, the better I started to feel.”
His energy levels spiked, and best of all, his injury healed in about three-quarters the amount of time the doctors predicted. He’s not crediting juicing for that happy turn of events, but he’s not discrediting it either. Because when a person starts to juice, he says, other healthful habits tend to fall into place. “Like, if I spend an hour making this juice, what am I going to look like going to McDonald’s for a cheeseburger?”
This simple (and delicious— he’s come a long way since beet juice) lifestyle change is one that could have a great effect on the health disparities in black communities, he says, and he’s ready to be the man to bring it.
The Juice Box vision is for a food truck— or possibly a fleet— that can travel to underserved communities, even schools, and provide fresh and delicious juices. Because while the juicing craze might be old hat for affluent communities, it’s yet to touch North Minneapolis, for instance. “I want to make it convenient for people, to raise the level of consciousness where it comes to health, and to prove that [black neighborhoods] are a viable market for juicing.”
While Terry says the health benefits are many— including improved complexion, improved cardiovascular health, and reducing the risk of diabetes— one of the best parts of juice is the flavor.
At the moment, he’s particularly proud and fond of his leafy green juice, a combination of kale, celery, and apple. “My body really responds to that,” he smiles.
He also highly recommends the “Invincibility,” a mixture of apples, kiwi, and berries, and another called “Those Jeans from High School,” because, you guessed it— he says it will get you back into those jeans from high school. He’s also tinkering around with exotic fruits for some upcoming flavors.
Since juicing led him to a more healthful way of eating, Terry also plans to serve wholesome, mostly plant-based soups, salads, and sandwiches too, like a spicy, green curry sandwich, and a carrot tomato soup finished with ginger. All of the product served from the Juice Box will be all natural and organic, he says.
Since he’s aware that this new outlook on healthful eating only came about thanks to his basketball injury, Terry wants to incorporate a holistic approach to bringing juice to into the neighborhood. “Sometimes it takes some kind of a crisis to make a paradigm shift. So I’ll tell people how this helped me and ask: ‘What are some things that you’re struggling with in life?’ And we’ll go from there.”
He credits the Northside Food Business Incubator program for helping him understand how to scale the business and to set measurable goals, as well as how to reach incremental success while reducing overhead as much as possible.
About the Author: Mecca Bos has always been envious of other writer’s clever bios. The cleverest thing she’s ever accomplished is managing to turn a love of eating, drinking, and parties into a career of sorts. It doesn't pay much, but the dividends in friendships and truffle fries are bountiful. In between bites, she writes for various national and local publications. She also works the odd shift in random professional kitchens. You can see more of her work at meccabos.com