Hidden in the heart of Downtown DeLand, on Artisan Alley — behind The West Volusia Beacon office and next door to Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. and the DeLand Wings — is a juice bar called Beeatroot.
Wendy and Scott Ritchey have owned and operated the juice bar at 105 Artisan Alley for about two years now. Beeatroot had two other locations before finding this home.
Having walked past a number of times, always wondering what went on behind its doors, I thought I’d visit to see what they had in store for someone who is new to the idea of juicing, and to find out just what the heck a Beeatroot is.
For quite some time, juicing has been a popular activity for the health-conscious. The idea is, by consuming drinks made from fresh produce, people can get all their daily nutrients in just one go.
According to Scott, Beeatroot’s system of juicing is “supreme to other juice bars” in the area, and especially some of their closest competition in Orlando.
“A mistake that these other juice bars are making is that they often don’t sharpen their blades enough,” Scott said. With sharper blades, the machine can extract more nutrients.
The couple have a variety of tools, including one Scott created himself and is working to patent, to help streamline the juicing system.
A lot of the time, the bottleneck in the operation comes down to the juicing itself, so anything that can speed that up is a game-changer.
One of their machines, originally designed in 1934, is their current go-to for juicing.
“They haven’t had to change it much, because the design was near perfect from the beginning in transforming produce into a juice without losing the nutrients,” Scott said.
The couple also wanted to stress the signs of inferior juice, which has too much oxygen in the concoction, sometimes making it bad for you. You can tell the juice has lost its nutrients if it is “served over ice with foam,” Wendy said.
Beeatroot is proud to say that their ingredients are all organic, natural, and produced in many places, both local and out of state.
Wendy said they try to source locally when they can, but sometimes it isn’t practical, depending on what they need and where in the world it’s in season.
By sourcing from around the world, they are able to secure products during most times of the year, and have fewer limitations as far as what can be on the menu.
As part of Beeatroot’s commitment to environmental sustainability, juice is sold in jars for $10, or $9 if you are returning a jar. All their disposable cups, straws, etc., are compostable.
As for the inception of the business side of Beeatroot, it came to Scott after he realized that most of his life up to that point had been centered around “toxic” things.
Many of his professions involved assembling products that weren’t always healthy for him, such as surfboards, and working on construction sites.
Wendy’s grandmother was a “juicer” before it became widespread, so the couple had been aware of it for a long time.
After some discussion, six years ago, while Scott was redoing some tile work on the floors at the nearby DaVinci Design House, he decided the house on West Howry Avenue in Downtown DeLand would be a great first home for Beeatroot.
“We looked around DeLand, and we saw what was missing, and it was missing health,” Scott said.
Beeatroot has gained a tight-knit following since then.
“Our supporters are normally the ones who have tried other juice bars before, so they have something to compare us to and can see the difference,” Wendy said.
Beeatroot’s juicing operation employs three people: Wendy and Scott, and a third worker, Charlotte Chase, who sometimes gets referred to as a “smooooth operator” because of her smoothie-making talents.
After avoiding the elephant in the room for long enough, I finally asked Scott what was up with the name of their juice bar.
What seems like a typo is actually a bit of marketing genius mixed in with the perks of not being able to dish out the thousands of dollars it would’ve cost to buy the URL for www.beetroot.com.
They added an “A” to beetroot, and it kind of rolls off the tongue. Of course you’ll get the people who pronounce it like “be at root,” but the right way to say it is just “beetroot.”
Beeatroot offers juices, smoothies, and smoothie bowls.
The smoothie bowls, made when you order, are thicker than regular smoothies and come in a bowl with protein powder and other options available. Smoothies are also made to order.
The juice, on the other hand, is not.
Making juice to order would leave customers waiting too long, around 30 minutes. Instead, Beeatroot keeps a variety of juices in a refrigerator near the register, where they wait at a cool temperature until someone comes by to drink them.
They have more than 50 different juice blends, so it’s likely that you’ll see a different juice there every day. The exception is Beeatroot, their most popular flavor. As you may expect, it has a strong beet taste.
“There’s no pulp in the juice, but you’re still getting the fiber,” Scott said.
While I did get to sample all the juices on hand on the day I visited, the one I ended up purchasing for myself was a mixture of two of their popular juices: Pineapple Express and Harmony. This blend is aptly called Harmony Express.
I did seem to get a burst of energy from the drink quite fast, and the feeling lasted for a good bit. It was new to me, and this is likely because I am not receiving enough nutrients regularly. Juicing makes it a lot easier.
One item in particular, the ginger shot, was especially good. It is made with ginger and pineapple, with cayenne pepper sprinkled on top.
They also have drinks infused with CBD, as well as CBD packets to add to your beverage of choice if you’re interested. One packet of CBD will cost you about $2.50.
Scott and Wendy have been committed to serving DeLand by bringing fresh, natural ingredients to the area. We hope this healthy trend turns into a lifestyle for more people, so Beeatroot can thrive and grow in popularity.
For those who have not tried juicing or more healthful versions of smoothies, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from adding some good nutrients to your diet.
If you’re someone like me who had not set foot in Beeatroot, give it a try. You might like how it feels to work toward a healthier lifestyle, one juice at a time.