A Look Inside Greenheart Juice Shop
“You are perfectly whole exactly as you are.”
This is the affirming philosophy behind Greenheart, the juice shop that opened its second location in Leesburg in April.
This also sums up my feelings about the smoothie bowl I’ve just enjoyed. The whole thing was an amazing start to my day. According to owners Alicia Swanstrom and Diana Morales, my smoothie was also nutritionally rich with anti-inflammatory properties. And these ladies know what they are talking about. They founded Greenheart in 2014, first embarking on a journey of education and research, then quickly building a following that has fans flocking in to the shops from far and wide.
A visit to Greenheart leaves you feeling good, uplifted, and healthier – before you even have a sip. Maybe it’s the location – in a little whitewashed shop behind Mom’s Apple Pie with it’s very own backyard and an upstairs space for meditation, flower arranging, or book club meetings.
Or maybe it’s the people – caring owners who take the time to ask and to listen to what’s going on, health-wise and otherwise, before recommending a bottled blend or mixing up a bowl.
You’ll notice immediately that this is no regular smoothie shop. No sugar. No mixes. No preservatives or artificial colors. No gimmicky unicorn-themed drinks. One look at Greenheart’s smoothies, nut milk or juice blend, tells you that this is something different. And indeed, it is.
Greenheart makes everything themselves. They use cold-pressed juicing exclusively, a process that starts with fresh, often local, organic fruit and produce that is gently ground then placed in a 3-ton hydraulic press. The result is a brightly-colored, nutrition-dense juice that contains five times as many nutrients as home juicing. And tastes authentically like what it’s supposed to.
The Dragon Bowl
Making Greenheart’s raw, unpreserved and unpasteurized products look and taste fantastic is a bit of an art form, but the real secret behind Greenheart’s fan following is really more of a science story: Juicing allows them to key-in on specific nutrients that give your body what it needs. Kidney issues? Try Naked Roots. Arthritis? Magic Milk is your formula. Need a boost to your immune system? Try the Sassy Sunshine, with a mixture of orange, turmeric, ginger, cayenne. Stop in and describe what ails you – or worries you – and there’s a juice for that.
What I notice – and taste – is that everything at Greenheart is incredibly fresh. The juice and milks have a shelf life of about 4 days, so the shop makes new product continuously, juicing three times a week in the flagship Falls Church location. Also preparing granola, fresh fruit, and other ingredients daily in both shops.
The options sound so good that making a decision about what to order is difficult. In the end I go with the Dragon Bowl which contains house-made cashew milk, fresh coconut water, mango and strawberries and bee pollen (from a local beekeeper), topped with blueberries, goji berries and ground pumpkin seeds. I also try bites of my friend’s Acai Bowl, a not-too-sweet smoothie base containing bananas, strawberries, almond butter, and protein powder, topped with granola, strawberries, coconut, hemp seeds and bee pollen. The bowls are delicious, filling but not heavy, and naturally sweet.
We also order Greenheart’s most popular smoothie, ‘Swag by Ashley,’ made with cashew milk, strawberries, banana, almond butter, and cinnamon, and their Mint Macha Chip that features cashew milk, coconut, banana, cacao nibs, fresh mint, and matcha. Everything is so good, that I grab bottled juice to take home and share with the fam.
The Activated Lemonade delivers a light fizz that works well with the acidic lemon, Forever Young is refreshing with pineapple and coconut water, and the Liquid Gold’s anti-inflammatory effect is strong enough to feel after just a few sips. I’m hooked.
Greenheart’s owners have been considering a Leesburg location for more than two years, and one visit will make you glad they finally settled on a spot. Or place an order for 6 or 12-bottle packs online for pick up. A trip to Greenheart will leave you refreshed – mind, body and spirit. It must be something in the juice.
Greenheart Juice Shop, 212 A Loudoun Street SE, Leesburg (Blue townhouse with yellow shudders next to Dig Records); Open Monday – Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m.-4p.m. www.greenheartjuiceshop.com