Tucked into Main Street courtyard
By Nicolette Toussaint
Sopris Sun Correspondent
While Sismai Moreno, the barista, pours claret-colored juice into a paper tasting cup for a first-time visitor, two additional customers step into the Tonic Juicery.
The juice bar, tucked into the courtyard at 320 Main St., offers a dozen different juices each day, all squeezed fresh on site, made in and expressly for Carbondale.
An artistically chalked menu lists all of the ingredients that go into Tonic’s organic, cold-pressed juices. Ruby Spice, the claret-colored blend in the tasting cup, contains carrot, apple and beet juice, spiced with ginger, turmeric and garam masala. Silky in texture with fruity undertones, it packs a feisty bite. “Some people say that they have tried these ingredients and didn’t like them,” Moreno to The Sopris Sun. “But here, sometimes they try again and they say, ‘it’s out of this world.’”
Megan Wussow, who is returning her third visit, encourages Jill Meadows, a second-time customer, to try the red juice. “I have tried Emerald City and Ruby Spice, and they were both awesome,” said Wussow. “Today, I need some turmeric because I have a sore shoulder.” Wussow chooses Island Style, which contains celery, apple, watermelon rind, cilantro, chard, lemon, ginger and turmeric – a spice that has anti-inflammatory qualities.
The creative force behind Tonic’s juices is Lindsay Mills, who runs the new juicery along with her husband, Micah Mills. “We’ve spoken with other successful cold-press juice bars across the country and adapted their models to fit in our community. Our recipes are fresh and innovative. Some juices are combos that present themselves to us because we have these vegetables on hand.” Much of the juicery’s produce is local, and all of it is organic. “If it’s grown in Colorado, it comes from Colorado,” said Lindsay.
Tonic Juicery cold-presses its fruits and vegetables to preserve nutrients and flavor. Most commercial companies use centrifugal and masticating methods of juice extraction that heat, grind and aerate fruits and vegetables. Cold pressing, which uses a hydraulic press, maintains the plants’ cellular structure and retains three to five times as many nutrients as conventional juicers.
Tonic has been in business less than a month and has only advertised on a Facebook page and in The Sopris Sun. Even so, Lindsay said that the store stays consistently busy. “We have regulars already. I think that juice bars are just one of those things that make people happy.”
Customers who drop in are most likely to meet Micah Mills, who runs the shop.
Lindsay runs the business end and is a holistic health coach. Having completed a one-year program offered by the Institute for Integrated Nutrition based in New York City, she can assist patrons with cleanse programs and nutrition. “One benefit of juicing is that it’s a really easy way to hit all your targets for daily vegetable intake. The juices are full of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and they help you add a better variety of vegetables to your diet,” she said.
Lindsay and Micah Mills have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for more than a decade. After living in Aspen and also in Taos, they moved back to Carbondale because “it was our favorite place in the valley.” The couple’s three children — an eight and a four year old, plus an eight month old — think that “it’s exciting to have a storefront to hang out in.”
The family opened the storefront on July 14 in the space formerly occupied by Grana Bakery. The remodeled shop has a quiet, spa-like feel. Its bar and walls are paneled with weathered and recycled cedar. A comfy couch invites patrons to stay a while, and a playpen is tucked to one side of the bar. While at Tonic, customers can sample and purchase smoothies and more than dozen juices, including The Hulk, The Redhead, The Green Hopper, Cucumber Cooler, Golden Sunrise and The Carbondale.
Tonic Juicery offers a buy-10, get-one-free punch card to regulars, and will soon be a offering a local subscription and delivery program.
“We really love juice,” said Lindsay. “And I always wished there was a juice bar in Carbondale. So we opened one.”