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New owner is ‘juiced’ about healthy food restaurant opening in downtown Osoyoos
When Nancy Bath put on extra weight after giving birth to two little girls back-to-back, she turned to drinking.
Drinking healthy fruit juice that is.
She lost more than 70 pounds in a matter of months and says she feels healthier and happier than she has in a very long time.
Combining her new passion for healthy food alternatives and an entrepreneurial spirit passed on to her by her father – who owns and operates a large fruit orchard in Oliver – Bath is the proud new owner of JuiceBox Okanagan, a new retail outlet that opened for business last week on the south end of the Watermark Beach Resort off Main Street in downtown Osoyoos.
“After I had my two babies, I put on a lot of weight and got up to 260 pounds,” said Bath. “I wanted to lose the extra weight and I knew it all came down to lifestyle choices … then one night I was watching a documentary on TV about an Australian man who ate only fruit juices for three months and had lost a significant amount of weight.
“He also had numerous physical problems and had to take a ton of pills, but after three months of juicing, he not only lost a whole lot of weight, but all of his other ailments had disappeared and he didn’t need any more pills.”
Because of the incredible physical transformation caused by ingesting healthy fruit and vegetable juices on a daily basis, Bath started inquiring about purchasing a well-known fruit juice franchise.
She applied for a franchise and decided Osoyoos would be the perfect place, but that company’s head office never returned calls or sent information to her, she said.
She did all this while working as a mortgage specialist with the Royal Bank of Canada branch in Oliver, a job she continues to perform.
She was so interested in the benefits of healthy juices, she applied for a job at a Booster Juice outlet in Penticton.
“I loved every minute of it,” she said. “I learned so many things about the benefits of the fruits and vegetables they use and learned how to properly mix and pour the ingredients.
“I knew from that experience that I wanted to own by own store.”
Two years ago, she contacted management at the Watermark Beach Resort about the possibility of renting a storefront location for a new restaurant featuring fruit juices and healthy food and “they were very interested and very supportive,” she said.
Her good friend and workout partner Marji Basso, a high school teacher in Oliver, convinced her to open her own restaurant, said Bath.
“She basically told me to go for it and do it,” she said. “The worst thing that could happen was the restaurant might fail, but I would still have my job at the bank and my friends and family to pick me up.”
She met again with Watermark management early this year and signed a long-term lease in April and began construction in early May.
JuiceBox Okanagan offers 21 smoothies and nine different fresh juices.
Only one has dairy milk as a base, while several others use coconut and rice milk.
There are several smoothies that use frozen yogurt as a base as well as several fresh fruit smoothies.
The only solid food on the menu are Mexican, Greek and chicken paninis and wraps.
All smoothies are available in 12-ounce and 24-ounce cups, while all fresh juices are 16 ounces.
All juices and smoothies are under $6 per serving.
Almost all of the fruits and vegetables being used are from the Okanagan Valley, said Bath.
“My dad is a longtime orchardist, so I really try and promote local,” she said. “Most of the fruits and vegetables I am using are local, but not all of them as I have to replace some items when I run out at the local grocery store.”
A beautiful outdoor patio should be open to the public by the end of this week, said Bath.
She is thrilled to open her new restaurant and offer healthy food alternatives to local residents and tourists.
“I think we’re going to attract the people who are really into fitness and we’re going to get the high school kids who seem to love juicing,” she said. “I also think older people who want something different instead of fast food are going to be interested.
“This place is all about offering healthy and nutritious juices and food at a reasonable price. I’m very excited.”
JuiceBox Okanagan will be open for business from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. seven days a week until the end of September.