Truer words have never been spoken: “A sandwich is more than just meat slapped between 2 slices of bread… a sandwich is a work of art, every bite matters!” Promising words from the owner and general manager of the soon-to-be-open Juice Plate, serving sammies, smoothies and comfort food. Located at 629 N. Market Street. (previously Moxie) Great news, Frederick foodies!
You may remember Pattee Brown, the once-and-again Editor of Gorilla Magazine. I was able to catch up with this energetic “Doer” and chat about her next labor of love, Juice Plate. (<– A Facebook like will keep you in the know:) You can start getting this “fresh squeezed comfort food” on Wednesday, September 11th, when they open for business.
Juice Plate is a sandwich shop, juice and smoothie bar and community project all rolled into one. The cheerful colors and art are enough to brighten the day, I can’t wait for a sammie!
The Juice Plate Story
When Gorilla Magazine sold a while ago, Pattee put herself in mandatory retirement for a year, to re-group and spend some time doing all those things that we usually don’t have time to do when we’re fully engaged in an all-consuming project, like the Gorilla. She read books, redecorated, helped friends with projects and traveled, and meditated on the loss of the baby Gorilla she was so fond of. Life lessons were realized, dreams were kindled. Before long she was dreaming of “what’s next”.
When she was living in New Mexico, she had owned and run a juice bar as well as a restaurant, and knew that some time, she would do it again… so, she decided this was the time. And like everything she attempts, Pattee believes “when you leap, a net will appear.” Even in the planning of Juice Plate, several scenarios came and went; unseen walls seemed to keep her from acting. Until Ryan Trout, from the Frederick Housing Authority dropped the idea of working with a non-profit into Patee’s thinking. The wall came down, and with that, came a rush of energy. With a little research on the concept of Social Enterprise, the business plan “just fell out of me.”
What is Social Enterprise? “A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders.” (wikipedia). In other words, when a business makes a profit, for that is the aim of all business, but equally focuses on creating a benefit for the community. In some schools of thought, there is another layer associated with various types of community involvement.
The concept of a social enterprise is certainly finding its way into more business plans these days. As Pattee was describing it to me, it makes so much sense. By operating in this manner, the business is supporting local businesses and non-profits, they are promoting a very real sense of community, and in a strictly business point of view, they are creating and growing their brand with less of their own investment. The chances of success may be better with community support, but certainly, the risk, which any business owner takes, is less. Pattee may even consider repeating this endeavor in another location, if all goes well.
Enter Seed of Life Nurseries
Seed of Life Nurseries, founded and run by Mike Dickson, (we’ve written about Mike and SOL here, yes, I love it when my circles come around to touch each other🙂 SOL is a community supported agriculture program, supporting at risk families in the Frederick Md area. By partnering with Seed of Life as their first and primary source of produce, Pattee creates a win-win for Juice Plate and for SOL: allowing Seed of Life the ability to make money in a business environment, strengthening their overall program, which helps many people; and, providing a steady, healthy supply of yummy produce for the restaurant. Social Enterprise = Win/Win. Read more about Seed of Life Nurseries.
A Community Project
In many other ways, as well, Juice Plate is a community project. A peek at the wall art in the space will show the playful work of several local artists. Blackboard walls and available pastels will encourage more artful expression. Many of the vendors are local, and if something is not available locally, regional. This, in turn supports local farms and businesses. Local vendors will provide pastries and breads, gluten-free products and many other items along the way. The only items on the menu that are shipped in are avocados and bananas, understandably.
A Healthier Food Choice
What can we expect from Juice Plate? Healthier choices. Juice Plate is not a health food restaurant, but the choices are definitely healthier. The secret ingredient in the breakfast burrito is tater tots, but they are baked instead of fried. Healthier. You may want a shot of sugar or splenda in your smoothie to make it taste better. Still healthier than a milk shake, right? Super foods like wheat grass and garlic are a staple here. For the off-season, fruit is flash frozen…so much better!
The service is personal, too. Do you want a little of this and a lot of that? You’ve got it. If you want something in your smoothie that the Juice Plate doesn’t carry… bring it on in… Pattee will be happy to throw it into the juicer for you.
The environmentally friendly packaging choices make sense, because, unfortunately, the cost of some recyclable containers is astronomical. Some to-go containers are recyclable, but some are not; instead, they are compostable.
What’s on the Menu?
For a quick take on what’s in store for Frederick foodies:
- Sammies – “each a work of art with a carefully thought-out methodology”
- Smoothies and Juices – your creativity is welcome
- Two kinds of coffee: “Cup-a-Joe for a buck” – (you know who you are – you just want a cup of coffee:) And “Coffee-Snob Coffee”, a blend from Dublin Roasters, local coffee roaster, a little more than a buck.
- Breakfast Burrito for single-handed eating.
- Gluten Free Choices
- Pastries and Goodies
- I had you at avocados, didn’t I ?!
Deliveries to the downtown Frederick area are in the works, so all of this yummy healthy comfort food will be at your fingertips. Juice Plate will be open from 7 am to 4 pm.
Welcome to Frederick, Juice Plate… lunch will never be the same:)