By Chris Simones
Getting diagnosed with cancer is always life-changing, but for Mary Beth Laxson it actually changed hers for the better.
Although Laxson had worked various jobs in the medical field throughout her life, she didn’t have a very healthy food regimen.
“I found out I had cancer and I really didn’t have a very good diet. I just didn’t eat well at all. I bumped into a former patient one day and asked her about her skin. It was always so beautiful,” Laxson said. “She gave me a DVD and told me to watch it. It introduced me to eating vegan. It changed my life.”
Juicy’s opened on Halloween in 2013 and not many people thought it would be a success. McMinnville has traditionally been a meat-and-potatoes town so no one gave the new vegan place much of a chance for survival.
“Everyone was telling me not to do it because they didn’t believe it would make it here. I know they were just trying to be helpful but I kept telling them that they didn’t understand,” Laxson laughed. “This is my dream.”
With Juicy’s in its seventh year of operation, it’s probably safe to say Laxson’s dream has come true.
Freshness is key at Juicy’s. Everything on the menu is prepared in-house on a daily basis.
“We come in every morning and do prep work for the day,” Laxson explained. “Veggies begin losing their nutrients once they’re cut so nothing stays overnight. All the compost we have at the end of the day goes to a farmer in Viola who uses it to feed his animals. We have very little waste here.”
Black bean sliders are a very popular item and are frequently the special on Fridays. “We sautee onion, jalapeno, and garlic and add quinoa and spices to the black beans,” said Laxson. “We drizzle the black bean slider with a smoky ranch dressing we make here. It adds a mild bacon flavor to the slider. It’s really delicious.”
The juices at Juicy’s are all natural and made to order. Different juices have different medicinal qualities.
“If you’re feeling sick you should order the Vampire Slayer,” Laxson instructed. “The ginger and garlic in it act as a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. It also has pineapple, orange juice, apple, and lemon. It’s topped with cayenne, turmeric, and cinnamon. The cayenne naturally boosts your metabolism.”
Laxson’s personal favorite, the Green Goddess, has ginger and lemon which help with memory. It also has kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, cilantro, pineapple, apple, and lime.
“The Road Runner has ginger and lemon, too. The Green Goddess and the Road Runner both help strengthen memory.”
For a refreshing pick-me-up on a hot summer day, Laxson recommends the Key Lime. “It’s like a really good, fresh limeade,” Laxson said. “The Watermelon Wonder is very good, too. The fresh watermelon is so cool and delicious.”
Juicy’s was closed all of April and most of May because of the pandemic, but business has been better than ever since reopening. “It’s been great ever since we’ve been back,” Laxson said. “We’re open less days and less hours but we’re actually busier than ever. I think COVID-19 has influenced people to eat healthier, fresher food. We’d go back to our old schedule if I had the staff,” she added. “Right now there are just three of us.”
Laxson didn’t hesitate to answer when asked if she was surprised that Juicy’s has succeeded when so many people advised her it was a bad idea.
“I don’t even think about it anymore,” she said smiling. “I think I might’ve been a little surprised at first but now I just get up and go to work. I think following your dream and being passionate about what you do is the secret to success.”
Juicy’s is located at 110 East Main Street in McMinnville and is open Tuesday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Juicy’s also has a location in Murfreesboro at 2314 Medical Center Parkway, Suite A-2. It is open Monday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.