by Elizabeth Turnbull
At the entrance to Pike Place Market, next to the Ellenos Greek Yogurt and across from where the fish is thrown, a woman and her family pour organic fruit, veg and joy into the lives of locals Seattle and tourists visiting the black-owned business. Rojo juice.
“Customers say the music we play, the energy we give literally… gets them out of bed,” said Rhonda Faison, owner of rōJō Juice, at the emerald. “… and whether they buy a juice or not, they love being surrounded by rōJō and energy.” ”
The drinks are made using a cold brew process where organic vegetables and fruits are crushed and then squeezed into a cloth. With no ingredients or added sugar, the juice stays in a pure form – extracted from the product, which Faison goes to great lengths to ensure it is fully organic.
“Most people tell you that they sell organic products, but they don’t. But I know I can be real and look someone in the eye and say it’s 100% organic and natural and I don’t add anything to it, ”Faison said. “You have people who have never had real fruit juice or real vegetable juice and they are trying it for the first time and they are just stunned because the orange juice that I make is not like the Tropicana that you can find at the grocery store. ”
As a child, Faison decided she wanted to be a doctor and at the same time was interested in cooking, idolizing chefs like Martha Stewart. As an adult, Faison worked in healthcare for a while before launching his juice business in 2019 after his brother became physically ill.
Starting a business during a global pandemic and at a time when many long-standing businesses were forced to shut down, Faison had to remain resilient, leveraging the personal strengths she had to build to survive outside of the global health crisis. .
“I think as a black woman and black business owner it’s hard to just maneuver in this world anyway,” Faison said. “Running my business during this chaotic time, I don’t know… I always try to be positive and you can only do what you can at this time. And you have to be very resourceful and learn how to rotate, so honestly, that has been great for me – very difficult. I like challenges.
As the days grow shorter and the anxiety around winter looms, listen to the sound of classic ’70s hits and see if you can find yourself a cup of organic joy right outside the entrance to Pike Place Market, in front of where the fish are thrown.
With or without his cheerful juice, Faison hopes his fellow Seattle people recognize the strength it took for all of us to survive the pandemic and that community members continue to rely on one another.
“To all of you going through the pandemic, I congratulate you all,” Faison said. “… I think what can be consistent is just that we are kind to each other.”
Elizabeth turnbull is a journalist with reporting experience in the United States and the Middle East. She has a passion to cover human-centric issues and to do so in a consistent manner.
?? Featured Image: Rhonda Faison, owner of rōJō Juice. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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