If you haven't heard of Joe & The Juice, you're about to. The Danish café started back in 2002 and 15 years later, it's a veritable empire built on beets and kale. While the chain can boast 161 locations in 11 countries, it only has U.S. locations in San Francisco and New York. But Joe & The Juice has big plans for 2017, with locations in the works for Miami, L.A., and more. With that expansion, it hopes to bring green juice to everyone — in Scandinavia, J&TJ locations are about as common as Starbucks — and invite customers to hang out with juice just like they'd do over a cup of Joe. Unlike most juice shops, Joe & The Juice locations are spacious and have plenty of couches and seating for customers to linger after they've gotten their order. Instead of the quick in-and-out counter service that most juice bars have, the café-inspired setup was something the founder, Kasper Basse, thought would fill a void in the market.
"We believe in the healthy things we’re providing, but we’re really focused on the in-store experience," partner Kasper Garnell told Well+Good. "We want people to feel like they’re hanging out in someone’s living room, having fun, and just feeling an overall good vibe. It’s something that doesn’t really exist in the U.S. in the juice space." In addition to green juices, Joe & The Juice locations offer up coffee and healthy snacks (and even milkshakes made with avocado and banana). The combination of juice and Joe means that a group of people can hang out together, even if some are juice skeptics: "In the Soho store, 20% of sales come from coffee, 30 from juice, and the rest is from food," Garnell said. The food offerings include açai bowls, sandwiches, and more. If all goes according to plan, we'll all be able to stop in at a Joe & The Juice location for a quick snack or a cup of the good stuff instead of defaulting to the siren song of Starbucks. While we love the idea of a juice date or meet-up, remember that green juice isn't a meal substitute. It can make for a fun snack or midday refresher, but it's definitely not the same as eating fruits and vegetables — the body reacts differently to juice, which doesn't have the fiber of whole fruits and vegetables and you'll probably feel hungry pretty quickly. Go forth and go green — just don't put all your eggs in one basket.