Thomasville’s First Locally Owned Juicery
Starting a business in the middle of a pandemic certainly comes with challenges. But when entrepreneur Mary Margaret Ingals set out to fulfill her dream of opening Thomasville’s first locally owned juicery, she never questioned whether her business idea was worth the squeeze.
Originally from Moultrie, Ingals’ lifelong struggles with an autoimmune disorder affected her health and life in major ways. Out of necessity, she looked to alternative healing modalities. Her need to overcome and heal is how she discovered the abundant health benefits of proper nutrition through juicing.
Juicing, which involves extracting pure liquid nutrients from plants, results in a beverage full of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. The result is a product that is said to provide healing and health benefits, many of which Ingals has now experienced for years.
After living for a stint in Los Angeles, Ingals felt compelled to help more people in South Georgia to have access to the same nutritionally designed foods that she had become accustomed to while living in a big city.
“There was a juice bar on every corner in L.A., so when I moved home, I saw the need for a juice bar in South Georgia, too,” said Ingals. “And I thought, why not me?”
Ingals set out to open The Juice Box, Thomasville’s first locally owned juicery and juice bar. However, the timeline for opening her new business collided with challenges that even the most well-established restaurants across the country were struggling with — the COVID-19 pandemic.
But that still didn’t stop Ingals. She felt the timing of opening her juice bar couldn’t have been more perfect.
“Covid really ignited a sense of urgency for us to open as soon as possible,” she shared. “I felt like our community needed support and access to nutritionally dense juices more than ever.”
The Juice Box business model focuses on offering medicinal-grade immunity elixirs, cold-pressed juices and superfood smoothies using 100% local organic produce. According to Ingals, the juices on her menu can help improve a variety of common conditions, some of which may be more prevalent over the past year due to the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We offer juices that can be helpful for migraines, anxiety, depression, poor skin, digestive disorders, insomnia, constant bloating, allergies, joint pain and swelling and even chronic fatigue,” she said.
Though the pandemic may have stalled the Juice Box’s storefront grand opening, Ingals is proud of the way her business was able to pivot and come up with new ways to get her products out to people who needed them.
“When we realized Covid restrictions would make it difficult for us to open as scheduled, we decided to launch a subscription service where customers are able to choose their order frequency — weekly, biweekly or monthly —and select the juices they want online. We then ship their orders to them,” she said.
The Juice Box also began offering contactless doorstep delivery, free of charge, to locations in Thomasville, Moultrie and Tallahassee.
“Though our plans changed, our customers have been so supportive of us,” said Ingals. “We have received great feedback on our subscription service, and our ability to ship across the country has helped us reach so many more people.”
With plans to continue the subscription model, The Juice Box was also set to open its physical storefront, located at 349 West Jackson Street in downtown Thomasville, in April 2021 as of press time. A full menu of juices will be available in the store. The Juice Box also plans to offer wellness workshops, healthy juice flights and kombucha on tap.
“We’re thrilled about finally opening our storefront in Thomasville this spring,” said Ingals. “I have received so much support from mentors, coaches, community partners, family and our awesome staff. Everyone owns a piece of this juice bar in their own way, and each one of them has been instrumental in launching this dream and keeping us going. ”
Written By: Megan A. Powell