Juice My HeartOct 12, 2020 11:49AM ● By Mary Colarik
Diana Contreras, owner of Juice My Heart, with her son, Mark.
by Mary Colarik
Diana Contreras, who owns Juice My Heart in the same plaza as VIP Pet Spa also wound up in San Clemente in a surprising turn of events. Contreras grew up in Southern California-living inland from the Orange County beach towns until she relocated to Newport Beach about 27-years-ago, after her divorce. Working at a Pharmaceutical Company for 16 years while she raised her son, Mark; in her spare time she was a “surf mom.”
Eventually leaving the Pharmaceutical field, she worked in advertising sales for the next five years. Her son soon raised and working for Banzai Bowls, she decided that since she could work from anywhere with internet access, she would move to either Costa Rica or Panama. She sold and gave away all of her belongings – offering most possessions like jewelry, clothes and furnishings to her closest friends.
One friend who lived in San Clemente suggested that she stop by for a visit before taking off to her new life in another country. That was over six-years-ago! She settled into life in Southwest San Clemente instead and would often stop into Juice My Heart to get fresh, organic juice drinks.
Last year, discovering that the owner was selling the place, she talked her son into buying the business together. He was onboard, and they both figured, “what’s the worst that could happen?”... just a worldwide pandemic less than five months after their purchase with their business partner, Tim Richley.
Last October Diana took over running the business on a daily basis. She came up with a vision: “to be known as the best place for organic, plant-based, delicious food you can feel good about putting in your body.” And, her mission statement: “to promote wellness and improve the health of the community we serve by raising awareness and inspiring others to improve their own health with organic health-based nutrition.” She also typed a one-page statement for her employees to understand the business model and the importance of following thru with her goals of helping to preserve the planet and environment, supporting organic farming and local, organic farmers. And, that their business endeavor is plant based for two reasons, our health, and the health of the planet. These visions and statements are the defining core philosophy of Juice My Heart.
The JMH shop is very welcoming, with a surf, yoga and Zen vibe. A big sign with a quote from Hippocrates admonishes visitors to, “Let Food Be Thy Medicine.” A doctor coming in recently to order a juice noticed the sign and said everybody needs to be following the advice of the Greek physician known as the Father of Medicine.
Juice My Heart offers several varieties of blended green juices, smoothies, single juices such as carrot, pineapple, orange and celery, plus shots, wheat grass, sweet remedy, (ginger pineapple, lemon) and my daily favorite, the health shot-loaded with apple, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, ginger, lemon and pepper.
Customers can custom make their own juices by adding in fruits and/or greens. Contreras’ favorite is Power of Green-chock of full of green veggies-spinach, kale, cucumber, parsley and lemon.
JMH also offers one-day, three-day and five-day juice cleanses. The customer can pick and choose six16 oz. juices that are made and placed in mason jars in a cooler for pick up by the customer who then returns the mason jars and cooler the next day. Contreras will help design the cleanse based on the customers individual needs and goals for a juice cleanse. They no longer offer Acai Bowls as Diana’s son, Mark manages several Orange County Banzai Bowl stores and that would be a conflict of interest since he is a business partner with his mom.
During the early months of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders Contreras was able to continue operating as an essential business-she shortened business hours and placed a card table in her open doorway to serve her customers. She worked seven-days-a-week with very little help. Now, she has hired a few part-time workers. Customers can come in to place their order, with masks on and keeping social distance.
A few weeks ago, Diana was surprised by a local celebrity in her shop-world renown surfer, Kelly Slater stopped in, he agreed to a photo op with Contreras and it circulated on San Clemente Life’s Facebook page-fun!
When Diana is able to take a few hours or a day off from work she loves to go to the beach, hike on trails off Ortega Highway, paddleboard, listen to music, go out dancing and attend concerts, (of course, dancing and concerts are a bit curtailed these days). There’s always upbeat music playing in her sweet, little organic juice spot. Additionally, her Christian faith is a big part of her life; prayers were most welcome to help get her through the early months of Covid 19.
Big kudos to these two women and their local businesses. Don’t forget to stop in and say “hi” buy a drink and get your pet groomed in a local spot.
804 S El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 429-8289