Jackson has a new option for healthy nutrition.
T’Keyah Williams and business partner Michael McElroy opened Mama Natures Juice Bar in August at 2807 Old Canton Road in the Fondren neighborhood. The shop, open to the public, is next to Fondren Fitness.
Mama Natures is a plant-based juice bar centered around fresh fruit, roots, nuts and vegetables, locally sourced (like their bread and honey) when possible.
The menu offers juices, smoothies, salads, wraps, acai bowls and overnight oats.
“It’s been a wonderful response,” Williams said. “Everyone was looking for something like this to open back up, especially with (Rainbow Co-Op’s) High Noon leaving. They were really excited.”
The best seller (so far)? The “tropical greens” smoothie containing spinach, banana, pineapple, mango, vegan protein and almond milk.
While Mama Natures provides food and drink that is delicious, Williams said their purpose goes beyond a meal. “We want to help educate and inform our customer,” she said, “about what it means to include all-natural ingredients in our daily life.”
Addicted to ice cream? The acai bowls are a big hit, Williams explained of this superfood. “Everyone wants something cold and these bowls help you get that health and creaminess.”
Fondren is a fit for many reasons – the gym next door, the hospital community, and the proclivity of residents there to lead a more active lifestyle. A handful of neighborhood regulars who frequented their original location didn’t hurt either.
“Some of the (Fondren Fitness) owners’ wives were customers in Ridgeland,” Williams said. “They were in love with our product and what we sell and thought we’d be a good fit. Our local ownership and all-natural, healthy approach aligned with their lifestyles.”
With food seen as more of a convenience than fuel, today’s diets are of low nutritional value.
“It’s inevitable the way we have been raised and the traditions we’ve carried on,” Williams said. “But everyone is starting to wake up. They say, ‘Maybe I’m not taking care of myself.’ If you try it once, you see that energy, just that feeling you have, and you’re hooked. More people need to know the benefits (of eating healthy).”
Mama Natures is open 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Saturday. The shop is closed on Sunday.