A Taste of Chocolate: Turning Natural Juice Bar

theGrio’s “A Taste of Chocolate” series speaks with the juice bar entrepreneur refreshing underserved communities in D.C.

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Since 2013, Jerri Evans, an engineer turned entrepreneur, has opened six juice bars, primarily in underserved communities and areas previously deemed “food deserts” throughout Washington, D.C.

She says her goal with Turning Natural Juice Bar is to provide affordable vegan options in neighborhoods that have historically been overlooked by health-conscious shops. Residents of neighborhoods commonly classified as “food deserts” tend to have a higher prevalence of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other illnesses linked to poor eating habits. 

In this episode of “A Taste of Chocolate,” we’ll meet Evans, hear her passion for making healthy eating fun, and learn how she blends one of her most popular smoothies, the Bob Marley.

“You’re going to come in and order juices named after Black legends,” she says in the episode. “You’re going to come in and see Black faces. You’re going to hear a plethora of Black music. I wanted to be intentional about that.”

Evans’ inspiration for her business came from her late mother, who, before losing her battle with cancer in 2010, relied on vegetable and fruit juices throughout her chemotherapy journey. 

“I wanted to help people because my mom’s story is not unique — we have people in our families who have cancer, that have diabetes, that have all type of ailments, but what can we do to combat that,” Evans says.

Turning Natural Juice Bar is the second Black-owned eatery featured in the “A Taste of Chocolate” series, hosted by Shernay Williams. The series takes us on a road trip to visit some of the most intriguing Black food and drink entrepreneurs in the Washington, D.C., area, historically known as “Chocolate City.” Each episode profiles a business owner’s entrepreneurial journey and takes viewers into the kitchen to taste their signature dishes; you can watch Turning Natural’s story above.

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