Rapper Styles P’s Juice Bar Promotes Healthy Living in Black Community

From hip-hop to health guru, enterprising entertainer shines light on the juicing path to wellness

A view behind the counter at Juices for Life

 

Why did you choose Castle Hill Avenue as your location? Why the Bronx?

Our other location was in Harlem on 125th Street. When we were looking for a new location, we said we wanted to be somewhere that Harlem people could get to Yonkers people could get to, Bronx people could get to. The Bronx just seemed like a good spot, and actually, the Bronx is one of the poorest and unhealthiest counties in the world. So we felt definitely we had to start in the Bronx first.

A lot of the times with juicing, you think about Jamba Juice or you’re thinking straight islander. We like to fuse all of that. When you come here, you’ll see White, Black, Spanish, every age group. But as minorities we don’t get health insurance and we don’t go to the doctor before it’s too late, so this right here we feel is prevention for later on, in addition to exercising and eating well. We just tried to put it in a spot where there’s everything—multicultural, a big melting pot—where it was poor, uneducated and where it was needed.

Heavy D passed recently and many Blacks within entertainment are dying at a younger age. What are you doing about educating people about having a healthy lifestyle?

I don’t specifically go for entertainment; we go for people. People are people. But when I see entertainers—I live by it, so my every word whenever I see them, I spread the knowledge in a way that will get the word bigger and get it out there to even more people. As far as entertainers, I feel like those are the people who know about health, but keep it to themselves. Not so much in hip-hop, but in general because if you’re an entertainer, you get the trainers, the nutritionists, the dieticians and all that. It’s very hard to find an A-list celebrity who’s out of shape. Think about it realistically. We try to reach the people who don’t have the ability to shop at Whole Foods, or go to Mrs. Green’s [Natural Market], who need the education. If anything, we’re asking entertainers, athletes and stars for help to make it cool. We’ve got to make it look cool for the kids because they’re not thinking about their future.

How much of an education did you have to commit yourself to in order to keep this lifestyle and your business going?

Just from being a health-conscious person, I think that as you go and you look into things you get [your education] up just like with anything else you do. Everyday we try to learn things. We have customers who come here and put us onto things. We’re here for the community and we’re here to learn. If you have a problem and we don’t know about it, we’ll look it up, which we do when people come here for certain things or for certain reasons. We tell them to give us some time while we look it up and if we can’t help, we’ll recommend them to someone.

What’s your ultimate goal with this business?

Basically, juicing is a lifestyle and it goes hand-to-hand with eating correctly and exercising. We have people who come in here who give us eating tips. Like any customer, if you have good tips, spread it and we’re going to continue spreading that word. Like I was telling some of my dudes in here that I just found out about oil pulling, like sesame and sunflower oil pulling. I had never really heard of it, so we’re trying to see if it works and if it does, we’re going to spread the word. The thing about our juice bar is that we’re not about the dollar. We’re at 1026 Castle Hill in the Bronx, but we try to spread the word around the world. And of course everyone can’t get here, so we tell people to go buy a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer or a Breville juicer. Go get you fruits, and look up anybody’s juice bar—ours, anybody’s—and just mix your fruits and juice up. That’s our main focus and goal that we get up and do everyday.

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