The Juice Bar Norwood - VisitingNewEngland small business partnership - Local Small Business Stories
The Juice Bar Norwood Nourishes Dining Scene in Norwood, Mass.
Pastorio, owner of The Juice Bar Norwood Photo credit: The Juice Bar Norwood.
Article and photos (unless otherwise
noted) by Eric Hurwitz
created for VisitingNewEngland.com on 11/14/2021. Find us on Twitter: @newenglandinfo
Upon first taste, it's quite clear that The Juice Bar Norwood in Norwood,
Mass. raises the
bar for smoothies,
acai bowls and sandwiches.
take on a three-dimensional taste where
every fruit can be tasted individually and as a whole when combined --
like the Fruits
& Oats Smoothie with banana,
strawberry, blueberry, oats, peanut butter and almond milk.
Fruits and Oats Smoothie. Photo credit: The Juice Bar Norwood.
The Acai Bowl tastes like a
jazzed-up farmers market in a
bowl with the dominant fresh fruit taste showing wonderful
compatibility with the
suspects like oats, shredded coconut and peanut butter.
On a personal level, the chicken
that's featured in sandwiches reaches the near impossible by attaining
magically tender, flavorful and incomparable chicken that my
used to make (but
would never reveal the recipe)
on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. Until
now and many decades later, I hadn't tasted anything as good but The
Juice Bar Norwood changed all that.
Grilled Chicken marinated in pesto, avocado, tomato &
mozzarella cheese on a whole wheat tortilla.
These are just a
few examples of what comes
out of a modest kitchen from a humble owner and several dedicated women
made-fresh-upon-ordering pledge clearly isn't just marketing
Rather, it's the spirited and joyous result of Juice Bar Norwood's
Marcieli Pastorio's commitment to having a mastery over her chosen
profession and all the painstaking details that have come with the
Juice bars continue to pop up nationwide to conveniently and quickly
meet the needs of those seeking healthier food and drink selections as
an alternative to a bloated fast food society. The problem is, however,
many of these juice bars follow a
paint-by-numbers approach, just meeting the needs instead of exceeding
them. What's more, the healthy juice bar items can often take an
unhealthy turn as some owners get into the business as hobbyists
instead of experts of their chosen profession. This can result in
indistinct drink combinations that impede the intended balance and
symphony of healthful, great-tasting ingredients blended into one.
Marcieli, on the
other hand, takes her job very seriously, knowing that The Juice Bar
Norwood isn't just a job. It's
way of life. Although she never completed her associates degree in
college, Marcieli through her own self-learning process possesses a PhD in
the art and science of
healthy drinks and food served quickly. Years ago, she became obsessed
with wanting to open a juice bar (more on that shortly), studied the
profession like a student
striving for a 4.0 grade point average and came up with precise
combinations of juices
and smoothies instead of throwing everything in the concoctions hoping
for the best. As a music analogy, Marcieli's food and drink creations are
a Stradivarius compared to a banjo.
Fresh juices from The Juice Bar Norwood. Photo credit: The Juice Bar Norwood.
The Benefits of Hard Work and Sense of Community Within a Small
Marcieli in front of the new Juice Bar Norwood location. Photo credit: The Juice Bar Norwood.
Marcieli often works 13 hours a day. Each and every minute counts to
survive as a small business owner, including food preparation, working
with vendors and staff, and getting
to know the diverse clientèle's arriving at the Juice Bar Norwood. She
calls many customers by first name and they reciprocally do the same.
Within an hour
span on this given day, town workers, private sector employees, moms,
workers, athletes and students line up in eager anticipation of being
nourished through healthy food and drink choices.
While Marcieli speaks three different languages -- English, Spanish and
Portuguese -- the universal language of good food, drink and social
interaction serve as key foundations at The Juice Bar Norwood. It's
ultimately a place where
the spotless bright environs, customer and staff interaction and
delicious juices all flow in unison.
Creating fresh juice.
The sense of community and camaraderie reveals a modern day, healthier
version of a diner where connections amongst employees and customers
are just as important as the food and drink served.
"It’s such a wonderful community café," said customer Lori
Amicangelo Winer. "The atmosphere and employees are as incredible as
the bowls and smoothies. Everyone knows you and greets you with a warm
smile. The bowls are the best I’ve ever had…. fresh, vibrant, and
The smallish storefront space contrasts with the big-time efforts that
Marcieli and crew make to ensure The Juice Bar Norwood keeps evolving as a
successful business. For example, The Juice Bar goes through
80 pounds of chicken ever other week,
painstakingly cleaning and seasoning it and several other steps that
involve made-from scratch food. Vendors bring in fresh fruit four times
Two hundred pounds of bananas are used within that seven day timespan.
This commitment to excellence goes on and on for all the right reasons.
Bananas on display, ready to be used.
"We do not compromise on anything," said Marcieli. "It's all fresh. We are
trying to make this a healthy fast food style place. Everything is made
in house and nothing is pre-made."
Fortunately, Marcieli has seen that noble, ambitious small business
her wildest dreams. She took over the Central Market in South Norwood
in 2013 and then opened the Juice Bar as part of the store in 2018. A
"fruitful" success, Marcieli looked to expand the business to a new
It happened in an unlikely place. Last year, the
highly successful SPoT!
Bagels found a larger space for its highly successful business right up
the street and
Marcieli saw an opportunity to move downtown. She took the keys from SPoT!
Bagels owner Perry Makarios
on Jan. 4, 2021 and opened the current location at 20 Broadway on March
17. Many wondered, however, how that would work out. The former SPoT!
location seemed so crammed with products and crowded with people that
there was barely an inch to navigate.
"When I first walked in here, it was like a party in my head, a
Marcieli. "I could see the possibilities and knew it could be a beautiful
and efficient place to do business. I had an architect take that vision
and turn it into a reality."
Inside of The Juice Bar.
Bright interior, attractive space. Photo credit: The Juice Bar Norwood.
"Love it!" said Marcieli, of the dine-in and takeout location. "We are
very happy with the
way it turned out."
Window counter and seats at The Juice Bar Norwood.
Prepping for a Small Business
Long story short: Marcieli first thought
seriously of opening a juice bar after a trip to Aruba. While many
visit this beautiful tropical destination for the sunny weather and
beaches, Marcieli also felt inspired by a visit to a juice market there
"I had done daily juicing at home but after visiting this place in
Aruba, I said, 'I am going to open up a juice bar!'" enthused Marcieli. "I
researched for a
month and maxed out all my credit cards to start the business. I didn't
know a thing about marketing. It was all from scratch."
This, she decided was her calling: being to help people eat and stay
It all made sense. Growing up in
Brazil's Amazon, Marcieli saw her parents (pictured below with
Marcieli) at one point decide to get healthier and lose
weight -- thus setting a positive role model. Marci also
seeing her parents' hard work ethic. Marcieli's mom owned a supermarket
later became an aesthetician. Her dad worked as a geriatric
orthomolecular specialist and was a seventh day adventist (who
typically eat a healthy diet).
"They both had a positive influence on me," said Marcieli. "My mom, she
was the biggest teacher in my life...she led by example and I was being
taught that every obstacle that comes your way... the day-to-day
challenges -- can be overcome by staying focused, making the right
decisions and working hard."
That's not to say, however, that Marcieli had it
easy. Marcieli did attend
college with dreams of becoming a policewoman but did not complete her
associates degree required to enter the field. She married, later
divorced and along the way became a dedicated
home mom to two children.
Through life's twists and turns, Marcieli, however, found a true soul mate
by meeting John Rooney, a Norwood native and policeman. They fell in
love, married and have together laid down their roots in Norwood. John
knew Norwood well; Marcieli had some catching up to do but landed in a
town she has come to love.
True to Norwood form, locals supported Marcieli and her dreams. Marcieli said
that Charlotte Walsh at Charles River Running in downtown Norwood
important role in helping Marcieli launch The Juice Bar with
marketing/business tips and sending customers her way. The
health-oriented nature of the running shop provided a great nexus
between the two businesses. Jen Palmer, at Universal Power Yoga, in
allowed Marcieli to offer sample juices at her business and it went
"They embraced me," said Marcieli. "They didn't first know me but liked
offered. It was women helping women -- a match made in heaven."
Having All the Right Ingredients to Succeed
Ingredients for a healthy drink, a healthy business. Photo credit: The Juice Bar Norwood.
Seeing the fruits of her labor become reality, Marcieli has truly found a
recipe for small business success. Like all good businesspeople,
however, Marcieli is not just content to keep things status quo.
"We are in the process of becoming a franchise," said Marcieli. "We will
keep this (Norwood) location as out base but will have a mobile
(operation) for Acai Bowls and then we will have the (concept of) The
Juice Bar become restaurants. We hope to get things going in about a
Marcieli and three Juice Bar Norwood drinks. Photo credit: The Juice
For Marcieli, living the American Dream became a reality with
perserverance, gratitude and God's blessings serving as the ultimate
ingredients for nourishment.
"When you start something and don’t give up when the hard times comes
your way.. when you fight for something that you know it’s your
calling.. when you see how that small idea became something BIG… when
you encounter someone who has been impacted by that idea and they tell
you 'Thank You for keeping me healthy!' Or 'Your smoothies and bowls
are the only thing I can eat during my pregnancy!' It makes me smile
and feel grateful. Grateful for God’s unending blessings over my life
and the lives of my team, over each life that walks through the door!
The Juice Bar
located at 20 Broadway in Norwood, MA. Tel.
781-255-5539. Web site: https://www.thejuicebarnorwood.com. Email: the
Instagram. DoorDash ordering: https://order.online/business/the-juice-bar-norwood-852476.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-6p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. -5 p.m.
Closed on Sunday.
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