It used to be that Shandy Rae Scarfo was a familiar face on the Whistler bar scene, go-go dancing with Ace Mackay-Smith and DJing at Tommy's.
But she's into a whole new bar scene nowadays, one equally guaranteed to keep her on her toes.
Scarfo is behind Whistler's "newest live juice and salad bar" the doors of which will be opening any day now.
It's called Naked Sprout.
"When I came back to Whistler this spring I noticed that there was still no juice bar," said the yoga teacher, upon returning to her old stomping grounds.
She was bewildered. She had worked in a juice bar here more than a decade ago but it closed after three years, not for want of clients but because the lease had run out. Surely something else had moved in to meet the demand in the meantime?
It hadn't. Scarfo, who was juicing back when it wasn't really cool to be juicing, decided to seize the opportunity.
"Back when I was into juicing it was still more of a hippie thing to do, earthy, and it wasn't really mainstream," she said of the late 90s.
So much has changed.
In a flurry of activity she set the ball rolling for her own juice bar.
"Juice bars in North America are one of the growing industries right now," said Scarfo. "They are popping up like coffee shops."
A recent New York Times article talked about the "juice war" in New York and Los Angeles, where everyone is looking for a piece of the $5-billion plus market. The battle is being waged in Canada too.
Education and growing awareness of food is all playing a role in that explosion.
"Juicing is great because it takes the fibre out," she explained. "Now, there's nothing wrong with fibre. It's great. But it slows down the digesting process and it takes up space. So fibre is good in your diet, however, if you can have straight juice, it's like having concentrated vitamins and minerals being injected into your body."
It takes about two pounds of veggies to make one juice so Scarfo said it boils down to a good healthy serving in a very efficient package.
She plans to source the vegetables as locally and as organically as best she can.
Naked Sprout will offer "Juice Suggestions" — an advanced combination of tastes.
"It may not be for the beginner palate," laughed Scarfo.
She likes to mix things up in her juices — adding herbs for a little kick. She points to combinations like lavender and apple or strawberry and fennel.
But, don't be alarmed! There will also be a list of ingredients to create your own juice for the more faint of heart, or faint of taste for that matter.
That's not all Naked Sprout has to offer. Smoothies and salads and soups are also on the menu.
The smoothie bar provides a host of fruits, so you can choose your faves and your portions in a single serving. You will be able to add proteins and boosters too.
Likewise, the salad bar will be measured be weight so you can customize your salad to suit your fancy.
When it comes to the soups, Scarfo would like to offer some raw options too.
"We're going to have stuff for the beginning palate but we're also going to have stuff for the people who are quite serious," she said.
Her family is here helping paint the walls and get the business up and running this week. She is aiming for a soft opening this weekend.
Naked Sprout is located in the heart of the village, opposite the Village 8 movie theatres and beneath Yoga Cara studios.
Or check out www.nakedsprout.ca.
My Favourite summer juice
Apple, mint and fennel on ice.
Best flu shot
Lemon, ginger, garlic, cayenne.
Great smoothie choices
Banana, cacao, mint, coconut milk.
Banana, strawberry, mint, vanilla soy.
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