Market Square's I Love Juice Bar Offers Fresh, Healthy Vegan Options
It’s no secret that Knoxville’s availability of vegan options is growing rapidly. However, when I’m out and about running errands, I often don’t have the time to go to a sit-down restaurant for some vegan grub, and with a busy house of 6 animals, I usually don’t have the forethought to pre-pack a lunch.
That is, until I met Savannah Robertson, the manager of the Market Square location of I Love Juice Bar, a quickly-growing franchise aimed at providing customers the convenience of the fast-food experience, but with healthier options. Her shop provides (mostly) vegan goodies in an easy grab-and-go environment.
Although a franchise, Savannah gives this location a local flair. She sees I Love Juice Bar as not only a place that you might stop in for a juice after a workout or during lunch (or during the Market Square Farmer’s Market!), but also a spot for Knoxville organizers, activists, and community members to hold meetings, study groups, book clubs, and meetups.
She is also especially interested in having the shop be a central organizing space for animal rights groups taking part in outreach events on Market Square, and is the current location for Knox Vegan’s very own book club series! Walking by the shop, I noticed that the windows are full of flyers and advertisements for local artists, musicians, and businesses. Simply put, it’s clear that they want to support all things Knoxville!
The juice menu is wide-ranging, with both savory and sweet juice blends. The Mean Greens juice has jalapeño, celery, kale, spinach, cucumber, parsley, and lemon, and offers a spicier juice option for those who don’t have as much of a sweet tooth as myself.
I like the Sweet Greens blend, which features apple, kale, spinach, cucumber, parsley, and lemon, giving me enough sweetness to keep myself from eating the whole bar of chocolate I keep in my cabinet.
However, you aren’t limited to just fresh-pressed juice when you come here: they also offer a dozen smoothies, smoothie bowls including ingredients such as dragonfruit, spirulina, maca, and chia seeds, and “shots” aimed at helping ailments such as low energy, allergies, dehydration, and inflammation. The menu is 95% vegan with the exception of the ingredients bee pollen and honey.
For you veggies out there, don’t let that scare you: the staff is always very supportive of substitutions and leaving out ingredients in the freshly-prepared juices and smoothies with over a dozen flavor add-ons.
Feeling hungrier? They also have ready-made food options including spring rolls, a kale quinoa bowl, and overnight oats (note that the oats do have honey and bee pollen!).
Because this is a grab-and-go atmosphere, plastic is the primary material used to serve the juices and goods available here. However, Savannah and her team are completely supportive of customers bringing in their own cup and straw!
I always try to remember my tumbler and reusable straw when I grab my personal favorite, the Matcha Green smoothie, which has matcha powder, maca powder, cashews, spinach, mango, banana, lemon, himalayan pink salt, and almond milk. It’s the perfect amount of caffeine to get my day started without making me shaky. Forgot your straw and tumbler? There are options for recycling your plastic on-site (just talk to that day’s crew for more information!).
Want to check out I Love Juice Bar? Check out our Book Club series where we feature books on animal rights, environmental health, veganism, and critical race studies in a supportive, relaxed atmosphere, hosted by I Love Juice Bar.
All photos courtesy of I Love Juice Bar.