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Romeo's Juice Bar

Posted by Robyn Urback / Reviewed on May 22, 2012 / review policy

romeo's juice bar kensingtonRomeo's Juice Bar guarantees that its juices and smoothies are made with the freshest possible fruits and vegetables. And that guarantee comes with a pretty good backing — Romeo, himself, is the produce wholesaler.

Now in Kensington Market for about three months, Romeo's Juice Bar is nestled beside Big Fat Burrito off of Augusta, in a building that is actually entirely under Romeo's ownership. I meet the man behind the bar moments after arriving, and I'm immediately overtaken by his energy: he's definitely one of those high-on-beets types.

romeo's juice bar toronto"I had a juice stand here back in 1998," he says as I gaze upon his colourful offerings of fresh mangos ($1.39), cantaloupes ($2.49) and cucumbers ($1.25) and more. "But, you know, life got in the way."

Romeo shut down the stand but continued to operate his wholesale business, though the space was closed to the public. Visiting the food terminal five days a week, he made green asparagus and broccoli his life's work, but always hoped that he would again open a juice bar.

romeo juice bar kensingtonWhen asked "Why now?" Romeo simply says all the cards lined up. "It hasn't been easy, but I knew I'd be back to juicing." Romeo says he'd like to open up the space — that which is now filled with apples, oranges, peppers, and more for individual sale — and create a seating area and lounge for when winter rolls around.

For now, though, he's busy concocting creations ($3.50/$4.50/$5.50) using fruits and vegetables from the terminal, which he hopes to supplement with fresh herbs from his own garden. With some predetermined juice and smoothie options on display (plus, of course, the choice to create your own), I ask Romeo for his pick of the blends.

romeo juice bar kensington toronto"Well, there's 'Romeo's Wake-up Juice,'" he says, referring to his blend of beets, carrots, spinach, celery, parsley, and ginger, "but the Basil Pear is also really popular."

I suspect its popularity might be due to the fact that the Basil Pear recipe is front and centre at the bar, but I opt to try it out anyway. Romeo uses his own fresh pears, of course, and blends them with fresh basil, low fat frozen yogurt, honey, and almond milk to whip up something cool and pale green.

romeo juice bar toronto"And I do this just for the ladies," he says, skewering a strawberry over a straw and plopping it in the drink. Lest I start wondering what he does for the men, I take my first sip and find it silky and refreshing. The basil somewhat overpowers the pear, but Romeo says he's always happy to amend drinks to the customer's liking. "If you want a little more of this, extra honey, or whatever, we'll do it."

romeo's juice bar kensington marketHe says that commitment to customer quality, as well as the freshness of his produce, will make him stand out compared to other Kensington juice bars such as Sadie's or Juice Dept. "None of this is frozen," he says, offering me a piece of ripe mango. "And we'll make it just how'ya like it."

Photos by Denise McMullin

Discussion

15 Comments

George Michael / May 22, 2012 at 09:23 am
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It was, Arrested Development.
I'd Peel His Banana / May 22, 2012 at 09:28 am
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What a hottie.
J / May 22, 2012 at 10:55 am
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those hippies are at it again
Gabe / May 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm
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I'd make a small $2.50 a medium $3.50 and a large $6.00. Price is the most important part of business.
josh / May 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm
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I'd give it a Hawsaiaan theme. Coconuts, pineapples, music
Volume Discounts replying to a comment from Gabe / May 23, 2012 at 04:33 pm
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@ Gabe: The prices you state make little sense. They don't scale with size, i.e. you are actually paying more per ounce as you increase the size of the drink.

Assume 12oz for small and 20 oz for large;
$2.50 for 12 oz = $0.21/oz
while, $6.00 for 20oz = $0.30/oz

The pricing as it stands, while more expensive per oz gives you a discount as you get to larger sizes.
($0.29/oz for a small, $0.27/oz for a large)
Gabe replying to a comment from Volume Discounts / May 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm
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Yeah Mathematically it doesn't make sense BUT visually my prices are more appealing to more customers up there on the board or on the menu...
G replying to a comment from Gabe / May 24, 2012 at 02:54 pm
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...you have a lot to learn if you think good business equates to visually appealing prices as a priority. Successful business should always be looking to upsell their products. Serving customers who are inclined to buy larger drinks require relatively the same amount of labour time and that is one of your biggest expenses; plus you generate more revenue.

Additionally, by your numbers you can count on a tiny profit margin for a small fresh fruit juice at $2.50 Also using your numbers, If i was your customer, i'd get two smalls, two different juices; And I'd get equal or more volume of juice, and pay $1 less, oh by the way, you're working twice as long.
G replying to a comment from Gabe / May 24, 2012 at 02:57 pm
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every customer wants cheaper prices, but not every customer knows the cost of running a business.
Scotty Logan / August 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm
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Hi, how about a franchise to Australia ?
Kandace / October 26, 2012 at 02:55 pm
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If you are going for finest contents like myself, just go to
see this web site every day as it presents quality contents, thanks
Eldon / October 31, 2012 at 03:22 pm
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An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this topic here on your web page.
garrett edmunds / March 7, 2013 at 07:56 pm
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is the produce organic
mkaindkxaidb / April 3, 2013 at 08:20 am
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oiifrrwpyjdt / April 5, 2013 at 07:51 am
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