Marie Havenga • Aug 23, 2018
It’s only natural that Renee Randell’s business came about organically.
Randell recently opened the Bodhi Tree Juice Co. in the former bakery space at 1115 Washington Ave., across from Stanz Cafe, in Grand Haven’s Washington Square.
“It kind of came about organically,” she said. “I worked in health food stores for over 30 years and managed the Health Hutt in Grand Haven for many years.”
Randell, who is also a holistic health practitioner and certified nutritionist, started teaching juicing and vegetarian cooking classes several years ago.
“We grow organic vegetables,” she said. “My husband, John, started selling organic produce at Sweetwater (Local Food Market) and I made juice for people to try. I put all the vegetables and fruits they needed in a bag so they could go home and make juice themselves. People said, ‘That’s a lot of work. I’d love it if you just made it for me because it’s really messy.’”
Randell saw the need and decided to fill it.
“I just woke up one night and said, ‘I’m going to start making juice for people,’” she said.
Randell got licensed two years ago and concocted recipes in a Muskegon incubator kitchen. She sold her juice at regional farmers markets.
But when the farmers markets closed for the season, she said customers feared the juice supply would dry up. So, she started a home delivery service.
“We got to the point where we needed our own space because we were growing so fast,” she said.
The 1986 Grand Haven High School graduate grew up in the business world. Her parents throughout the years owned several local businesses, including the Health Hutt, Quick Whip, Dee-Lite Restaurant and The Hangar restaurant, which is now JW’s. She trusted she might have the right genetic and life experience material to run her own successful business.
“I was kind of raised in this environment,” Randell said. “When this place became available on Washington, we decided we needed this space.”
Randell uses products from area farmers market vendors, including cold-brew coffee, sauerkraut, maple syrup and produce.
All of her juice runs through a 4-ton press.
“The great thing about that is there’s not much pulp left and it produces a very large yield,” Randell said.
It takes 3 pounds of produce to produce one 16-ounce bottle of juice. The pulp is recycled and used as animal food.
“All of our cold-press juices are going to be anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant,” she said.
Laminated sheets describe further health benefits for each specific juice variety — everything from weight loss and energy to digestive health and boosting the immune system.
Besides juice, Bodhi Tree offers smoothies, smoothie bowls, salads and energy bites.
“They’re great little snacks,” Randell said. “Switchel is probably our most popular item. It’s a drink with fresh turmeric root, fresh ginger root, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrup. People really like it. It’s good for pain and inflammation, and great for boosting the immune system.”
All Bodhi Tree salads and baked goods are vegan and gluten-free.
The store is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.