They might even be the Grocerant solution in your supermarket.
A couple weeks ago while I was in NYC I was headed to one of my old standby restaurants – Santa Fe – on the upper West Side and came across the construction of a soon to open Joe + the Juice. This is a chain from Denmark that you should be watching. Their approach is a bit different – yes the food is important – they specialize in fresh - but the ambiance is their magic.
Their staff selection and training is focused on upbeat conversation and an energy that is all about relating to customers. And their music is about as far from Muzac as you can find anywhere. Joe & the Juice is all about the holistic experience. There is even a free photo booth.
Kaspar Basse, the founder and drive behind the chain, is a former professional karate champion from Denmark; he wants the chain to become the “go-to place for health-conscious people who like their fresh-pressed juice served with a side of edgy”. He says hiring the right people " brings such a unique culture and environment," and are encouraged to be themselves in how they dress and talk, and even to play their own music and bring their personalities to work. They aren’t hired, they are “cast” just as an actor might be, and they are tested in social, personal, and physical tests ranging from how fast they can work to how well they can banter with the customers.
The offerings include coffee, tea, sandwiches, fresh juices, smoothies, and veggie shots made with organic ingredients and all prepared in the store. There are juices like Hangover Heaven (apple, elderflower, mint), Go Away Doc (carrot, apple, ginger), and Sex Me Up (passion fruit, apple, ginger).
Why should you be watching them? They have more than 170 restaurants in 14 countries. There are currently five U.S. stores in San Francisco, New York City, and Miami; with a few hundred more slated to open in the U.S. Great concept and one supermarkets, especially those with grocerants, might want to check out.