A day in the working life at AFC Juice laundry – The Cavalier Daily
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in one of Grounds’ most famous smoothie bars? Well, look no further. I’m here to take you behind the scenes at Juice Laundry and reveal what makes each of their bowls so delicious.
Juice Laundry is an academic institution founded by Michael Keenan, a 2008 graduate of the Faculty of Law. With three locations – one at the Aquatic Fitness Center, one on the corner, and one on Preston Avenue – the staff are mostly university students. As an employee of the AFC site, my commute to work is only a five-minute walk from the aldermen’s dormitories, which turned out to be very convenient.
Juice Laundry kindly welcomes its employees and understands that its staff is made up of students with classes and clubs whose schedules are constantly changing. Fortunately, our staff are sufficiently diverse in their time commitments that I have found the shifts to be very flexible. In addition, our staff and managers have a good relationship with each other and communication is easy by SMS or email.
I first learned how to work at Juice Laundry from other friends who had started in the fall semester and suggested that I apply. Since then, I have been able to get closer to these friends and have met many other employed students through different shifts. I also admired the family business situation that Juice Laundry looks like as I had the pleasure of working with both of Keenan’s parents who are often there to help.
Since working there, I have come to appreciate the process and the effort this establishment puts into maintaining a standard of fresh and healthy ingredients. Juice Laundry prides itself on the fact that it is 100 percent organic and plant-based which appeals to many health conscious people and creates a high quality taste. As an employee, it’s my job to prepare the fresh produce and restock all the ingredients during my shift. I have personally chopped nearly 1,000 strawberries and mangoes, cleaned bundles from kale bundles, and peeled enough bananas to feed an entire island of monkeys. After this preparation, we make sure to add best before dates – three days after cutting the produce – to all of our fresh fruit, which indicates when the store should use it.
Our cleaning products also adhere to our natural and organic mantra. We use a mixture of vinegar and baking powder – which acts as an effective antibacterial solution – to clean our surfaces all around the store. Recently, precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic include an acrylic screen separating the cashier and the customer at the counter. However, I admit that this addition made it quite difficult to hear the order from the customer, who was wearing masks of course, while mixers were also in use. I was coping and learning to project my voice loudly and customers also had to shout a bit.
There are four types of vegan liquid bases provided – cashew milk, almond milk, coconut water, and guayusa tea – all of which are made in the store with the exception of coconut water. Guayusa tea is brewed, while cashew milk and almond milk are mixed and filtered. As a newer employee, I was only able to observe this process and not really participate in it. The work of preparing liquid bases is generally reserved for senior executives, a position I aspire to one day. I was also pleasantly surprised at how accommodating Juice Laundry is with their allergen aware options where we use separate, sanitized blenders for students with nut allergies or any other allergies.
My shifts are usually two to three hours long, but can often seem much longer. I’ve noticed that there are times when an influx of students comes in, which can usually be in the morning after class at 11 a.m. or in the afternoon around 2 p.m. During these rushes, I can feel overwhelmed by the number of orders and the endless line of students, which ends in a feeling of exhaustion from my shift. However, throughout the shift, we can try the smoothies that we make if there is an additional amount, or we can make our own bowls with a reduced price. Many employees even have their own custom bowls that they make on their own after having had the chance to sample many different combinations and have finally found the one they like.
During my first few days on the job, I struggled to remember all of the ingredients needed in the different bowls, but luckily the recipes are displayed behind the counter where I could easily glance at them. Now, as a seasoned smoothie maker, I no longer have to look at the recipe cheat sheet.
Take the Coco Verde smoothie bowl, for example. I start by taking a blender and pouring in some coconut water which serves as a liquid base. Then I add dates – the natural sweetener – coconut oil, kale and spinach. Moving on to frozen ingredients, I add frozen bananas, which give the smoothie its thick consistency, and frozen mangoes to give the bowl some tropical acidity. After mixing for about half a minute, I pour the now shiny green smoothie into a clear bowl where a little granola is added at the bottom. I top it off with another scoop of granola, fresh blueberries, carefully sliced bananas and coconut flakes. I announce “Coco Verde bowl!” to the store, then it’s gone to be eaten and enjoyed.
Along with friends who are regular customers of Juice Laundry, I encourage them to come over during my shift so I can say hello. On other occasions I’ll see my other classmates go by and, funny enough, most of the time it’s the first time I’ve seen them in person and finally out of a Zoom screen.
While the most popular orders at Juice Laundry are their smoothie bowls and regular smoothies, customers also come for the hot pepper, oatmeal, and pre-made juices. Aside from their aesthetic appearance, the juices themselves are very healthy. On some bottles, facts and tips about certain ingredients are also included to give customers more information about their juice. Personally, I’ve learned that the activated charcoal, found in our “The Darkness” drink, is a good source of antioxidants that can flush chemicals and toxins from the digestive tract.
One advantage as an employee is that we can test the different juices. My favorite so far has been the “Strawberry Shake”, which consists of filtered water, almonds, dates, strawberries, dragon fruit and pink salt, creating a pastel pink, creamy and delicious drink. .
During the warmer months, more and more students lined up to order their own bowl or refreshing smoothie. Although we have closed for indoor meals, there is a patio with tables and chairs just outside the AFC location where students can enjoy spring with their juice order. laundry. As a student and employee, I understand how important the aesthetics and presentation of each bowl is. With that in mind, I do my best to create an Instagram-worthy bowl for every customer.
Overall, as an employee of Juice Laundry, I am happy to represent a healthy and ethical establishment that students really appreciate.