A new cafe in Jersey City promises to be more than a juice bar. Autumn Velez and Maurice Burnell, owners of the Juice Joint, located at 1180 Summit Avenue in Jersey City, want people to come for the delicious juices as well as the vibes. “We want to build a community space. We want people in Jersey City to feel like they’re at home, that they are welcome and comfortable there,” Autumn said. “We want to be a part of the community.” The Hoboken Girl spoke with Autumn and Maurice about their story. Read on to learn more about Autumn, Maurice, and the Juice Joint in Jersey City.
About the Owners
Autumn Velez and Maurice Burnell are young entrepreneurs with big dreams. Autumn, 23, also owns Elbow Grease Home Cleaning. Maurice, 25, is an Air Force veteran. The couple got interested in juices two years ago. Autumn says she was intrigued by what she saw on Instagram. “I saw all these people on Instagram juicing with different fruits and vegetables, and I was interested in trying it myself,” she said. Autumn and Maurice started making juices for themselves and got their family members on board. “We got our parents to try it and they felt the health benefits,” Autumn said. Now they’re all fans of juices. “My mom has a juice every morning now instead of coffee.” Their younger siblings were a harder sell, but Maurice’s five-year-old brother is a fan of the fruit smoothies.
Autumn, Maurice, and their family members all saw health benefits from juicing. “Everyone’s skin was glowing,” Autumn said. “Even our grandparents’!” Autumn and Maurice had bought into the juicing lifestyle and thought that it would be an accessible way to help others make a healthy meal choice. “In the Black community, a lot of people suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes,” Autumn said. “We wanted to have a cafe to get the community right.”
The pair started to look for commercial spaces and had their eye on Jersey City. While Autumn and Maurice live in West Orange, they love hanging out in Jersey City and thought it would be a good fit for their business. They were taking a walk through The Heights when they saw the space on Summit Avenue. They started working on obtaining a lease and other requirements in February 2022.
About the Experience
The Juice Joint menu will include smoothies, cold-pressed juices, salads, and acai bowls. “There are lots of choices for vegans and vegetarians,” Autumn said. Both Maurice and Autumn’s favorite item on the menu is a juice called Don’t Kale My Vibe, which has celery, kale, spinach, cucumber, lemon, and ginger.
The store’s soft opening will be Friday, July 15th, 2022. The celebration will start at 4PM (changed from 1:30PM), karaoke will start at 6:30PM, and Jersey City performer DJ Jayhood will be performing on site. The party atmosphere is something that Maurice and Autumn want to create in the cafe every day. “We want to have karaoke, poetry readings, [and be a place] for people to share their artwork,” Autumn said. The shop has a backyard area that they hope to clean up and make available to customers as well. “We want to have yoga classes back there,” Autumn said.
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The cafe’s hours will be 8AM to 6PM daily. Autumn says that what makes their cafe special is the atmosphere. “When you come in, you’re not only getting a healthy drink or snack, you’re also getting good vibes,” she said.