For as far back as Juices by Meg owner Megan Blanchard can recall, her mother’s diet was filled with the juice of freshly pressed fruits and vegetables. As a lifelong vegan, Judy Blanchard consistently emphasized a strong focus on health and wellness to her daughters, a practice that really stuck with Megan.
“She’s the one [who] first got me into juicing,” says Megan. “I remember our kitchen was always filled with gigantic celery stalks and pink grapefruits. She even bought me and my sister juicers one year for Christmas.”
For several years, Judy, who was an employee at Maximus Fitness in Riverhead, sold her lemon and ginger detox juice at the gym’s smoothie bar. Life took an unexpected and difficult turn when Kelley Blanchard, Judy’s other daughter, suddenly passed away in an accident that left Megan with a shattered femur and in the hospital for several months. As Megan relearned how to talk, the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down, leaving Megan and Judy grieving and completely isolated.
“It was a really hard time for my mom and me,” explains Megan. But from her darkest moments, she found a little light in the notion of getting back to making the juices she and Judy loved — and which other people seemed to love, too. “I had the idea to start making and selling the juice from home. I have a background in marketing, so I put together an Instagram page and it instantly started blowing up.”
The mother-daughter duo found their groove, making and bottling their juices and allowing customers to stop by their home to pick up orders.
Over the next three years, Juices by Meg broadened its product range beyond Judy’s original lemon ginger detox to include 13 flavors in total. Each juice is comprised of ingredients that bring distinct health benefits, Megan says. For example, Sweet Beet combines watermelon, beets, lemon and pineapple to enhance blood flow, energy levels and hydration. Queen Green provides a variety of vitamins and nutrients through spinach, pineapple, green apple, cucumber and lime. Sun Beam, rich in antioxidants, incorporates carrots, turmeric, ginger, lemon, pineapple and orange, promoting healthy and radiant skin.
Unlike some juices found in grocery store chains, Juices by Meg are unpasteurized and cold-pressed. While they only have a shelf life of three to five days, Megan says that amount of time ensures that they are at their highest quality of flavor and nutrition.
“You can taste the difference,” she says. “Each batch takes about three to four hours to press, which is nearly double what it takes for traditional juice bars. We have people who have been ordering juices for years because our products are the highest quality around.”
For the hardcore cleanse lover, Juices by Meg offers two package options for cleanses: a three- or five-day detox. The three-day cleanse is $120 and consists of 12 individual 12 oz bottles to drink as meal replacements to be consumed four times a day. The $245 five-day cleanse is similar, consisting of 25 individual 12 oz bottles to drink five times a day.
Six months ago, Megan began offering delivery options for all of Suffolk County. For an additional $15 fee, Juices by Meg will deliver individual cold-pressed juices as well as cleanses directly to your doorstep.
“I always ask people: are you feeding disease or fighting it?” she says. “Your body is the only place you have to live so be kind to it in everything you consume whether it’s juices or what you look at on social media or anything else.”
At the beginning of this year, the Blanchard family endured another painful event with the passing of Judy. Within that difficult time, though, a serendipitous boost to Megan’s business happened: Juices by Meg was offered a permanent home at the Maximus Fitness smoothie and juice bar, right where her mother started this journey.
“The juice is really special to me,” she says. “It’s something me and my sister and mom used to do together. [This business] is a tribute to them,” Megan says. “It’s kept me going through the loss of both of them and I’m thankful at how it’s blown up.”
Four of flavors of Juices by Meg can be purchased at the juice bar at Maximus Fitness at 126 E Main St., Riverhead for $10 per bottle. Blanchard notes that there is no membership requirement to check out the juice bar. Orders for pick up or delivery can be made through DM @juicesbymeg on Instagram.