Glo Juice Bar + Cafe (cover photo) is a new health-conscious eatery on Brown Street. Courtesy of @glodayton, the small business’ Instagram.
Entering Glo Juice Bar + Cafe, which opened Sept. 30 and is on Brown Street, I momentarily escape my pressing academic tasks and gratefully absorb the environment. The relaxing and minimalistic arrangement of seating, cascade of green ivy and the scent of fruits and vegetables ease my senses. Genevieve Welch, general manager, greets me with a warm smile, ready to help me understand her role and personal love of the business.
Right away, she points out that Glo Juice Bar + Cafe isn’t like most smoothie and juice places. It’s committed to using fresh, raw ingredients and no syrups. Its dedication to being strictly fresh is matched by its mission to help people achieve healthier lifestyles. Welch also told me how she has benefitted from her work at Glo. She’s become sharply aware of what she drinks and eats on a daily basis.
The owner of Glo, Amy Beaver, has made it her mission to advocate for nutritious food. Amy also owns Butter Cafe, which serves customers each day with arguably the best breakfast and lunches in Dayton. Therefore, Welch’s former experience working at Butter Cafe has well prepared her to manage this new venture.
Of course, I wanted to ask Welch’s recommendations for when I was in the middle of exams or about to pull an all-nighter. Welch explained that the add-ons for a smoothie or smoothie bowl are tailored to these individual needs. For example, maca, a light brown powdered root of a South American plant, added to smoothies will boost energy. Other add-ons can treat anxiety and insomnia and help to relax after a hectic day. Wheat grass shots provide vitamins A, C, E and iron. Sunshine toast with cashew butter and sprouts can create a perfect midday snack, and Glo even has vegan marshmallows for its yummy winter drinks.
I then asked Welch about her customers, and she told me that pleasing them and putting out a product they want to come back for is one of the great satisfactions of her work. Glo has a wide variety of customers ranging from 18-month-old toddlers who try out a taste of their parents’ orders to elderly customers who are often just as passionate about these vegan drinks as young people.
When I asked Welch about some of the challenges of her job, she mentioned that learning the drinks is a feat for all new employees. The combination of ingredients, she said, are so interesting, varied and adaptable to each customer that the learning curve is a little steep. In fact, each new employee gets a cheat sheet to study for the first week. Seasonal drinks not on the menu add even more to learn. However, the satisfaction of watching a customer bravely order a Mermaid smoothie with algae in it and then discover they love it makes it all worth it according to Welch.
Pleasing the customer with healthy concoctions is also Welch’s main goal and fundamental to the cafe’s culture. Glo is committed to creating a relationship with customers and the suggestion box is prominent for this reason. Welch believes that people want to take charge of their health and their input into their experience at Glo is critical to her mission.
Currently, Welch manages nine employees. I spoke to Kendra Zonca, senior at the University of Dayton, who was enthusiastic about the work environment. Kendra has been happily surprised about how adventurous Glo’s customers are. They have been willing to try everything and are extremely positive about both the taste of the smoothies and the immediate impact of a nutritious snack.
I also spoke to Jasmine Kimball, the assistant manager at Glo. Jasmine supports Welch and has her own specific responsibilities aside from monitoring a shift, such as inventory, tech responsibilities, making sure the menu is up-to-date and fixing the DoorDash menu. I asked for her drink recommendation, and she suggested the strawberry banana smoothie with the addition of chocolate protein or the “Revitalize,” which is a juice for hydrating.
The other day, I lingered in Glo and ordered my favorite, the “Kale.” This concoction is a combination of spinach, kale, lemon, pineapple, ginger and vegan yogurt, and the flavors of the pineapple and kale were dominant and refreshing. I soaked up the atmosphere while I prepared some coursework.
At the high top table, a couple friends were chatting happily as they enjoyed their Acai smoothie bowls. People came in to get orders and were served quickly. I thought about how often we default to coffee, caffeinated drinks and processed sugar when we think we are in need of a boost.
Now we have Glo Juice Bar + Cafe, which offers alternatives that leave us with improved health instead of the quick fix and crash of coffee and sugar. Welch, along with the rest of the team at Glo, is an important contributor to the healthy life so many of us pursue.