Entrepreneurial spirit and a love of the Cayman Islands are just two of the common bonds between Krycel and J.D. Perkins.
Together, the couple has opened gyms and corporate wellness programs as well as restaurants focused on healthy foods and beverages. Their latest is Fit Juice Bar, which opened in Dallas last October.
J.D. grew up in Dallas and attended Skyline High School before a family move to Grand Prairie. Athletic scholarships took him to Tyler Junior College and Tarleton State University in Stephenville, then on to Lamar University in Beaumont, where he majored in exercise physiology and nutrition.
Both he and Krycel have traveled and worked abroad, and both wanted to bring the flavors of the Caribbean into their fitness and wellness business.
Although it’s a small space, the Oak Lawn spot has room inside to maintain social distance for about 14 customers, and there's room for 14 more on the patio.
Visitors from nearby hotels stop in, and the juice bar already has a stream of repeat customers. Grab-and-go has been a strength for its business model, and shipping plays a part, as well.
“The greatest benefit during this time has been online ordering, making it convenient for pickups and the ability to serve and ship to our long-distance customers,” J.D. says.
Many of those customers are ordering juice cleanse packs. A cleanse pack has six daily juices with a combination of vitamins A through K. The cleanse packs can be purchased for periods ranging from two to seven days, and there's currently a discount of 30%.
Customers don’t have to commit to a cleanse to enjoy nutrition in a tasty way. The menu includes a wide array of nutrient-rich acai bowls, smoothies, juice meds, mocktails and more. The Purple Rain smoothie with three kinds of berries, dates, green spirulina, oat milk and vegan protein has been a top-seller.
A specialty juice with blue algae, lemons, pineapples and coconut milk appropriately named Caribbean Blue Sea makes getting lots of nutrients sound fun. The Peach Paradise bowl also sounds delightful with almond milk, peaches, bananas, strawberries, house-made granola, coconut shavings and honey.
Fresh ingredients make these options good for you, too.
“We try to balance out all of the items from a nutrition standpoint, making them balanced calorie-wise, but also filling,” Perkins says.
Business isn’t booming yet, but the couple has had the best first quarter of any business they’ve launched to date. They know it will take perseverance.
“The juice business is different; it takes time to grow,” Perkins says. “People have to know the quality of what you're offering, the service, and then lastly, most important... Does it taste good?”
While they grow their customer base, they’ve embraced their community and local partnerships, including one with Dallas nonprofit Services of Hope. The charity has made it easy for Fit Juice Bar to donate juice and other items, making sure the donations get to communities and individuals in need of healthier food options.
In the future, the couple will also be expanding their gym, Include Fitness, which is next door to the juice bar and offers private training sessions.
For now, the Perkinses are happy to be settled in Dallas and consider it home. That’s perhaps particularly helpful at the moment because they’re expanding their family now, too: They’ll welcome their first child any day now.
Fit Juice Bar, 2720 Oak Lawn Ave. (Oak Lawn), Open 4 to 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday.