Fifteen minutes before the farmers’ market begins in downtown San Luis Obispo, passersby are already asking Julia Gomez for samples — and she’s not even finished setting up her booth. It shouldn’t be a surprise, though: Her containers full of colorful juices, stacked on ice, represent a refreshing treat on a warm day.
But they’re not just refreshing — these raw, cold-pressed juices provide the body with instant nutrition, the juices packed with fruits and vegetables.
Her business, Julia’s Juices, began — you might say — by pure accident. Gomez’s husband, Javier Magana, was sidelined from his job as a restaurant cook after a car collision. As he was mending, he began planting a garden containing a variety of produce, including kale, celery, beets, tomatoes, cilantro and blueberries. To help her injured husband mend heal, Gomez started juicing the items from the garden. The idea worked, and soon the couple started both Julia’s Juices and Red Barn Farms.
Using local fruits and vegetables, Gomez, a former Tribune press worker, constantly tries different combinations. Her juicing process — crushing the fruits and veggies instead of using blades or graters, then pressing the crushed product — ensures that the nutrients remain in the juices. To ensure the juices are fresh, the produce is picked the day before juicing, which happens the day of each farmers’ market.
Some of Julia’s favorites include the 3 Berry Kale smoothie, Tropic Kale, Gingy Beet and Veggie Blast. Most of her juices and smoothies focus on kale, which she calls a “superfood.” Known for its health benefits, kale was recently featured in a healthy eating contest.
Find Julia’s Juices at farmers’ markets in Arroyo Grande (Wednesday, Smart & Final lot, and Saturday, the Village), San Luis Obispo (Thursday, downtown, and Saturday, World Market lot) and Morro Bay (Thursday, Spencer’s Fresh Market lot).