Finding a good smoothie in Oklahoma City isn't too difficult, but before a week ago it was tough to find one made only from organic ingredients with a cadre of other juices and shots in a cool, quiet environment.
Organic Squeeze, 6434 Avondale Drive, opened Jan. 14. It is the brainchild of Robert and Mike Rhodes, who grew up drinking juice as boys and started their professional careers in the oil and gas business with their father.
Robert, 32, and Mike, 34, made fresh-squeezed juice a part of their daily lives 15 years ago when their mother bought a juicer. But the purchase wasn't the whim of an infomercial experience. It was, Robert said, “a conscious decision to really start living a healthier lifestyle.”
“We found once we started juicing, we just felt so good we didn't stop, and it's just taken off from there,” Robert Rhodes said.
About two years ago, Robert and Mike got serious about turning their family's juicing habits into an investment opportunity. To differentiate theirs from other juice bars, their goal was to offer 100 percent organic products in a peaceful environment where people could hang out, converse, or hook into free Wi-Fi for some cyber time.
Fortunately, much of what they needed to do that was right in front of them. Their father, Wiley, owns an oil and gas company called Newpoint Gas, which designs modular gas treating and gas processing facilities around the globe.
“Dad started that in '99, and I graduated from high school in 2000 and went straight to work for him,” Robert said.
Business was good enough to provide the financial foundation for the Organic Squeeze shop, but it also brought an unforeseen benefit almost impossible to achieve at a juice bar: quiet.
“Soundproof cases give you a chance to have a conversation while we're running our blenders,” Robert said.
The soundproof cases around those blenders are miniature versions of the soundproof casing used in the field.
Despite the inviting atmosphere at Organic Squeeze, it will no doubt draw plenty of folks on the go.
The menu includes breakfast, smoothies, “chopped water,” juices and nonalcoholic shots for a boost of energy.
Breakfast smoothies include oats, frozen yogurt and either almond or coconut milk. Flavors include Maple Pecan, Strawberry Fields and Cocoa Cashew Swirl. These smoothies are substantial enough to build a bridge to lunch without making you feel like you need a midmorning nap.
The smoothie menu includes six standards with a variety of organic juices, vegetables and fruit, including pineapple, mango, apple, strawberry, blueberry, lime, avocado, agave nectar, lemongrass and orange.
Chopped waters are simple mixes of purified water and chopped fruit, including cucumber-mint, pineapple-cucumber-mint, orange-mint and carrot-cilantro.
Juices are available already blended in containers or blended to order. Organic Squeeze offers plenty of tried-and-true blends like Joe's Mean Green, which is a recipe from Joe Cross of “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” fame. Watch out for the “Cit” Kicker, it includes apple, orange, lemon, lime, water and jalapeno extract. Our videographer Tim Money took a long, deep pull off a “Cit” Kicker based on looks and no knowledge, and had to have a standing eight count to recover from the smoldering capsicum.
Other juice blend ingredients include beets, cucumbers, carrots, ginger, spinach, celery, kiwi and the aforementioned fruits and vegetables. You can choose from a dozen menu choices or come up with your own if you're a seasoned juicer.
Shots include Dr. Feel Good, which uses lemon, ginger, green apple and cayenne to boost your immune system. The Buffy's lemon, ginger, garlic and cayenne take aim at blood and bones. A wheatgrass shot offers a blast of B12, vitamin E and protein. A ginger shot is like a shot of natural adrenaline to the senses.
Eventually, the Rhodes brothers want to expand the operation with locations around the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, including Edmond and Norman. They also would like to grow large enough to supply stores and other restaurants. Waffle Champion in Midtown already carries a selection.
But first things first. The Rhodeses have enough business savvy to realize no expansion will happen if they don't focus on the success of the first and only location in Nichols Hills Plaza.
The store is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 796-7793 or go online to organic-squeeze.com.