Manna Juice Bar is a cold-pressed juice bar built from a passion of positive energy with the goal to break down the barriers between health, wellness and culture. Founded by husband and wife duo Kristi and Dominick Andrew, the idea and principles of Manna Juice Bar were founded in 2016, after a search for local, healthier options for their family, and to fuel their lifestyles.
As parents, artists, and also an athlete/pharmacist combo, the Andrews’ collaborated with a food scientist to encourage a balanced lifestyle through the fast, fresh and efficient nutrition provided in cold-pressed juice. From there, the rest has become history.
Manna Juice Bar has become a real asset to the Dallas community, a community where people live their best Tex-mex and barbeque eating lives. Here, founder Kristi Andrew chats with us about her passion for bringing Black-owned healthful options to Dallas, how she hopes Manna Juice Bar will ultimately impact the community and more.
As a pharmacist and a former athlete, what motivated you to open Manna Juice Bar?
Dominick and I were both on a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Being a pharmacist, I learned a lot of times the onset of certain disease states, especially for Black people, could have been prevented with healthier diet and exercise. Juicing was something we began to incorporate into our diet once we moved from New Orleans to Dallas. It’s a really easy way to consume a massive amount of nutrients at once, with cold-pressed juicing being the most efficient process. We developed a passion for the industry, partnered with a food scientist, and began to build Manna Juice Bar where the goal was to create juice, smoothies, and açaí bowls that were healthy without compromising taste!
Where did the name “Manna” come from?
Manna comes from the Bible; in the Old Testament God had Moses leading the Israelites from their place of bondage over to the Promised Land, and when they didn’t know what they would eat or drink, God sent manna from heaven to feed them daily. We wanted people to think of our products as necessary sustenance, raw and organic, that would provide fuel for daily living. Also, it reflects the same journey we’ve taken as entrepreneurs ourselves.
It’s very important that we — Black people — see more of ourselves in the health world. Why is it important for a place like Manna Juice bar to exist?
I feel as the world trends toward all things health related, it’s important for black people to be a part of the narrative as well. Closing the healthcare disparities within the minority community can start with the education of our people by our people about leading a healthier lifestyle. Manna for us is a way to begin that conversation.
Do you see your work as activism in any way?
For sure! While juicing itself is very diverse, the representation of people of color in the juicing industry has traditionally been low. Creating this space for ourselves makes sure our voice is being heard, and our culture is affecting the industry versus just being profited from. We also use our platform and volunteer to support causes that matter to us, especially within the Black community.
What has been the biggest challenge and, on the flip side, the biggest reward of starting the Manna Juice bar?
The biggest challenge initially was moving everything from theoretical processes to reality. Building the business, we had a lot of things that made sense on paper, but once we opened we had to shift, adjust, and become flexible until we found processes that would work in real life. Running a business takes 100% commitment, and the work is not confined to the hours of 9 and 5, so work life balance is something we consistently have to find. The biggest reward for us is that by creating a space for ourselves to bring our true selves into a business that is adding value to our community, we’re confident we’re fulfilling our purpose.
What’s something that you learned from your partner after starting this business together?
I think we’ve learned to respect what each person brings to the table. As a videographer and entrepreneur, Dominick is more of a visionary; he has really great ideas and keeps the bigger picture in mind. As a former pharmacy operations director, I’m more impactful on the day to day operations of the business, making sure a lot of the small details are covered. It’s easier to communicate and defer when necessary for us when we both have defined roles!
Do you plan to open other locations in the future?
Definitely! We’re looking forward to growing our business and our brand and expanding very soon!