By Maureen Werther
Circus Café, 392 Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs, has long been associated with a fun, family-friendly environment and a lively nightlife.
In July, the restaurant was listed for sale by owners Colin and Christel MacLean. They plan to devote more time to their latest entrepreneurial enterprise, Saratoga Juice Bar, which is growing.
Christel called the decision to open Saratoga Juice Bar another instance of “Saratoga serendipity.” She and Colin had just completed the purchase of the Crowne Grill and were absorbed in getting that restaurant off and running when, much to their surprise, the small storefront a few doors down that they’d been eyeing for months became available.
“I went to Colin and said, ‘Guess what?’ We’re going to open a juice bar,’” she said.
“We are always looking for ways to do something better or finding the next best thing,” she said. They determined the organic and all-natural juice business is a fast-growing across the country. Millennials are health conscious and baby boomers are looking for ways to stay younger. Saratoga County had also just been named the healthiest county in the state. It all made good business sense.
“We went to L.A. and New York City to study under master juicers and develop our business model for the Juice Bar,” said Colin. “Our goal was to do it one time, the right way.”
Growing beyond their Broadway storefront, their juices are available in Price Chopper, Wegmans, Stewarts Shops, Healthy Living, Hannaford, Whole Foods Albany, wellness centers, colleges, corporations and other locations.
Their products are now being produced on both coasts, with Christel focusing on the West Coast expansion of the products and Colin overseeing marketing, distributing and expansion on the East Coast.
“Our juices are produced through a cold and raw process that retains 100 percent of all the vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes of natural whole foods,” said Colin. Each container of juice contains approximately five pounds of vegetables and fruits.
Utilizing hydraulic extraction in a cold environment and never subjecting the product to heat differentiates their “ultra-premium” juices from others on the market that are classified as “premium.”
While the MacLeans are excited about the future of the juice business, they remain committed to providing the same level of excellence people have come to associate with dining at Circus Café.