NEWPORT — The Power of Juice is expanding its plant-based reach from Middletown to Newport, where owner and chef Brigid Rafferty and her team are opening a second location called TPOJ Courtside.
The Courtside location, to be located at 13 Memorial Blvd. between Newport Wine & Gourmet and the International Tennis Hall of Fame pro shop, will have essentially everything the original location has, with a few additions.
Rafferty said there will be indoor and outdoor seating, noting it won’t be a café but a snackery and juice bar. She intends to expand the snack line so people can get more grab-and-go items that are healthful and plant-based.
“It’s a very zen, open space,” she said.
A Newport resident, Rafferty said she’s not alone in that she has nowhere to hang out in downtown that’s not a coffee shop or restaurant. There’s nowhere you can “find fuel, not entertainment,” she said. The demand came from her friends in the community and The Power of Juice clients, who have expressed their desire to grab a quick bite or hang out with like-minded people without having to indulge or commit to a full, rich meal.
Taking the community demand and running with it is part of what Rafferty refers to as conscious capitalism, a concept she hopes to normalize in downtown Newport and beyond.
“It’s business created by entrepreneurs for their communities, not just to make money,” Rafferty said. “It’s not enough to sell something. … You need people to engage completely with something, to be invested in it. … We as the business owners have to say: ‘How do I feel about that and what can I do about it? How can I still get a return on my investment and help my customers resolve their own dilemmas once they get it in their hands?’”
She explained it as being mindful about what’s being sold, its impact on not only the buyer but the buyer’s well-being and the well-being of the environment.
“That’s the new wave of retail that’s coming,” she said.
The Power of Juice doesn’t use plastic packaging. Instead, it utilizes glass containers to sell the juices. In the new elixir bar at TPOJ Courtside, there will be reusable plastic containers with stainless-steel straws that can be used time and time again. The containers will have a logo and are free of bisphenol A, a harsh chemical found in some plastics.
“You can bring them back to redeem them or use them for something else,” she said.
“We are trying to set an example downtown that all of us can do package-free,” Rafferty said. “We’re just trying to help by modeling responsibility, ownership, compassion and investment in our community. We’re not contributing to the problems that we have to spend tax dollars to resolve.”
TPOJ Courtside will be a concept store, constantly changing with the ebbs and flows of the seasons, featuring new decor and arrangements at least quarterly.“We’re trying to get people to celebrate our seasons and recognize the beauty and rhythm of having a four-season environment,” Rafferty said.
She also mentioned that rearranging the store makes people become more mindful about what they’re reaching for and perhaps are exposed to products that they might not normally seek out.
While they will be neighbors, there is no affiliation with Newport Wine & Gourmet. The space will be divided, though Rafferty says they are complementary businesses. For example, a juicer on Monday may be looking to pick up some wine and cheese on Saturday.
As far as the Tennis Hall of Fame goes, Rafferty predicts it, too, will make for a great neighbor, figuring athletes are seeking out healthful options.
Rafferty’s hope is the new store will “inspire more plant-based businesses to come into town. Newport has a reputation for partying, celebrating, drinking. … Our community will have to adapt to the new wave of lifestyle choices and start delivering on that or be passed over.”
She said she welcomes more juice bars and competition, as long as they too are practicing conscious capitalism by using organic, sustainable products and being mindful.
A sign on the Memorial Boulevard location says: “Our target opening date is … May 5th,” though Rafferty said that may not end up being the exact day.
“We’ve had hundreds of people in the past month stopping at the new store once they see the sign, people saying ‘We’re so psyched,’” she said.
The original The Power of Juice location at 1149 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown, otherwise known as the “main hive,” will continue its hours Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The TPOC Courtside hours are scheduled to be Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.