The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

This holistic café is more than just juice on the Corner

Corner Juice: Healthy Vibes, healthy eats, locally sourced

Each bowl is artfully created, beginning with a smoothie-like base and topped with fruits, nuts and various energy foods, finished with a sweet crunch from the well-known Henry Hudson granola.
Each bowl is artfully created, beginning with a smoothie-like base and topped with fruits, nuts and various energy foods, finished with a sweet crunch from the well-known Henry Hudson granola.

When most kids open up Pinterest, a wave of minimalist modern cafés with monochromatic color palettes and wood accents fills their feed. Little did you know, we have a restaurant adhering to these design elements right on the Corner. With it recently celebrating its one-year anniversary in Charlottesville, Corner Juice has gradually helped to incorporate healthy choices and a more relaxed aesthetic into the lives of ‘Hoos all around.

When I arrived on Grounds for the first time, I was set on finding any health-oriented joint on the Corner. Hailing from a city where health advocacy was at its strongest, I was afraid my next four years would consist of dining hall food, fries and granola bars. Thus, Corner Juice was a pleasant surprise — boasting a wide variety of items — including smoothies, açai bowls, gourmet toasts, coffee, sandwiches and cold-pressed juices.

First-year College student Alex Park was also happy to have discovered Corner Juice.

“Everyone is always talking about how dining hall food is gross, so I used to always go to the Pav for Chick-fil-A or the Corner for Sheetz and Got Dumplings,” Park said. “But once I heard about Corner Juice, I just couldn’t stop going. I’ve definitely gained a new perspective on eating healthy and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a first-year ever since going there.”

One of the owners and general managers — Julie Nolet — took the time to explain the roots and philosophy of Corner Juice, the implementation of which have led to its visible popularity in just a year.

To create Corner Juice, Nolet and business partner Kevin McConnell joined forces with Roots co-owner Joseph Linzon.

“He already had that idea of what the Corner needed, so we came together and realized that the Corner didn’t have anything like this — it didn’t have a juice bar, [or] many healthy options, in general,” Nolet said. “So, we were like, ‘Okay, why don’t we bring that to the table?’”

Like most businesses, Corner Juice has had to take some time settling into the swing of things and establishing identity for themselves. With competition like Juice Laundry down the street, this need grew ever-stronger, but Nolet and her partners took it in stride.

It’s definitely made a point of interest for students off-Grounds, as well. 

“It just makes you feel more energized and cleaner,” second-year College student Rachel Giachinta said. “I think healthy living has really picked up some momentum with modern young adults.”

This concept of healthy living is evident as soon as you enter; natural light streams into Corner Juice, lighting up the succulents and plants scattered across the space and complimenting the growth of the seedlings in the café’s own hydroponic garden. Local herbs are grown right in the storefront, with choice selections like the mint leaves added to their Dank Sinatra smoothie.

Aside from the Dank Sinatra, one of their best-sellers, their smoothies range from clean and green like the P.S.W. to slightly nuttier infusions like The Captain with its addition of almond butter. All ingredients, however, are locally sourced and delivered fresh to the café. This is imperative for their cold-pressed juices; thanks to the wide variety of fruits and veggies, every color of the rainbow is represented in every visually appealing and nourishing bottle.

“We kind of started off with the idea that we’d be more of a juice bar, but it’s really grown into something more like a healthy lifestyle café, which is pretty fun,” Nolet said. “We put a lot of energy into making sure that, because we were students here and we never experienced this, we could bring this to students now so that they can.”

Expanding their menu from juices and smoothies, hit items such as their House Açai Bowl and Avocado Toast continue to popularize the café even further, not to mention their mouth-watering sandwich selection.

Corner Juice's lists its offerings in bright chalk. Its offerings include smoothies, toasts, bowls and sandwiches.

Each bowl is artfully created, beginning with a smoothie-like base and topped with fruits, nuts and various energy foods, finished with a sweet crunch from the well-known Hudson Henry granola. As for the toasts, generous spreads of avocado, cream cheese or almond butter complete the base of the avocado toast, nova lox toast and almond butter and banana toast, respectively. The simplicity of these eats makes them all the more appealing, especially considering the freshness of every ingredient. 

The House Açai Bowl includes an açai, banana, mango and almond milk base and is topped with bananas, blueberries, Hudson Henry granola, chia seeds and coconut shavings.

If breakfast vibes aren’t your jam, I’ve heard good things about their other menu items. From bright vegetarian choices like the California to savory, warm options like the Classico Panini and the Cubano, Corner Juice whips up a wide variety of delicious, crisp sandwiches. But we can’t forget about their Grab N’ Go selection, which stays open half an hour past closing; here, Corner Juice presents their own take on comfort healthy eats like their Lemon Chickpea, Pesto Tortellini and Chia Pudding.

Averaging $9.50 a bowl and $7 for a plate of two toasts, Corner Juice is probably not an everyday expense your wallet is willing to make. However, it makes for an energizing weekend brekkie or catching up with a friend over this generation’s hip eats.

With all that said, if you’re looking for a reliable place right off Grounds for a healthy eat (or drink), with friends (or by yourself), for studying (or just chilling), head on over to Corner Juice, the new generation’s holistic café.

Corner Juice is located at 1509 University Avenue on the Corner.