DeChantell Lloyd has a full-time job as an accountant at a local bank.
She also has another full-time job, as owner of the Code Blu Juice Bar at 23 Allen St., in Allentown.
Lloyd helped me out this week for the cover story in WNY Refresh on juicing.
She and Kayla Jemmott, her "master juicer," prepared two of their juice blends for a Buffalo News photo shoot: @Green.com and All Hail 2kale. Photographer Sharon Cantillon and I got to try them.
They both tasted great.
Anyone who read my column when Refresh debuted earlier this year knows that I’m not a fan of all vegetables.
Mixing them in a juice format, however, worked well. All Hail 2kale tasted better because it was a mostly fruit blend, but both were good. Fresh apple and a half lemon thrown into the mix helped.
As was the case a couple of weeks ago when I interviewed Jared Callahan about his new business, City of Light Fitness, at Canalside, a little time spent in Code Blu provided another taste of young entrepreneurs who are trying to make Buffalo a better place.
Lloyd, 30, is a city native and Bennett High School grad. She has a business administration degree from Erie Community College and also attended SUNY Buffalo State. She opened the juice bar in early 2012 and hopes to open another location in the coming months.
Her menu is creative, and so are Code Blu’s surroundings.
Bob Marley music was playing on Pandora when I first walked in Tuesday morning. Psychedelic artwork from Anthony Melice and other local artists seasoned the turquoise and tangerine walls.
Code Blu, at Allen and North Pearl streets, boasts one four-top table and four two-tops. Lloyd has placed cushions along the old metal heaters that line the place, too.
The place can make about 80 veggie and 20 fruit drink combinations, and offers healthy lunch foods, as well.
"Buffalo is new to the juicing concept and people don’t walk in knowing what they want, so I give them a variety of things to choose from," Lloyd said.
"I generally say, ‘What is your favorite fruit and what is your favorite vegetable?’ We’ll mix according to that."
She has two books – "The Smoothie Bible" and "The Juicing Bible," both by Pat Crocker – behind the counter, just in case a customer might wonder about a combination not on her lengthy menu.
Lloyd feels the excitement that is bubbling up in city neighbors in and around the downtown core, and has advice for all of us in the region when it comes to feeding that vibrancy.
"It’s very important," she said, "if you want to see these business stay in Buffalo, that you show up and you support them."
In this case, you can actually feed off that energy – in a healthy way.
– Refresh Editor Scott Scanlon