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Nevada City juice bar Nourish, promotes organic nutrition

Nourish Smoothie and Juice Bar owner Crystal Highline poses at her Nevada City business' cash register. The juice bar opened in September but will hold a grand opening later this month.
Alyson Collom |

Growing up as a Nevada County native, Crystal Highline said she rarely cooked for herself or knew where the food she ate came from. Now as a parent, nutritional awareness and organic cooking is something she says is important.

“I didn’t even know how to cook until I was in my 20s, because my mom never taught me,” Highline, 29, said. “My son goes to a school where they learn how to cook and I teach him as well. I grew up eating unhealthy food, and once I changed that, it was a dramatic change for me.”

According to Highline, seven years ago she was introduced to a healthier and more organic nutrition regimen. Since then, she has made it her life’s passion to introduce information about healthy and organic foods to everyone she knows. A year ago, Highline came up with an idea for a business she felt would help her bring more organic options to the local community.



“As far as smoothies and juice bars go, that option wasn’t available much in town, and it seemed like something people would love,” Highline said. “I was on a mission to find somebody to fund me. Once I found that, we started looking for a place and we found this place.”

And after four months of construction, in September, Highline opened Nourish, a smoothie and juice bar located at 106 Union St., in Nevada City, offering organic fruit juices, smoothies and food to the local masses. Highline, who is an organic juice enthusiast, created the menu after years of trial and error, adding her own personal recipes and concoctions taken from juice books she has used in the past.




“We’ve got the Mango Drop, a nourish bowl that has a smoothie with fresh fruit, granola and some flowers on top. It’s our best seller,” Highline said. “Our Maui Kisses smoothie is our best seller as far as smoothies go. It has a lot of coconut in it, which is amazing for you, and our best-selling juice is the Dark Green Love, which is for people who love their greens.”

Nourish also has an assortment of food products such as paninis, bagels, sandwiches, salads, organic chocolates and energy bars. The juice bar also allows customers to build their own smoothies and juices with produce Highline purchases from local provider Produce Express. The juice bar boasts that 90 percent of its produce is organic, leaving fruits and vegetables not susceptible to pesticides, such as avocados and watermelons, as the only nonorganic foods they serve.

The 1,800-square-foot space was previously a clothing boutique, which Highline and her partners transformed into a shared facility for Nourish and Day Tripper Gear, an online store that sells sunglasses, goggles and watches out of the Union Street storefront. Highline says the space is perfect, not just for providing organic food options, but for promoting organic healthy living.

“It’s mostly about teaching and giving the community healthy super-foods, foods that nourish you and help you grow,” Highline said. “I’d love to eventually have classes here, host events, community juice fasts, there’s so many options available.”

Highline said she sees businesses that provide organic produce as part of a movement that may clash with big agriculture companies such as Monsanto, a company that has taken criticism for its genetically modified produce.

“Eating genetically modified foods changes your DNA structure, changes your body,” Highline said. “Having a relationship with your food as you grow it changes the whole vibration of your body because you worked hard to grow your food and it nourishes you. It has more vitamins, it has more love in it, it has more minerals and everything your body needs to be healthy.”

Highline says it is essential for people to understand what they are putting into their bodies and what certain produce can do. Next to her juice bar register, she has an apothecary of herbs, berries, buds and powders that people can add to their food.

“This little wall tells you all the different benefits and exactly what they’re good for,” Highline said. “For instance, dandelion is good for your liver, aloe helps alkalinize your body, and cacao is the most nutrient-dense bean there is, and so it just goes on like that.”

Highline said that she has recently changed her menu to carry products that customers have shown interest in, such as a coffee smoothie that will contain beans from Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters.

“We just want to offer amazing foods and good super-foods to nourish our customers, that’s all,” Highline said. “We have a huge variety of stuff and it’s all amazing and organic food. I think everyone’s moving in that direction.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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