Open since August this year, JuiceMi is a dairy-free cafe offering whimsically colorful lattes, smoothie bowls, and loaded toasts. Try “The Lotus,” a latte with coconut milk, beet powder, and a pink ginger shot ($6) or “The Santorini, a smoothie bowl that features blue spirulina, pandan leaf, edible flowers, and dollops of fresh dragonfruit served in a coconut shell ($14). Inspired by her travels to destinations such as Bali, Vietnam, and Thailand, founder Mimi Chau seeks to bring together like-minded people that appreciate living a healthy and conscious lifestyle.
How does your Vietnamese background influence your ingredients?
A lot of our ingredients are ingredients from Asian cultures. We use exotic fruit like jackfruit and dragonfruit. Right now, it’s a trend, but I grew up eating it. That’s like my apple. We use another fruit called graviola or soursop. It’s a fruit you can find in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Brazil.
Name an ingredient you love working with.
I love pandan leaf! I grew up in Vietnam and pandan is a vanilla-like flavor that is used in most Asian desserts and pastries. It has a unique and interesting flavor that you can’t seem to put your finger on. Our Pandan Mylk is a dairy-free cashew milk that’s a favorite among our customers.
What made you interested in juicing?
At 23, I remember working out at 24 Hour Fitness and it was one of those cardio classes. All these ladies in their ‘50s were kicking my butt. I thought, ‘I’m 23 years old. What’s going on? Why am I always feeling fatigued?’ I looked into it. It was because I needed to eat raw veggies. So, that’s when I started drinking one juice a day. My energy got a lot better. I went from not being able to run a mile to running four miles. Then, it was just life-changing for me. I started incorporating juice cleansing as a monthly routine and not too long after, I’ve built the endurance to run 8 miles to prepare for the half-marathon. I ran my first half-marathon in 2015 in San Francisco; it was the Nike Women’s Marathon. What an incredible experience!
What are your most popular menu items?
Our most popular item on the menu is the Santorini superfood smoothie bowl! This is a hit because the smoothie base is a vibrant, beautiful blue color that is made with 100% natural ingredients: salted cashews, banana, cauliflower, blue spirulina, almond milk, cinnamon, and dates. It’s packed with fiber and high in protein.
There’s the Purple Nirvana juice, which has purple cabbage, orange, ginger, lemon, and apple. It’s our jam. Kids love it, everybody loves it, and no one ever drinks purple cabbage but it’s super high in Vitamin K.
For the colder season, we foresee the Lotus Latte being a huge hit because a ginger latte has never been done before. You’ve heard of turmeric lattes, but not ginger! Ginger is so amazing for our bodies. The combination of ginger blended with warm coconut milk is smooth and comforting.
Tell me about your loaded toasts.
Our bread is amazing. We source it from Rising Hearts in L.A. and it’s a vegan brioche bread, which is amazing to find. We have a banana brulee toast that is inspired by a place in Hawaii.
What do you love about being located in Newport Beach?
I really like the small town feel of Balboa Village and all my neighbors come by to say hello. The vibe here is warm and welcoming. You can feel it in every single store in this neighborhood.
Favorite place to grab a bite in O.C.?
I love being down the street from Saigon Beach. I always get their grilled pork banh mi.
Plans for the future?
Yes! My team and I love having a space that we can share with our community. We’re talking about throwing a vegan party with @antidairysocialclub soon.
We are also planning to partner with fitness influencers like Anne Phung (@annephung) to put on community events that inspire wellness and give back to nonprofit organizations that do good for our community.
609 E Balboa Blvd