Nekter Juice Bar blends health, flavor at Del Mar Highlands Town Center

Nékter Juice Bar, a new spot for açaí bowls, fresh juices and smoothies packed with fruits and vegetables, stirred to life in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center on Nov. 9. An Orange County import, many customers and fans of the Nékter juice cleanse are happy that the brand has found its way to Carmel Valley.

Health-conscious couple Steve and Alexis Schulze founded Nékter in 2010 in Costa Mesa. What started as just one neighborhood juice bar has now expanded to 41 stores, mostly in California but with some locations in Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Colorado. Their popular juice cleanses ship nationwide.

Last year, Nékter opened its first San Diego-area location in La Jolla. Over the past few months, the company has opened locations in San Marcos, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Carmel Mountain Ranch.

The Schulzes’ goal was to make their juice “approachable,” said Amber Baker, area manager for all San Diego stores.

“Nékter been called ‘the people’s juice’,” Baker said, noting that the ingredients are recognizable and the prices are affordable.

The juices are made with fresh ingredients going right into the juicer and the smoothies are blended with a combination of fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, mixed with house-made cashew milk. Nékter uses cashew milk rather than almond milk as it makes a creamier, richer smoothie, Baker said.

First-time customers are encouraged to try the Berry Banana Burst smoothie, a blend of strawberries, bananas, blueberries and housemade vanilla cashew milk or the bright orange The Buzz, a juice made with carrot, orange, ginger and lemon that promises an extra “pep in your step.”

Customers can also elect to make their own blends.

The store also has a grab-and-go bar with pre-made juices and a selection of healthy snacks, many of them organic and gluten-free, that pair well with the drinks.

Nékter offers one-, two-, three- and five-day juice cleanses — a simple way to “flood the body” with more vitamins and nutrients in a single day than you would normally consume in an entire month. The blends have approximately 15 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables that help to give the digestive system a break, rid the body of impurities and even help the skin.

Each cleanse day is made up of six juices.

“It’s tasty compared to other cleanses,” said Elle Vandaie, general manager. “My skin started to glow more — that was a big thing for me. And I didn’t feel heavy; it made me feel more light.”

Baker said the one-day cleanse is perfect after a weekend of indulging.

“It just resets me and it wakes up my taste buds and gets me back on track,” Baker said.

Customers can look forward to several seasonal treats in the coming months that offer all the tastes of the holidays with a lot less guilt.

For Thanksgiving, they have a pumpkin-pie smoothie blended with dates, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, agave and cashew milk. In December, they will serve up a cold green apple cider with ingredients like kale, spinach and fennel, and a chocolate peppermint smoothie made with cacao and carob, avocado, cashew milk, pure organic peppermint oil and fresh sprigs of peppermint.

“It tastes like a Peppermint Patty, and it’s really creamy and delicious,” Baker said.

To learn more about Nékter or to order a cleanse, visit nekterjuicebar.com.

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