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Juice Stands: Healthy Breakfasts On The Go

Tapping into today’s trend toward eating and drinking natural, such stalls have added juices and fruit to their offerings.

In Mexico, many people who work full time have the tradition of starting the day with a glass of juice and a sandwich, quesadilla, or tamale from a street vendor. Those who work these stands are early risers, as they have to start prepping such dishes for customers.

“This business is 24/7, yet when we get the largest number of customers is about 5 a.m., which is when people start heading to their jobs,” said Manuel Evaristo Moncada Ramírez, manager of the La Vitamina juice stand in Veracruz, México.

“My customers usually pass by for a glass of juice. I have different flavors, such as carrot or orange, and I also sell mixed fruit juices, which offer enhanced flavor and have extra vitamins and minerals. In addition, I sell meat or ham and cheese sandwiches.”

Juice stands offer freshly prepared juice. They also offer sandwiches, soft-boiled eggs, and fruit. (K15 Photos/Unsplash)

In recent years, the healthy life trend has gained traction in Mexico, which has created new opportunities for growth for juice stands to continue generating an income. These businesses are the livelihood of hundreds of families who dedicate themselves to nourishing the country’s workforce.

“We have a varied clientele,” said Moncada Ramírez. “Right now, our main juice customers are taxi drivers, but before the lockdown, we had long lines of moms that bought breakfast for their children before they went to school. On those days, we often sold out everything before the line was over. Juice, after all, is the best complement for a balanced breakfast.”

Working at one of these stands is not easy, as the activity begins early in the morning to stock up on fruits and vegetables that the stand needs. Some other ingredients commonly bought are oats, milk, and cocoa powder.

After stocking up, stand workers must wash and disinfect, as cleanliness and good hygiene are essential for a stand to keep loyal customers.

A half-quart of orange or carrot juice usually costs 15 pesos (75 cents), while a quart can be 25 pesos ($1.25). A little more expensive are grapefruit, pineapple, or beetroot juice, which typically run 20 pesos for a half-quart and 30 pesos per quart.

Juice stands are common in all of Mexico’s most important avenues. (Khyati Trehan/Unsplash)

“Before going to the steel manufacturing company where I work, I always go to my usual juice stand and buy an orange-carrot mixed juice,” said Antonio Murillo Sánchez, who works in the municipality of Boca del Rio, Veracruz.

“I also get a sandwich with that beverage juice so that I can have enough energy to give it my all during my work hours. If I don’t do this, I can’t endure a full workday, which is usually quite exhausting and intense.”

(Translated and edited by Mario Vázquez; edited by Matthew Hall)