Leawood will soon have a new spot for fresh juices, smoothies and healthy meals. 11828 Roe Avenue will be the home of Ruby Jean’s Juicery in early January. The business has two other locations in Kansas City, Missouri at 3000 Troost Avenue, which includes a full-scale kitchen with a sit-down option, and to-go style bar inside Whole Foods at 301 East 51st Street.
The Leawood location’s menu will include some breakfast items such as breakfast burritos, scramble bowls and avocado toast and several lunch items such as wraps, salads and bowls. It will also have a list of healthy snacks such as sweet potato brownies, protein rounds, power toast and acai bowls.
Customers can also find a list of fresh juices, smoothies and performance shakes to choose from.
For owner Chris Goode, the clean eats business represents much more than just the items on the menu. The name Ruby Jean, and the inspiration for the business, comes from Goode’s late grandmother who died of Type 2 diabetes at age 61.
“We exist because of my grandmother at the core,” Chris says. “I look at it as food took her from us.”
Chris believes his grandmother’s diet, centered heavily on “soul” food because of the way she was raised, contributed to her death.
Chris wants to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle when it comes to food to prevent families from going through the same tragedy he and his family did.
“I think there’s something beautiful about health, but there’s also something scary about it when you don’t have it,” Chris says. “A lack of health doesn’t know any boundaries, it doesn’t stop and say, ‘oh you’re wealthy,’ or ‘oh you’re a Democrat or a Republican.’”
Part of the vision for his business is not only to encourage a healthy lifestyle but to create unity and inclusiveness around a culture that has often been exclusive. Chris is proud that his business has existed in a way that has broken down some of those barriers in the community.
The Troost location was the first business of its kind to exist on the east side of Kansas City.
Chris says customers are often surprised at how much they enjoy the food or drinks at Ruby Jean’s. He loves being able to introduce a clean smoothie or fresh juice to someone who has never had it.
“There’s a notion that healthy food has to be disgusting,” Chris says. “They’re completely shocked, like, wait this is actually good.”
Chris says choosing Leawood as the business’s next location helps further drive home his mission to break down barriers.
“There’s no difference in those people even though there’s a higher disposable income, it’s a more affluent, stable and defined community,” Chris says. “I think it puts action behind that statement of when it comes to health or a lack of health we’re all the same.”
As a man of faith, Chris says it’s a blessing to be able to operate a business that creates any amount of revenue while also helping enhance people’s lives.
“I can’t really describe the feeling, still to this day, even after six years in business, when somebody comes into our doors for the first time, and they’re a little apprehensive, but they go ahead and make the purchase and they like it and they become a repeat customer,” Chris says.
Chris says the business’s slogan says it all: “We make juice for a reason.”
“To be able to actually provide action to those words, I’m just grateful for it, I’m not going to act like it’s easy, it’s hard, but it’s rewarding,” Chris says.