GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn residents Megan Mulcahey Scheck and Alicia Parker Skodol believe in the joy of healthy living.
The longtime friends are owner-operators of The JOY Bar, which is set to open in the coming weeks at 548 Crescent Blvd. in Glen Ellyn, in the space that previously housed Euro Crepes. The JOY Bar will sell organic juices, along with smoothies and salads.
"About a year ago, we decided that we really wanted to bring something healthy to Glen Ellyn," said Skodol, who grew up in Wheaton. "For the past five years, I've been a personal chef, renting out space to make healthy meals for mostly Glen Ellyn families."
Plans are to open The JOY Bar by the end of January or beginning of February. Skodol's business, Reasonably Raw Mama, is folding into The JOY Bar. Reasonably Raw Mama featured plant-based, raw vegan gourmet cuisine.
Skodol got her raw vegan chef certification several years ago.
"My father was ill, and I wanted to see how to improve his health," Skodol said. "He had cancer. And so I delved into the world of detox and healthy eating, and I learned so much. And I realized my diet wasn't all that great either. I started noticing an improvement in mood and joy once I started eating more fruits and vegetables."
The JOY in The JOY Bar stands for Juicy, Organic, Yum.
Skodol will also serve as the chef for The JOY Bar.
"The place is going to be about gratitude and health and positivity," Scheck said.
Scheck has a business background, including handling payroll for her husband's company and other duties.
"We both really liked [the idea] of doing something good for the community," she said.
The JOY Bar will sell cold-pressed juices along with smoothies and salads.
"They're the most nutritionally dense juices you can get," Skodol said. "We are making them in a special juicer that doesn't heat it, so no enzymes are affected. So basically, it's like drinking three pounds of fruits and vegetables in one serving. You will get all the immediate benefits from them."
The JOY Bar will sell a variety of juices, and it plans to educate its customers on the benefits of each one. The restaurant also will sell Skodol's signature salads.
"My Mexican salad with cilantro avocado dressing is a popular one," she said. "The salads will rotate and change seasonally."
Given the Metra train station is located near The JOY Bar, Scheck and Skodol anticipate they will see a lot of commuters dropping by to pick up a juice or salad to go. All the smoothies will be made to go.
"We've heard from a lot of people in the community who know we're opening that they would love to grab their healthy salad for the day before they hop on the train or their juice or a smoothie to start their day," Scheck said.
The JOY Bar also will sell coffee and tea along with healthy snacks, such as granola or protein bars.
"Our goal is to have something for everybody, [including] for the high-schoolers and for little kids," Skodol said. "We really do want to serve Glen Ellyn in a healthy way."
Even though it hasn't opened its doors yet, The JOY BAR is already receiving positive feedback.
"We've had a lot of high-schoolers come by and taste test for us and give us some input," Skodol said. "We feel like they are excited."
For more information, go to thejoybar.com.