By Christy Howard Womack
Within minutes of walking into I Love Juice Bar and meeting Anthony Anderson, you can feel the happiness that emanates from Anderson and his employees. This is more than a place for a healthy treat – this is a community that nurtures its customers and its employees – and that’s exactly how Anderson planned it.
Anderson enjoyed a high-powered successful career that involved him working for such top corporations as General Electric, Dell and Asurion and being pursued by many others, with travel that took him around the world. He grew up in the family business of roofing and spent many hours helping his father with roofing jobs. “Now that’s hard work,” says Anderson. “The paternal side of my family taught me the value of working hard, loyalty and being detail oriented. The maternal side instilled in me my faith, family devotion and service to others.”
That time working in roofing instilled in Anderson not only a strong work ethic, but also a commitment to get an education. He graduated from Mississippi State in Engineering and got his MBA at Belmont in Nashville, and his career took off. Perhaps one of the reasons he was so successful in corporate America is his natural curiosity and his love for listening to people and their stories. He led successful team after successful team at every company where he was a manager, by listening to the people that he led and being sincerely interested in their development. It was here that he fostered his love for mentoring younger people.
His favorite young person is his daughter, Alexandria, of whom he is very proud. As she was growing closer to graduating from Howard University in Washington, D.C., Anderson was feeling a tug at his heart to leave the hectic pace of corporate America behind. Not fully understanding it at the time, but trusting his instincts, Anderson walked away from the trappings of success and for a few months just volunteered at local nonprofits. Then without a warning, his daughter experienced a health crisis and Anderson was able to rush to Washington DC to be with her through that frightening period in her life.
“I feel so blessed to have been able to be with her that whole time. God knew what He was doing when He pulled me away from work. I had the time to go to DC and stay with her as long as it took,” said Anderson.
As her health improved and she returned to school, Anderson came back to his home in Franklin, Tennessee, and as luck would have it went into the original I Love Juice Bar in Brentwood, Tennessee. He was struck by the laid back vibe, the friendly young employees, and the healthy and nutritious menu. Having always had a commitment to personal discipline and exercise, Anderson found himself feeling a passion for the franchise started by John and Vui Hunt. The businessman first approached the Hunts about opening a franchise and locations in Florida were discussed, but when the Hunts decided that the Murfreesboro territory would be a good fit, Anderson jumped on it. He secured the entire Rutherford county area and plans to open multiple locations to serve the community here.
Anderson has lived a life of service and he is looking for new and inventive ways to serve the Murfreesboro community both personally and professionally. He’s already been involved in several community events. He is passionate about mentoring his employees and is committed to making I Love Juice more than a workplace for both his employees and his customers.
“I want my employees to wake up, and not be able to wait to get to work. I want it to be a happy place where we take a lot of pride in serving our customers and brightening their day,” says Anderson. Already I Love Juice has many regulars that come in every day for their nutritious boost.
It’s a beautiful environment with fresh green colors and natural hardwoods. The fruit and vegetable juice offerings are varied and delicious. You might not have ever tried these combinations, but they are as tasty as they are nutritious. Anderson recommends the DOC, a concoction of Juiced apple, spinach, kale, strawberries, blueberries, banana, spirulina, probiotics, ginger and mint, to start, and I personally thought Ginger Greens and Orange You Glad were terrific, but you’ll have to come back again and again to try them all. In fact, there are three different cleanses that can be done as one, two or three day cleanses that cover all meals, snacks and dinners for about $45 per day. Plus there are delicious smoothies with all natural ingredients and a terrific offering of freshly made salads, sandwiches and spring rolls. All ingredients are completely natural with no preservatives and are sourced locally as much as possible partnering with locals farms. The company’s goal is to bring health and happiness to their customers.
In their mission they state, “Juice Bar is overwhelmingly vegetarian, gluten-free, organic when possible and always uses 100% whole fruits and vegetables.”
“One thing that I value more than anything in the Juice Bar is feedback. Listening to customer feedback enables us to grow, have fun and be amazing. Have fun and be amazing is the I Love Juice Bar motto,” says Anderson.
Most customers are health-conscious, many come right before or after their workout, but people of all ages and walks of life are a part of the movement. “We want to be the place where people break away from their hectic day, and enjoy a few minutes of peace,” says Anderson. That explains the community table and the free wifi that encourages customers to come and hang out for a bit. And of course, there is Anderson whose enthusiasm for life is contagious and he lights up as customers, quickly becoming friends, come in the door. He is truly committed to making this a better community.