Healthy juice comes to La Encantada

Nekter Juice Bar will celebrate its grand opening Sat. June 23

Ian Green | The Daily Wildcat The Acai Superfood Bowl includes Açaí, banana, strawberry, blueberry, spinach, kale, chia seeds and housemade cashew milk blended together and is topped with hempseed granola, fresh strawberry, blueberry, banana, goji berries, cacao nibs, hemp hearts, bee pollen, chia seeds and agave nectar. Nekter Juice Bar can be found at La Encantada shopping mall by Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue.

Bringing a “heathy and sustainable lifestyle” to La Encantada shopping center, Nekter juice bar will hold its grand opening Saturday, June 23. The juice bar, which originated in California, features a variety of juices, smoothies, acai bowls and other choices.

The grand opening starts at 8 a.m., and there will be specials such as 16-ounce smoothies for $1.50 and “swag bags” given to the first 50 customers to promote the bar. Inside the bags will be goodies from local stores at La Encantada, according to Manager Kristen Hoppe.

“Everyone has good energy coming in here. Tucson needed this and ultimately, the community is excited and we are excited,” Hoppe said. “It is all around good energy.”

According to Nekter’s website they “believe that healthy should taste good and feel good, a healthy and balanced lifestyle should be affordable and accessible for anyone who desires to embrace it.” 

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Their handcrafted juices, smoothies and acai bowls are natural, clean and always buzzing with the most energizing and nutrient-rich ingredients, according to their website.

Caeli Ackles, a nutrition major at the University of Arizona and an employee at Nekter, loves her job. She says she enjoys the atmosphere, and everyone is “upbeat and happy and the food is delicious," which is something she's passionate about sharing with the community.

“Our food is fresh, it's the best for you with no preservatives, as far as our sweeteners go we only use agave so a lot of natural stuff. It’s all very healthy,” Ackles said.

Tyler Mendel, a photography major at the UA, recently began working at Nekter. 

“I chose to work at Nekter, because it’s healthy and it's a different job with great atmosphere.” Mendel used to work at the Nekter in Phoenix but enjoys working at the new location here in Tucson. 

Sara prepares an acai bowl for patrons at Nekter Juice Bar, a health-conscious specialty food shop that focuses on smoothies, juices and acai bowls. There are currently 39 locations across the country., with the Tucson location found on the corner of Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue at La Encantada shopping center.

The store attracts a wide range of patrons from the Tucson community, according to Mendel. Employees have seen a lot of families, shoppers and plaza workers visit the juice bar.

The target audience are people that want to get healthy, but don’t know how exactly to accomplish that, according to Hoppe.

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“For me personally I’ve been in the bar industry for seven years. I’ve always wanting to eat and drink healthier and be more health conscious, but I didn’t have the tools to accomplish that, so it’s really exciting for me,” Hoppe said. “It's a lot of learning because I don’t come from this background, but it’s exciting because I am believing in the product that I am putting out as it’s enacting a positive change.” 

Some popular items on the menu are the Pink Flamingo and the Banana Berry Bowl say Ackles and Hoppe. 

“The Pink flamingo is bright and attention-grabbing,” Hoppe said.

In terms of favorite items on the menu, Mendel and Hoppe both said their favorite juice is The Buzz. For acai bowls, Ackles says the peanut butter bowl is her favorite. 

This summer, Nekter has seasonal items such as the Skinny Colada Smoothie and the Pineapple Mint Refresh Juice. 

“Our Skinny Colada is a seasonal item and has been a hit,” Ackles said. 

Hoppe believes that Nekter offers people the opportunity to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

“It offers that first step, we don't use artificial sweeteners, as we use agave and are able to adjust sweetness,” Hoppe said. “We have something on the menu for everyone.”

Nekter is located at 2905 E. Skyline Drive, Suite #167, next to the Apple Store and Lush. 

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