Though wholesome, pure ingredients are the hallmark of Watts Juicery’s philosophy, owner Annie Tuttle’s mission was of a much grander scale when she first decided to open the fresh-squeezed juice bar.
Having just celebrated its first anniversary Sept. 26, Tuttle said a “combination” of things went into its inception -- but at the forefront of her mind was her late mother, who had breast cancer.
“Really, after my mom passed, finding a way to honor her was always looming in my mind,” said Tuttle. “Even as she dealt with cancer, she was dedicated to her health, through and through. And she sustained herself by living a healthy lifestyle, even through those aggressive treatments.”
Tuttle said the realization made her look at the ways she could provide a semblance of that lifestyle to locals, examining what the Beaches area lacked in the realm of healthy living.
“Juice bars were really popping up everywhere, but it seemed like none really existed here,” she said. “And in opening Watts, I realized the biggest drawback for people who wanted to … make healthier choices is that they think it’s too hard.”
To answer that call, Tuttle said she wanted to make a point: taking care of the body could be a simple concept, and needs could be easily met in minutes each day drinking the brand of “electrifying” pure juice Watts’ namesake implies.
“People should be proactive,” Tuttle said. “You don’t want to wait until something is wrong. Just try to meet that need a little bit every day.”
It’s one small way Tuttle honors both her mother and a personal commitment to help her community bolster its own bill of health. The other ways cover even more ground. As she continues to act in her mother’s memory, Tuttle has made it a goal to partner with local charities, including Peds Care, THE PLAYERS Championship, BEAM, Angelwood and Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital, where she’s recently joined efforts to raise funds for “Rue’s Room,” a music-therapy room for children undergoing chemotherapy.
This year, she’ll again join forces with Meet Me at the 50, a fundraising event presented by the Jacksonville Jaguars benefiting In The Pink, and with DONNA’s Tacos for Tatas: Pink Tie Edition. In addition, for the duration of Breast Cancer Awareness month Watts intends to encourage patrons to “Drink Pink,” hosting prize drawings for breast cancer survivors and breast cancer awareness themed events and activities at her Jacksonville Beach storefront. Weekly prizes include a free “26.2” – a pink pressed juice of watermelon, strawberry, coconut water, lime and basil – and a $25 gift card to Watts. A portion of the regular proceeds of the 26.2 will go to the DONNA Foundation, and all month long patrons in pink will receive $1 off the purchase of the juice. Breast cancer survivors will receive a free bottle.
As for the long term, Tuttle says she’ll continue to bring wellness to the area a little at a time.
“I’ve always found it important to give back to the community and continue moving forward – to do good, drive awareness and encourage others in business,” she said. “Most importantly, I want to keep bringing a healthy lifestyle to the area in a fun, non-intimidating way.”