Adrian King, the owner of Kings Juice Bar in Ridgewood, has a favorite motto and often recites it to his customers.
“You just gotta take it one day at a time, one day at a time,” King smiled as he rang up one of his customers.
King, a longtime Ridgewood resident and business owner, opened up his health-conscience juice bar at 955 Seneca Ave. about three years ago — after his “millennial” kids told him that it could be a great new business venture.
“I asked my kids what would be profitable and they said, ‘Well dad, the neighborhood is getting gentrified and we want to help, so why don’t you open a juice bar?’” he said.
The father of seven took the advice and ran with it. King did extensive research about what the healthiest and tastiest combinations of smoothies were, and built his menu based on organic and fresh ingredients.
Kings Juice Bar — with their tagline of, “Treat yourself like the Queen or King that you are” — offer an array of smoothie options, including $2 smoothies (two-fruit smoothies to-go), vital energy smoothies and natural juices, which all come in either 20, 24 or 32 ounces that can range from $6 to $14.
They also serve açai bowls, salads, paninis and breakfast bowls. About 90 percent of their products are gluten and trans-fat free, King assured.
“Most of our products are a meal,” he said. “Our smoothies are meals.”
One of their fan favorites is the Peanut Tango, which is made with peanut butter, banana, honey and your choice of milk — a perfect post-workout treat.
They even offer drinks or “shots” of natural juice or smoothie remedies that help combat that under-the-weather feeling, such as the Cold Suppressor Smoothie (made with pineapple, ginger, orange and honey) as well as the Flu Away (made with lemon, ginger, orange and cayenne).
The 47-year-old is also making sure that the notion that healthy equals price-y is not a factor in what he calls a “community-based business,” by keeping his prices fair and affordable.
King, who served as president of Community Board 4’s youth council back in the late ‘80s, has maintained his service-centered mindset in all of his business ventures. When he’s not taking care of the juice bar, he’s also a property manager.
King, a native of Belize, also worked in the New York Stock Exchange but ventured into entrepreneurship afterward, working in the cellphone business and later stepping into the restaurant industry with a Caribbean restaurant.
But for King, one of the most important parts about being a business owner, especially a black business owner, is to show the younger generations that they could be just as successful.
“We have to be shepherds for the next generation,” he said. “It’s not about the money, money’s nice, but it comes with time, quality and taking care of the community.”
In addition to participating in The Work, Learn and Grow Employment Program, King welcomes local kids to work for him so that they can “get experiences and a sense of ownership.”
“And the sense that, ‘Oh, a person of color is doing it, I can do it too,’” he added.
When you visit the cozy spot, complete with a comfy purple couch and jazzy music playing in the background, you instantly feel like you’ve been invited into someone’s home — King’s home.
King credits his no-nonsense yet hospitable nature to the community that raised him.
“I grew up with this neighborhood,” King said. “Ridgewood and Bushwick built my character. The character of Ridgewood is community-based, it’s friendly, neighborly, respectful, honest, straightforward and courteous. That’s who I am.”