Ozone Park small business owner recognized for contributions to the community

Ozone Park Juice 101
Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar presents Benjamin Robinson, owner of Juice Bar 101, with a proclamation for his contributions to the community. (Photo courtesy of Assemblywoman Rajkumar’s office)

When Benjamin Robinson moved from Brooklyn to Ozone Park, he had a vision to open a gym and a juice bar. After walking the neighborhood and seeing empty storefronts and no local juice bars, Robinson decided to open his own spot in October 2018.

Juice 101, located at 97-16 101 Ave., provides customers with fresh all-natural juices and smoothies that are made from natural vegetables and fruits that are shown in a glass showcase and prepared in front of customers. 

Ozone Park Juice 101
Juice 101, located at 97-16 101 Ave. in Richmond Hill. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

One of their top-selling smoothies is a peanut punch protein drink that includes almond milk, banana, peanut butter, protein powder, honey and nutmeg. Their second most popular smoothie, ‘In my feelings,’ is made with strawberries, mango and peaches. 

“People like the name and they’ll always remember that name before they remember anything else,” said Robinson, who is a certified personal trainer that promotes health, wellness and fitness. 

While he runs his business, Robinson also finds time to give back to the community. He was awarded for his philanthropic services during a PPE distribution giveaway event at Juice 101 on Thursday, Feb. 24, with Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar and Senator Joseph Addabbo. 

Another resident, Rahana Rampershad, who works on projects that help victims of domestic violence and has co-partnered with Robinson to help promote wellness in the community, was also presented with several certificates.

During the height of the pandemic, Juice 101 stayed open and Robinson distributed free wellness shots, such as turmeric, cayenne, lemon and ginger, to help boost the immune system of community members. 

Ozone Park Juice 101
Juice 101 makes healthy, nutritious smoothies and juices from fresh fruits and vegetables. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

After that giveaway, Robinson says, it created more recognition for his business and let people know that they’re there to serve the community.

Other philanthropic events that Robinson has brought to the community include an annual backpack and PPE distribution event, a Thanksgiving food drive, breast cancer awareness celebration, an annual coat drive and Christmas toy drive, and a food pantry distribution that they host every Friday for Our Neighbor Civics Association. 

Robinson also employs neighborhood youths and provides internships for them to learn how to make and promote healthy lifestyles in young people.

“Before this, I was always giving back. I’m not doing it for recognition, and it makes me feel good to know that I’m able to help people,” Robinson said. “When I came here, I said we are in the community and I have to give back. When I sit down and think about it, it’s a lot and I don’t realize it because I’m always in the middle of it doing something.” 

As a member of the state Assembly’s Small Business Committee, Rajkumar congratulated Robinson for performing a great service by bringing healthy food options to south Queens. 

“From green juices to ginger shots to the açai bowl, Juice 101 inspires our community to live better and healthier. Mr. Robinson is an exceptional entrepreneur with a long track record of serving our community, from distributing food to the hungry to supplying toys to children,” Rajkumar said. “I was proud to honor Robinson, an exemplary small business owner who serves our community so well.” 

Community advocate Sherry Algredo also praised Robinson and Rampershad for their accomplishments. 

“I was very happy to be part of organizing to show support for Juice 101, who is an integral part of our small and thriving business community,” Algredo said. “We look forward to supporting more of our small businesses and seeing them become and stay successful.” 

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