HEALTHY GOODS IN A CREATIVE WAY
Fresh watermelon-mint-cucumber juice by Juiced Libations ($4)
Available at the Wilmington Green Box, 400 block of Market.
Wilmington Green Box took over a small strip of green on Market this summer and transformed it into a summertime pop-up juicebar, with a locally-produced menu, a giant lounging chair for afternoon power naps and free Wi-Fi for all you laptop warriors in need of some fresh air. We checked in with founder Jason Aviles to learn more about Market’s freshest upstart:
Finding a space: Last year, we launched Wilmington Green Box with a mobile push cart that we used to sell healthy goods purchased from local food companies. It was a huge success. We had a demand. But it was kind of spontaneous. We were at the farmers market on Wednesdays, people were following us on social media, but they wanted somewhere they could go to on a regular basis and find us.
We took a look at this space and said, hey, wouldn’t it would be cool if we had an outdoor, public green space – with free Wi-Fi for you to simply sit on your computer with your lunch and with your drink and just hang out on a beautiful day. And what you're seeing is that idea and vision come to life.
Building the Green Box: I'm not a jack of trades. I am not good with my hands. I can hit a nail into a wall, but that's pretty much it. But we did everything ourselves because NextFab (located in Wilmington's Creative District) taught us, especially me. If it wasn't for NextFab, their guidance and their expertise, and given that they had the woodshop and that they had the tools, I don't know if we would have been able to bring it to life.
We did all the landscaping ourselves. And we built all the benches, the planters and the entire kiosk over at NextFab. In a matter of – no lie – maybe three to five weeks, we literally built everything that you see, which saved us huge costs and gave us an immense amount of experience. We used cedar, pre-treated so it will be able to last in the weather. To this day, you can still smell the wood when you walk up to the kiosk.
The product line: At the moment we carry fresh, cold-pressed juices and fresh fruit salads. We partner with Juice Libations – they're a local juice company. We’re carrying three to five different flavors, ranging from watermelon-mint-cucumber to beet-apple-carrot-ginger to a turmeric-orange-black pepper-cayenne pepper juice.
Right now, I'm doing a juice fast, so this is the only thing I can eat – it’s what I think about, it’s what I dream about, it’s my breakfast, lunch and dinner for I don’t know how many days. I've got some beet-apple-carrot-ginger inside the refrigerator right now and I drink anywhere between a half-gallon to a gallon a day. So this is for real. This is a lifestyle. You don't get no “realer” than this
The response: To this very day, I get people who drive down this street and stop their car, right there in the street, and they see these triangle shades and they see the signage and they see this big blocks of wood and say, "WHAT is that?" But I think more people come because they know we're here. It's very diverse. We’ve gotten positive feedback from families that live right here, on Tatnall and West, and from the people who work here and want to grab something really quick.
The future: We're going to probably do other things in this space too. I'm probably going to do a yoga class out here. We partner with a group called 8th Avenue Collective Group and they're going to be doing an open mic on the day of our ribbon cutting, Aug. 23, from 6-9pm. That should be really, really fun.
We hope that this space serves as inspiration for other local entrepreneurs to start activating some of these different areas and spaces, because there's so many, whether they be store fronts or little green patches. This is an example of something you could do quite easily.
Wilmington Green Box’s Market location was built thanks in part to the Creative District’s Innovation Workshops at NextFab! You can find more information about the program and NextFab here!