Dawna & Chrissy, Rainbow Juices/Under the Sun
Written by Lisa Khiev
Dawna Bass and Chrissy Cox give a new meaning to the phrase “Power Couple.” As they sit across from me in their eco-friendly, health-conscious restaurant, Under the Sun, I can’t help but feel a sense of calm and wonder. With it’s high ceilings and natural light coming through the open deck windows of 3rd Street, there is almost a luminous appearance embracing this earthy establishment.
If you haven’t heard the story of these two before, you’re in for a treat.. A healthy conversational treat, at that.
How did Rainbow Juices come together?
We are a couple and we met through roller derby. At that time, both of us were athletic and vegan, but as you know, being vegan doesn’t always mean healthy. When you’re an athlete, your energy can drop drastically when you don’t eat the right kinds of proteins. So, we wanted to learn more to get right with our bodies. We did a lot of research into maximizing your energy, optimal health, and organics, and that’s when we started juicing!
We began juicing from our house, learning creative ways to use the pulp, different recipes and then our teammates started asking for some. We started bringing them to practice, Chrissy is also a Kundalini yoga teacher, so she started bringing them to her classes, people would drink them and be like, “that’s good, can you make this much and I’ll buy a case next week?” With the response from people around us, we realized people needed it and for us, the biggest thing was we loved doing it.
Tell us a bit about your sourcing, process, and what inspired you.
Everything surrounding our juice and food is a different experience on its own. We work with the farmers, we go to local farmers markets, we try to be as earth conscious as possible. Everything including the bottling, is kept at the highest vibration for the planet and the health of the beings on this planet. That’s always at the forefront, no matter what. The packaging that we use is compostable and we work with the office of sustainability, we’re always looking for more ways to be sustainable and to work with our community, and inspire the movement.
How did the restaurant, Under the Sun, emerge?
We opened rainbow juices in 2015. Then about a year and a half ago, the entire building came up for rent. Our landlord knew we were growing and came to us and said, “hey, if you’re interested, you guys have first dibs.” I mean, we had just opened, so we debated back and forth, kept thinking, kept dreaming, and that’s how it starts with us. Our chemistry together in business organically springs us forward. It just happens. They started showing the building to other prospects, and we thought, “that can’t be right!” so we told them we were interested. When it first came up, we started envisioning it straight down the middle… […] We’ve been open now since 2017, and there’s a lot of synergy. We utilize products for both places, carry the juices. We don’t like to waste anything.
What’s a menu favorite at both?
Our first juice at Rainbow was the Pop Eye, it’s green with fruit mixed in. The ABC is also a favorite. Our watermelon is coming into season.. [..] the Goddess is one of our most sought-after juices and The Fix is also a good one, it’s a 4oz tonic.
For Under the Sun, our newest item – the 3rd street tacos have been a hit. It has eggplant, squash, onion, chives, radish, and romaine. All the ingredients come from our farm here, the definition of a local street taco. It’s really popular and won’t be around forever, because eggplant is in season now. The Tuna Wrap, wrapped up in a cauli green with veggies and the BBQ Cheese bowl are also two of our most popular items and they are served all year round. When it comes down to it, our foods is all about taste, texture, and technique. We strive to provide the freshest protein experience you can find.
Being vegetarian or vegan is no easy task, it takes a lot of discipline and commitment. For those who have taken on the challenge and responsibility to help create a more sustainable planet, I commend you. Dawna and Chrissy are an inspiration to our community, they have taken their love for each other and this planet and turned it into a movement; pledging to keep our planet healthy, one juice at a time.