Two years ago, when the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak, Guyanese-born Abigail Caesar found herself dispensing her granny’s ginger brew to her parents to fend off the raging disease. The healthcare professional also nursed many of her family members back to good health by leaving bottles of the mixture at their front door of their homes.
Word got around, and Caesar became the natural juice doctor, dispensing portions of the natural boost in small cups to all who wanted a sip at her place of employment. “We would start the day with a ginger shot,” she said, referring to her workmates.
The entrepreneur, who has lived in Canarsie for the past 27 years, told Caribbean Life recently, that she realized the need for healthy lifestyle options, and the benefits of blending veggies, like spinach, kale, carrots, and tropical fruits to boost the health of people in her community. This inspired her to start her own business. As such, in July 2021, she said God blessed her with Canarsie Blend, a dainty little shop, located at 9202 Ave. M, Canarsie, Brooklyn, that sells natural juices and smoothies. The tagline states, “Revive, Recharge, Refresh — Live the Healthier Lifestyle you Deserve.”
The bold orange and green letters that spell out Canarsie Blends on the façade of the juice bar, welcome patrons to the indoor art deco space that showcases elements of Caesar’s Guyanese heritage.
The blends are a combination of recipes created by friends and family. She turned slangs into slurpy and sayings into smoothies. Like “Lawd a mercy,” an expression used by her grandmother.
“It was just natural to have the most popular smoothies, named to remember her upbringing and the healthy fare she grew up on,” said Caesar.
She named the juices that represents strong traditions. Togetherness. Like the juice “Da Shop” where people meet. Barbara Shop, nail shop, beauty shop. A mixture of kale, spinach, mango, pineapple, and seamoss. “These vegetables are healthy for the digestive system,” she shared.
“Yes, we could get our curried chicken and peas and rice in the neighborhood, but at least once a week, a vegetable should be incorporated in our diet. We are here to include that, so stop by,” she encouraged.
Ceasar, is not only inspiring healthy eating, but she has also included fitness into her business, with a once weekly walk to the park during the summer season.
“We walk from Canarsie Blend to the Canarsie Park and Pier on Wednesday evenings. We also provide healthy sandwich wraps for the younger generation, to inspire them to live a healthy lifestyle.
“I am also educating myself to help people who suffer with diabetes and hypertension,” she added. A blend of carrots, kale, and celery, cold-pressed for daily consumption, is a good start she shared.
She described Canarsie Blend as refreshing, a place that is new and healthy in the neighborhood. She also offers patties stuffed with salmon or spinach.
The businesswoman brings a wealth of offerings in juicing to residents whether for a party, small gathering, or a blend anytime of the day.
Some of the juice options are, Canarsie Breeze, Boss Up, the Floss, Nutta Butta, Canarsie Sunset Straight, Queen Green (Detox), Pineapple Sunrise, Red Robin, and Next Mornin’.
One satisfied customer on an opinion posting said, “If you want a smoothie, pastry or powerful heath drink please visit Canarsie Blends. So far, I’ve had the ‘Oh Lawd, Soursop,’ ginger shot, and peanut butter smoothie. After I had the shot, I felt my body ran hot, but I had more energy. My friend bought one because he felt a cold coming on. After the shot — what cold? No sore throat or stuffiness. They’re very new to the neighborhood and I’m so glad to see this option in the community.”
Another said, “a little Canarsie gem for naturally blend juices and the best part of it, it’s Black owned, right in the middle of a Caribbean dominant neighborhood, the juice spot fits right in within its cultural atmosphere. Inside is groomed with home items making the customer feel comfortable and right at home.”
“The customer service is optimal and hospitality you’ll find in the South. Two ‘sistahs’ running the front, chopping up fresh fruit and combining delicious combinations of tropical, healthy, and delectable juices. I find it refreshing for an early morning start, just what you need to boost your day,” said the posting.
To learn more, visit Canarsie Blend on Facebook, Instagram @canarsieblend or call 800- 664-7563.