Southern Sqweeze expands
New location: 850 Market Street., Suite 120, Chattanooga. 7 a.m-3 p.m., Monday-Friday
Original locations: 1209 Tremont St., Chattanooga. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday
Southern Sqweeze has launched its second location.
The downtown Miller Plaza storefront opened last week, a smaller space than the juice bar's original spot in North Chattanooga on Tremont Street.
River City Co., which owns the building at 850 Market St. and occupies the second floor, approached the cold-pressed juice and raw foods cafe about moving into the space. The Daily Flower had been there for about two years, until vacating early this year, said Amy Donahue, River City's marketing and communications manager.
Southern Sqweeze was a good fit, in part because it's small, the size of a tiny bedroom. A restaurant, for example, didn't make sense there, Donahue said. River City, a nonprofit downtown development group, has a retail recruiter on staff.
"We try to be strategic," she said. "It's our job to really know the needs of downtown and ... what people are looking for and current restaurant trends and needs. Things such as a juice bar are popular right now."
Indeed, Chattanooga also has Local Juice on Main Street in the Southside, a mile away from Miller Plaza. The two shops serve different geographic crowds, so their proximity is fine, Donahue said.
"If you think of the main customers day in and day out at Miller Plaza, it's people who work right around this area," she said. "If you're going to walk, you're probably not going to walk all the way to Main Street."
Miller Plaza has outdoor seating that area workers take advantage of, eating lunch they've brought along or bought in nearby shops. To that end, the plaza has a Subway and privately owned Taqueria Jalisco. Community Pie occupies one corner. "We like to support local folks," Donahue said.
Southern Sqweeze owner, Kelsey Vasileff had been looking to expand to a city-center location, she said. "We had so many people from the (downtown) business area that came over here and said, 'I wish it was closer.' " The company is cash-flow positive and "doing really well," she said.
The new location serves the same menu as Tremont: cold-pressed, pre-bottled juices; smoothies and raw food. Southern Sqweeze also offers informational classes on nutrition.
Contact staff writer Mitra Malek at email@example.com or 423-757-6406. Follow her on Twitter @MitraMalek.