A Smooth Operation

When getting a daily dose of fruits and veggies becomes a chore, a visit to The Green Plow Juicery can wipe out that to-do list in one delicious fell swoop. The juicery, set up in a 17-foot trailer across from Friendly Street Market, specializes in fresh juices and smoothies made to order from organic ingredients.

Amy Green, who owns the business with her husband Jason Green and their friends Carolina and Shaun Plowman, says the juicery came about as an idea on a 2006 trip to see family in the South. “Visiting juice bars was the inspiration, and we planted that seed a long time ago,” she says. “Just last year in January, we felt like there was a change coming in general.”

After they shared their juicery idea with the Plowmans, Green says everything started to fall into place. “Carolina’s family owns restaurants internationally, so she’s got that in her blood,” Green says. “Her family brings a lot of knowledge and wisdom to us around restaurant operations and logistics. Shaun has done a lot of work in community building.”

And the Greens bring their own experience to the mix. Between their travels in 2006 and opening the juicery, they farmed in Lorane, which Amy Green says was valuable in starting a food business. “We were already into organic and local and supporting the local farms, but we really wanted to get that experience of doing it ourselves,” she says.

That healthy and local emphasis extends to Green Plow, where everything is organic, and the owners use Willamette Valley produce when it’s available. Green says that when carrots come into season, they’ll add a green juice with carrots to the menu due to popular demand. They also serve a soup of the day.

While the green juices rank among the customer favorites, Green has a harder time naming her own top smoothie. Some of her favorites are the seasonal Berry Cherrylicious and the dessert-like, cacao-flavored Smoothie of the Gods, as well as the Green Lunch, a regular menu smoothie with avocado, almond butter, coconut milk, mango and pineapple.

Owning a new food business isn’t without its challenges, smooth as Green says it’s been. Sometimes, due to other jobs and kids and life, she says, it can be hard to gather all four owners in one room to discuss business practices.

Earlier this year, a pineapple shortage forced Green Plow to reconfigure some of its recipes, another challenge. Green says that although pineapples are now back in, the shortage was a learning experience. “It keeps us in tune with our food source,” she says. “These oranges and lemons and avocados come from far away. It’s not like kale.”

Despite the typical challenges of starting a food business, Green says that Green Plow has developed quite the community, and she reinforces that by greeting many of her customers by name. Dishing up healthy, healing recipes makes her feel a sense of purpose. “Quite honestly I knew this was where I wanted to be,” she says of the location and business. “Thankfully, I love being here, and I love making these juices.”

The Green Plow Juicery is open 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am to 5 pm Sunday at 2760 Friendly St., http://wkly.ws/1po.