Juicing for change

Costa Mesa juice shop Body Juice donates all of its proceeds to a non-profit organization helping victims of sex trafficking. It is open with limited hours for take out and pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A small juice bar in Costa Mesa uses smoothies and juice to stop the spread of human trafficking by donating 100 percent of its profits to a victims’ organization.

Body Juice, owned by Jessica and Benjamin Wells, opened after Jessica witnessed a woman being sexually assaulted and pulled into a taxi when she was in Thailand several years ago.

The woman’s cry for help made Jessica ask herself what she can do to help the millions of women and children that have been enslaved due to human trafficking, she said.

“I had this-inspired dream to open a juice shop that would cater to the needs of the human body,” Jessica said. “And through that I would allocate a percentage of the profits that we make to end human trafficking.”

The couple plan to give 100 percent of their salaries and profits to an organization called Movement 313, a domestic nonprofit with the mission to rescue trafficked victims, build safe houses, provide rehab and job skills, as well as alternative job opportunities.

The couple said they hope that Body Juice will encourage other people to follow their lead and take charge in making a difference in the world.

“The purpose of our business model is to inspire others to be generous toward giving to this cause.” Ben said. “We hope to inspire a movement. Restaurants aren’t the quickest way to get rich, but they are a very good way to draw a lot of foot traffic to get the word out.”

To support the business, Jessica owns her own graphic design company in Newport Beach and Ben is a signed model and commercial actor. According to the Body Juice website, both Ben and Jessica didn’t open the store for the money, but rather the opportunity to make the world a better place.

The idea of Body Juice is to connect people with an important cause through something that is healthy and nourishing. People may not have resources available to donate thousands of dollars to rescue victims, but they could buy some juice and it will go to the same cause.

“People may not have the time to join a march to end human trafficking, but people may have the time in their day to make a healthy option to buy this amazing juice,” Jessica said. “You can be a part of something bigger.”

The idea for a juice bar came when Jessica wanted to present a healthy alternative to the public. Ben said after Jessica acquired her graduate degree in health sciences from San Francisco State University, she used her knowledge to create juices that are delicious and healthy.

“She wanted to create recipes to draw others who don’t normally eat healthy to come to Body Juice to experience what healthy could be like,” Ben said.

Body Juice is located at 1500 Adams Ave. in Costa Mesa and is open for pick-up and take out Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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