Juice Bar Collective in North Berkeley set to close after 43 years of business

Lorenzo Dela Cruz/Staff

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The Juice Bar Collective, a juice and smoothie shop located in North Berkeley, is set to close its doors Friday after bringing organic juices and eats to the community for 43 years.

The business, located in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto at 2114 Vine Street, is going out of business, according to Malcolm Leader-Picone, Juice Bar Collective’s attorney.

“After so many years, it’s just not able to continue, and the former employees of the Juice Bar Collective will move on to other ventures,” Leader-Picone said.

He added that Juice Bar Collective Inc. filed for dissolution with the California Secretary of State, contrary to other reports claiming the business is relocating to Center Street. Leader-Picone did not provide details on why Juice Bar Collective is closing.

Juice Bar Collective employees declined to comment.

Juice Bar Collective was founded in 1976 and has been worker-owned ever since. The collective, which strives to be eco-friendly in its business practices, uses organic and GMO-free ingredients. Through the years, its menu expanded from juice and soup to include baked goods and lunch items. Some of the business’s most popular items include its black bean polenta casserole, seasonal salads and spinach lasagna.

The building that Juice Bar Collective currently occupies was Cheese Board Collective’s original location, according to Cheese Board worker-owner Russell Tamura, who added he is disappointed to see that Juice Bar Collective is closing.

“We’re sad to hear that,” he said. “They’ve been our neighbors since forever.”

The business was voted Best Juice 2014 by the East Bay Express.

Ashley Stillwater, an employee at neighboring business Love at First Bite Bakery, said Juice Bar Collective has had problems back and forth with its landlord during the past year. Leader-Picone, however, declined to comment on whether building or landlord problems were a factor in Juice Bar Collective’s closing.

“I like them as individuals and I like their food,” Stillwater said. “We’re going to miss them.”

Andreana Chou is the lead business and economy reporter. Contact Andreana Chou at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AndreanaChou.