Ruby Jean’s Juicery opens limited-menu location inside the Whole Foods Market by UMKC

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When customers walk into Kansas City’s Whole Foods Market, one of the first things they will now see is a locally owned juice and smoothie station.

Ruby Jean’s Juicery plans a grand opening at 11:11 a.m. today at 301 E. 51st St., near the University of Missouri-Kansas City. It will have live music, giveaways and other activities for families. The first 250 customers will receive a free gift bag.

The location will have a limited Ruby Jean’s Juicery menu of smoothies, performance shakes, hand-crafted juice, and Healthy Bites, including acai bowls and avocado toast.

The store-within-a-store is part of Whole Foods Market’s “Friends” program. The company partners with outside chefs and lifestyle brands to “bring shoppers innovative in-store experiences.”

They must meet the chain’s standards, which prohibit hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

Whole Foods Market said the Friends venues are “semi-permanent” locations and occasionally rotate.

Chris Goode founded Ruby Jean’s Juicery in mid-2015, naming it after his late grandmother. He now has locations downtown and at 3000 Troost Ave. He also has a Springfield location.

He always does his openings at 11:11, feeling those are his lucky numbers. For example, his downtown location is at 1111 Main, the Troost location opened on Nov. 11, 2017, and he named his now 10-month-old son Levin.

“I’m a man of faith, and I think God speaks to us in different ways,” he said.

Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.