Infused with Joy
Cindy Beers serves it all up at Fresco Juice Company
Everything about Fresco Juice Co. is infused with joy. With an always uplifted spirit, owner Cindy Beers serves up fresh juice and real foods to all who step in from First Avenue North into her bright airy store embellished with orange and green colors and an orange fruit logo.
As a registered dietitian, Beers worked as an outpatient counselor in Billings in the early 1990s, specializing in diabetes and eating disorders, helping “people understand the ways that food impacts their physical and mental health.” After leaving her practice nearly 10 years ago to raise children, the time was finally right for her to start her own business.
“Fresco is fresh in Italian,” Beers says of the name she chose for her company. The word exemplified her desire to serve juice and food in their freshest form.
“I do have some health issues related to my gut, and I’m unable to eat the quantity of fruits and vegetables that I would like to eat. The juicing has allowed me to get more fruits and vegetables into my diet,” Beers says of her challenges from irritable bowel syndrome. In 2021, while traveling with a friend in Colorado, she discovered cold-pressed juices. This led to her juicing at home with healthy results, including renewed energy and the calming of her digestive issues.
She opened Fresco Juice Co. at the end of 2022, starting out with online pickup orders. She opened her doors for in-shop drinking and dining at the beginning of this year. Aside from cold- pressed juices, she also serves up cashew milks, açaí bowls, smoothies and granola.
The Blue Juice reigns as the crowd favorite. Its brilliant color comes from spirulina and is made with Fuji apples, green apples, cucumber, ginger and blue spirulina, espelette powder and lemon. Healthy Hawaiian-made with carrots, green apples, pineapple, Fuji apples, lime, ginger and beets is another popular drink. The reddish-pink color is reminiscent of the Hawaiian punch that was once found in cans promoted by the cartoon characters Punchy and Oaf but now offered in a much healthier way.
When researching her new business, Beers considered buying into a franchise, but opted to pursue her own enterprise instead. Being on her own she says, “I’m able to keep it local. We’re able to partner with Le Fournil bakery, and that’s who we use for our avocado toasts, or we can buy local honey.” The Devour Me Avocado is a slice of Le Fournil’s country loaf toasted and adorned with smashed avocado and topped with slices of cucumber and radish.
Beers exudes a joyful vibe along with her employees. Six people work for Fresco Juice Co. with the manager, Finn Collins, as the only full-time worker. “I am just really picky about who works here,” Beers says. “I don’t just hire, just to have a body in the shop. I hire somebody that believes in what I’m trying to do and wants to support that.”
Beers leads by example. “If I’ve got somebody back there scrubbing the floor, they would have seen me back there scrubbing the floor at some point.” She continues, “We can talk a really good talk in our world, but it's our actions and what we produce that are important.”
For what she does not know, she is not afraid to ask for help. “I surround myself with people who are a lot smarter than me.” When starting her business, she hired professionals to guide her. She consulted Oliva Esquivel of Southern Pressed Juicery to develop her recipes and still seeks her advice for marketing especially navigating the world of social media.
In respecting all who work at Fresco Juice Co. and those people who come through the door, Beers asks employees to sign a No Gossip contract promising not to “backbite about my team, guests, or anyone else.” “It creates a comfortable environment for staff and customers,” Beers says.
Spirituality is also important for Beers. “I am a very faith-filled person,” she says. “I lean on my Catholic faith a lot.” On each bottle of juice there is a verse from the Bible, Nehemiah 8:10, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
On the counter across from the coolers where the bottled juices are kept, there is a prayer jar. Customers are invited to write a request for help or an expression of thanks, a hope or wish. On this morning, Beers pulls out a brown sheet of paper with a prayer for a friend who had been in an accident and was in the hospital. Another note requested a “forever home” while Beers says, “We had one in there that just said, ‘Make it stop.’” “And so, when I say it’s just juice, it’s a conduit to being a light in our community.”
Beers and her husband, Robert, have three children, Megan, 19, Emily, 16, and RJ, 10 “My husband helps me a lot,” she says. “He picks up the slack by carpooling and driving kids around. I have a house that is a little more messy now than it used to be,” Beers adds with a laugh. “I feel like our relationship is a little bit more authentic now because they (my family) see me struggling. They see me come home and I’m exhausted.”
Collins, the manager, says he loves the work environment at Fresco. “It’s healthy and fun,” he says. “I worked in the health field as a medical assistant. This was a good change for my work life and personal life. Working with Cindy is so great.”
After a year in business, Beers hopes to continue infusing joy in her juices and food, and even more, into the community.
OVERNIGHT OATMEAL WITH COCONUT FLAKES & DARK CHOCOLATE, makes 2 cups
- 12 ounces Cashew Latte
- 1 c. old fashion rolled oats
- 2 T. chia seeds
- 2 T. sesame seeds
- 2 T. maple syrup
Mix latte, oats, seeds, and maple syrup in an airtight container. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 5 days. Divide into 4 bowls and garnish with toasted shredded coconut, chocolate chips or fresh berries.
VERY GREEN GAZPACHO, serves 4
- 12 ounces Mighty Green
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 English cucumber, peeled if desired, coarsely chopped
- 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 1 small jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 slice sourdough, edges trimmed, broken into pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ avocado, cubed
- 2 T. cilantro leaves
- 2 T. sour cream
- 4 lime wedges
- In a food processor, add juice, garlic, cucumber, shallot, cilantro, jalapeno, olive oil, salt and pepper. Process until vegetables are minced. Add bread and blend into mixture. Divide into 4 bowls and garnish.
CARROT GINGER PANNA COTTA WITH YOGURT, CARROT & GINGER, serves 4
- 12 ounces carrot
- 1½ t. gelatin
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 t. gelatin
- 3 slices ginger, smashed
- Zest from 1 lemon
In a small saucepan, add ½ cup juice, sprinkle gelatin over top of juice, and let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the juice and heat over medium heat until gelatin melts and juice come to a simmer. Cool for 15 minutes. Pour evenly into 4 glasses and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
In a small saucepan, add ½ cup cream, sprinkle gelatin over cream, and let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, in a small bowl, combine remaining cream, ginger and zest and let stand. Add mixture to cream in saucepan. Bring to a simmer, whisking until gelatin melts. Cool for 15 minutes. Strain cream and pour on top of carrot juice panna cotta. Chill for 6 hours or overnight and up to 5 days. Garnish with honey and grated carrot.