MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The new year means new beginnings and a fresh start. To keep with the theme of freshness, we went in search of some fresh juice and wanted to know where to find the best juice bar Minnesota.
Your votes sent us to Rochester and Tonic Fresh Juices & Local Food.
We all show love in different ways. Nicci Sylvester shows it through good food.
“We’re about giving you what you need to feel good,” Sylvester said.
And her customers agree, voting her restaurant “Tonic Fresh Juices & Local Food” the best of Minnesota.
“They always say, ‘I feel so good when I leave here,’ and that just makes me feel so happy,” Sylvester said.
“Tonic has been this culmination of dreams,” Sylvester said.
Her dreams led to an idea.
“My boyfriend and I were out running errands and I’m like, ‘why can’t a girl get a cup of juice or some food?'” Sylvester said.
Necessity being the mother of invention, she squeezed into a little storefront, which turned out to be a fortuitous location.
“The idea is to get something good for you and have it taste amazing,” Sylvester said.
But what she didn’t foresee was the difference her made-from-scratch juices and food would make for clients across the street.
“My best customer, Dr. David, he actually writes prescriptions for green juice. He says, ‘You go see Nicci, here you go,'” Sylvester said. “It’s the best prescription. Real food.”
Nestled between St. Mary’s Hospital and Mayo Clinic, her specialty shop satisfies more than hunger.
“When I came here to this space, I stood in that window and it was shift change at the hospital. There were probably 1,000 people who came out of the doors at the same time. And I started to cry. Because I said, I want to help people. I want to feed people. And I want to help people,” Sylvester said.
And she does, with fresh juice, warm soup, a hot cup of tea and an ingredient only Nicci can serve up: Her infectious personality.
Tonic is a sanctuary in a busy world, and in a town that feels the strain of ailments and disease.
“I could never be a doctor or nurse. I just cried in an interview. Seriously, who does that?” Sylvester said.
This is Nicci’s way: Healing with a smile and a nourishing meal.
“My interactions with people are real. People need something real and need to feel like they are cared about. And I thought that would be the difference in my success with this place. I really care that you’re here,” Sylvester said. “Of course it’s about the juice and the ingredients, the best of and the organic and sustainable. That’s all important stuff, but it’s about the connections that we make here in Rochester.”
Tonic Fresh Juices and Local Food is located across the street from St. Mary’s Hospital. Sylvester is there just about every day, except Sundays when they close for a day of rest.
Natalie said the juice and food are outstanding, but meeting Sylvester alone is worth the trip.