Richards started Rooted Collective in 2019, after taking up the juicing habit herself and sharing it with others. “I got a good feeling, giving people something that’s healthy and nutritious that they actually like,” she says, adding that she wanted to provide a quick, easy and tasty way to access fresh fruit and vegetables while embracing a holistic approach to nurturing the body from the inside out.
Richards notes that there wasn’t a specific moment when she started focusing on healthy eating. “Honestly, [it’s been] as long as I can remember,” she explains. She was an athlete, and she always followed healthy lifestyle trends and blogs. One of those blogs taught her about the potential benefits of fresh juice. Not only could they provide vitamins and help detoxify the body, but for her, they were an easier way to consume produce, she says.
But when she went to the store to buy juice, she noticed the preservatives and pasteurization techniques meant to extend shelf life. She reasoned, “When you buy an apple or a banana, you don’t want to buy it to have shelf life. I don’t want to be drinking it like that, either.” So she started making her own, creating recipes and sharing them with co-workers, family, friends and members of her community, and they all loved it, she states.
Richards grew up in the Green Valley/Montbello and Park Hill neighborhoods, which she describes as traditionally underserved in many ways, particularly with access to fresh produce, she explains. "Growing up in those communities is one of my greatest motivations as a BIPOC woman," she continues. "I understand the influence that my representation has within those communities."
And for that reason, she decided to make juicing into a business.
Recently, Richards expanded her menu to include nut milks, also made with just a few simple ingredients and no preservatives. All beverages cost $9 and come in reusable 18-ounce glass containers. There's also an option to add 25 milligrams of CBD for $2.
Rooted Collective also sells packages of four and six bottles for customers embarking on juice cleanses; Richards recommends drinking six juices a day for one to five days. The idea is to remove toxins and reset the body by eliminating inflammatory agents. For those interested in learning more about cleansing, Richards makes herself available by phone, email and social media.
The name Rooted Collective comes from the concept of “feeding your body," the way the roots feed the tree, she explains. “I greatly believe that what you put into your body affects where your mind is and how you feel.”
Visit the Rooted Collective website to order juices every Monday through Thursday for delivery or pick-up on Saturday.