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OUR STORY

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Thrive Juice Bar and Kitchen is a small, owner-operated business located on the coast of Maine. Our cozy shop sits on scenic Mount Desert Island (MDI), home to Acadia National Park, in the center of bustling downtown Bar Harbor.

Thrive is owned in partnership by three like-minded individuals, Jena Young, Jeff Young, and Megan Williams. All three are busy, hard-working MDI residents who value a health-conscious lifestyle and the notion of eating well to feel well (or even great!). Over time, Jena, Jeff and Megan have together realized both the health food and quick service markets seemed underserved in the Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island area. This realization, along with their shared passion for food and nutrition, sparked an interest in filling this gap.

Personal experience and conversations with community members confirmed for the Thrive partners that this type of establishment would appeal to both health conscious hard-working locals and active out-of-town outdoor enthusiasts. Jena, Jeff, and Megan hope Thrive will also appeal to those who want to make a health shift in their lives but need the guidance and ease that this business will provide to do so.

We here at Thrive look forward to helping others begin and sustain their own path towards whole health. We believe healthy food has the power to change your life, and that it can be absolutely delicious. Let us show you how…

 

MEET OUR TEAM

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MEGAN WILLIAMS, OWNER & MANAGER

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Megan is our shop’s juicivore: an experienced juicer and juice-lover to her very core. She is passionate about healthy living and healthy eating and commits herself to a plant-based and gluten-free diet. After experiencing a stretch of chronic stomach pain in her early to mid twenties, Megan decided to eliminate certain foods from her diet in an effort to rid herself of this pain. Since switching to a plant-based, gluten free diet, Megan has not only eliminated her stomach pain altogether, but never felt happier or healthier.

Megan is a co-owner at Thrive and will be the one running all day-to-day operations. She brings to our team 10 years of experience in the restaurant and health food industries. The level of service she provides and her attention to detail are both unsurpassed. She has done a great deal of research and recipe development to create our diverse and well-balanced menu. With a background in art and design from Rhode Island School of Design, Megan has lead in the development of Thrive’s graphic brand identity. Originally from New Hampshire, Megan moved to Bar Harbor in 2007 to attend College of the Atlantic. Since her graduation in 2009, she has enjoyed building a life for herself on Mount Desert Island. When Megan isn’t at the juice bar, you can find her training for her next marathon on the carriage trails in Acadia National Park.

JENNIFER YOUNG, OWNER

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Jena is Thrive’s business mind and marketing guru! She brings over 10 years of restaurant management and ownership experience to the Thrive team. For the past 6 years she has dedicated herself to the creation and growth of Side Street Cafe with her husband Jeff, and now she is thrilled to be part of the diverse team that is bringing Thrive Juice Bar & Kitchen to life.  Jena grew up in Northern Virginia, but traveled to Bar Harbor most summers to visit with her cousin and attend summer camp at SFOA. She continued to travel to Bar Harbor in the summers even through college when she worked as a waitress at a local restaurant. After graduating from college she settled here on the Island that had become her home and started a family.
Jena loves to exercise and eat well, but she also enjoys the socialization and convenience of eating out. While there are a few options for organic and nutritious meals in local restaurants, she felt that food for health conscious and busy people was lacking in Bar Harbor. When you don’t see Jena at the restaurants, you can find her playing with her kids and relaxing out at “Camp.”

JEFF YOUNG, OWNER

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Jeff is Thrive’s do-er: When something needs to be fixed, built, designed or taste tested, he is the man for the job. He is also the only man in the partnership, which means that he can offer a male perspective when we are determining what our diverse customer base may be looking for. Jeff is the only partner who was raised on MDI. He grew up in Hall Quarry (near Southwest Harbor) and after attending college in other areas of Maine, he returned home to start his building business and family. After spending 20 years solely in the building business, Jeff was ready for a change. He and Jena opened Side Street Cafe in 2009 and the restaurant business has offered him just the variety he was looking for.  He is still a full-time General Contractor while helping to maintain and grow both Side Street and Thrive Juice Bar & Kitchen.

Jeff’s life changed 2 years ago when his chiropractor suggested that he eliminate gluten from his diet to help his joint inflammation. He had been suffering from chronic pain due to old injuries and the physical labor of building. This suggestion didn’t sound appealing to Jeff as he is a beer, burger and bread lover. While he admittedly didn’t plan to stick to his gluten free eating for long, he was astounded when his pain dissipated. For the first time in over a decade he was relatively pain free and shedding weight. To this day, Jeff has made gluten free eating his norm. While Jeff wants to eat healthier in all aspects of his diet, he has found it inconvenient to accomplish with his busy schedule and limited dietary knowledge. We know that there are others like him who desire a healthy lifestyle but don’t have the time to cook or research for themselves.