Walk into Lokale Juice (pronounced local but spelled like kale) on Sheldon Valley Drive and your spirits are immediately lifted by the bright, inviting decor and fun music (think Jack Johnson and Colbie Caillat) playing in the background. Owner Talia (pronounced tuh-leah, not tall-ya) had a vision of 30A (Rosemary Beach) meets Fixer Upper and the metal mint colored chairs paired with the white shiplap wall certainly accomplish her vision. Whether you’re an avid juicer or not, you can’t help but want to give it a try when you enter this welcoming space. “Rosemary Beach is our favorite place. We honeymooned there. I really wanted to bring a piece of that to our shop here. We did everything ourselves from the ground up. We gutted the place and my husband and Paster Steve from Sunset Hills Baptist Church built the table tops and my father-in-law built the table frames. We nailed every piece of shiplap, did all the tiling, built the bar . . . we did it all” Talia says.
How did this
I grew up in North Nashville (Goodlettsville). I went to Belmont University and studied Entrepreneurship there. I also met my husband there when I was a freshman and just 18 years old. After holding a variety of creative positions in corporate America I knew I wanted to start my own business, but it took me a while to figure out what I was passionate about.
I started a nanny agency right out of college. When I found out I was pregnant with Levi I put the agency on the back burner and when I revisited the idea, I realized it wasn’t the business model I wanted. It wouldn’t allow me the business growth I desired. Weeks after having Levi we learned he had a sensitivity to dairy and soy which put me on an elimination diet in order to provide him the nutrition he needed as an infant. In going to restaurants, even while being very specific and careful with my ordering, I would accidentally be exposed to dairy or soy and it would set Levi back seven weeks. I started isolating myself in order to have full control over what I ate and drank. Then I would start going to juice bars where I could see everything done in front of me and knew my food source was safe. I realized Nolensville was missing that healthy option, so we opened Lokale Juice to be just that here in our town.
My husband, Ryan Griffin, is a country music artist and songwriter and when he had his first #1 song in February 2016 (Dibs recorded by Kelsea Ballerini) it afforded us the opportunity to invest in our vision of starting a family business.
The other tangent to the equation was, I wanted a business that could offer a place to gather. I wanted families to be able to gather without having to entertain a full meal. Our desire was to have a place where people could come in and take a deep breath and relax and the environment was refreshing and encouraging.
Aside from learning about juice through your own need to eliminate dairy and soy, where else did you learn about juicing?
My mom was a health nut. She still calls me to tell me the newest, most interesting things about health, wellness and nutrition. Growing up I always thought she was a little nutty (she grew up in California – the land of fruits and nuts), but now it’s all come to light for me and everything she has talked about for 30 years finally makes sense and I’ve seen the studies and science behind it.
Ryan and I would juice on and off for cleansing and dieting purposes. It became our desired way of health. When we didn’t feel well, we knew we needed juice. Once you start juicing your body starts to crave it.
We created all of our recipes on our own through experimentation. It’s not a complicated science. There are only so many combinations, so we played with those and with the different ratios. We start every juice with our most nutritionally dense ingredients. We pack kale and spinach in a large quantity and then we figure out how to make them taste good.
My goal for our menu is that every item is healthy AND delicious.
What is next for Lokale Juice?
Starting January 21st we are adding steel cut oats to our menu. Coming in the next week or two we are also adding juice shots and essential oil juice shots.
Give me an idea of the volume of vegetables you are using each day.
We have to have produce delivered every other day because we use so much we don’t have the storage room to keep more than a couple days’ worth on hand. We go through about 50-75 pounds of carrots, 24-50 large bundles of kale and 10-20 pounds of spinach every single day.
People have asked me if Lokale is organic and if you are sourcing your ingredients locally.
We are not fully organic or local. We will never be fully local because we don’t grow pineapples in Tennessee. As we grow, if the business supports it, we would love to gradually transition to a fully organic model and as local as possible, but it really depends on our customers and how well they support our business.
We offer juice gift cards that are redeemable for a free juice. These are great gifts for clients, referral sources, employees, or anyone you want to thank.
When you’re not juicing what is life like for you?
Spending time with my husband as we chase our 14-month-old toddler or gathering with friends over a great meal and fellowship. We also sing and play music a lot in our home. Music plays a large role in our family.
What is your stupid human trick?
Something very few people know about me and probably would never guess when they see me is that I have a black belt in Wado-ru Karate. I was also in saddle club and ran barrels and wore a red duster . . . but I’m not giving you a picture of that for this article.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in life?
We are involved with a special needs orphanage in Haiti called My LIfe Speaks.
Traveling to Haiti several times in the last 5 years has probably taught me the most about life and how to be happy and content with less. In saying that, our future goal is to have a non-profit mission related to children and poverty in places like Haiti.
What is your greatest regret in life?
Not enjoying high school and life before adulthood. I was always extremely focused on being the top of my class and the best in everything I did. I would stay up late worrying about one problem on math homework. If I could go back and do it all again, I would worry less and do more social things.
Best piece of advice you would give someone?
Money aside, figure out what you love to do and what characteristics define what you love doing. When choosing a degree or a life plan, go toward what you enjoy and what you love without taking money into consideration. The money will never be enough if you don’t find your right path.
“Juicin’ ain’t easy” says Talia, but she sees herself with multiple Lokale Juice locations in the next five years. She also expects husband Ryan to have 2-3 albums under his belt in that span and “probably a couple more kids too” she adds. We’re glad she chose Nolensville as her first location and are excited to watch her grow her business and her family. Talia also tells me that she will give 10% off a juice when customers mention this article during the month of January 2017. So what are you waiting for? Go get your juice on.
Round Up for Nolensville is a local charity dedicated to helping those with needs in the 37135 zip code area. We seek to partner with local businesses who can offer their customers the opportunity to “round up” their purchases to the whole dollar. That small change adds up to make a big difference. If you are a local business owner and looking for an easy way to make a big difference in our community please email firstname.lastname@example.org. #BeTheChange