Tallie Spiller, owner

The Juice Box

1343 Duane St.

Astoria

Tallie Spiller runs The Juice Box near O Falafel in the parking lot outside Astoria Indoor Gardening Supply. She offers raw, organic juice smoothies and popsicles. She’s open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday during the River People Farmers Market and from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Cannon Beach Farmers Market.

What do you do?

“The Juice Box sells raw, organic juice and smoothies, and we also have popsicles for kids. I have beet-carrot-ginger – that’s one of my favorites. Another popular one is the apple-peach-lemon-strawberry. One of the more popular healthy options is cucumber-apple-ginger-lemon-kale – kale is very popular; it’s a super food. I try to make the popsicles on the sweeter side, but there’s no sugar added, so it’s just whatever is in the fruits. Right now I’m doing what I mentioned before, the peach-strawberry-apple-lemon. It tastes a little bit like peachy, strawberry lemonade.”

How did you get started doing this?

“While I was traveling, I ran across a juice cart similar to what mine is now and thought it was a really cool idea. I’ve worked in food service for many years, and typically the priority is profit and taste, and health isn’t necessarily a priority. I thought what I could bring to Astoria that it didn’t have already was something that was health-oriented, so that’s why I only use organic products. Raw juice is a really efficient way to get nutrients into the body. With the cart, I started a little over a year ago. I had a juice stand at the Sunday Market a year before that.”

What is the volume of your business?

“It varies very much by weather and if there’s an event going on in Astoria. On a busy market day, I’ll just know by cups that I’ve sold 100 juices. That’s when I’ve been working kind of nonstop. Cannon Beach is typically a little busier; I’ve had slow days in Cannon Beach and busy days in Astoria. People tend to crave juice and something more refreshing on a hot day. So far I’ve just been doing spring and summer. I’m trying to think of a way to transition the business for winter. People tend to hibernate and want to be inside and warm for the winters here.”

How does the economy affect your business?

“As far as the economy, I think food carts are a really good way to battle a poor economy, because the overhead is so reduced. We pay minimal rent here. My trailer’s paid off. I pay for my produce and my supplies. I try to make a reasonable profit margin that’s not having the profits be out of people in this community’s ability. I have no problem continuing to buy the highest-quality ingredients, because I don’t pay rent through the winter or those kinds of things that tend to make a lot of businesses fail around here.”

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