As Chris Goode prepares to open a new Ruby Jean’s location Saturday inside a Whole Foods Market south of the Country Club Plaza, the health enthusiast’s hustle hasn’t outpaced his thirst for community, he said.
“From Troost to Brookside, Ruby Jean’s will continue to create a truly inclusive space,” Goode said, referencing the popular Ruby Jean’s Kitchen and Juicery on Troost Avenue, which has become a well-trafficked meeting spot and colorful alternative to fast food in one of Kansas City’s most notorious health food deserts.
The new juice bar inside Whole Foods at 51st and Brookside Blvd. is expected to feature all of Ruby Jean’s beverage staples, as well as light snacks. And the location — in a more affluent neighborhood than the Troost store — will reflect the startup’s longtime welcoming environment for all, Goode pledged.
Click here to read more about the juicery’s partnership with Whole Foods.
“I look at Ruby Jean’s as a beacon of light, a way to unite people, no matter what they look like, how much money they have, whether they’re healthy or not already, where they came from. None of it matters,” Goode told Startland in 2017 before the Troost location’s opening. “We service CEOs, banks and professional athletes, but also … diabetes patients, obese patients, cancer patients, and everything in between: young, old, rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight, everybody.”
Little of that mentality has changed in the two years since, he said, noting the namesake of the business — his grandmother, Ruby Jean — continues to inspire more than just the health-conscious menu.
“I want everyone to feel at home just the same,” Goode said. “It’s how my grandma would’ve wanted it.”
The story of Ruby Jean’s is one of love and community, said Sara Jawhari, a multimedia storyteller based in Kansas City who became a frequent customer of the Troost location after stumbling across the vibrant space during a trip to visit a nearby hospital.
“It was such a pleasant, heartwarming experience in the midst of a really heavy day of hospital visits,” Jawhari said. “I’m proud to say we live in a city with a wealth of businesses that have kind, welcoming environments, but what Ruby Jean’s has is something special. You don’t have to sit inside for any longer than a half hour to witness the wide array of diverse customers that walk through their doors on any given day.”
Jawhari is excited to see Goode expand his purpose and blaze new trails with the Whole Foods partnership, she said.
“He is a light, a unifier and a community builder beyond the walls of Ruby Jean’s,” she said. “Chris deserves every bit of the success he has worked hard to earn.”