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‘Back to Our Roots’: Plant-Based Cafe Mother Juice to Open in Smith Center in March

Passerby walk by the front entrance of the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center. Mother Juice is set to open inside in March.
Passerby walk by the front entrance of the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center. Mother Juice is set to open inside in March. By Addison Y. Liu
By Tracy Jiang and Davin W. Shi, Crimson Staff Writers

Mother Juice, a plant-based cafe with Boston roots, is set to open a fourth location in the Smith Campus Center in March 2022. The cafe will join Blackbird Doughnuts and Sally’s Sandwiches and Las Palmas Restaurant & Catering as recent arrivals to Smith.

Mother Juice’s menu boasts a variety of smoothies, plant-based breakfast bowls, salads, and cold-pressed juices.

Ellen C. Fitzgerald and Laura E. Baldini founded Mother Juice in 2012 after noticing a lack of cold-pressed juice bars in Boston. The pair sold their first juice at a farmer’s market that year, soon growing their operations from a farmer’s market stand to a “juice truck on wheels.”

“We saw a need in the market, and we really liked getting into the neighborhoods, so we started as a food truck so we could check out all different parts of the city,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald added the cafe’s local sourcing of ingredients helps maintain ties to the Boston area.

“We use local produce as much as possible, so that was really exciting for us to be able to work with farmers that were at the same farmer’s markets as us, and use their produce and make juice,” she said. “It just gave us an opportunity to interact with our customers.”

After the success of their food truck, the duo opened their first brick-and-mortar store in Kendall Square in 2014. The plant-based cafe now has two additional locations, one on Newbury Street in Boston and another in the Boston Public Market.

Fitzgerald said Mother Juice’s mission is to make plant-based eating “fun and accessible.”

“The idea is that healthy food doesn’t have to be sterile,” she said. “We want it to be fun and vibrant and colorful, and really welcoming.”

Denise A. Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said Mother Juice would be a “nice addition” to the Square.

“It’s always wonderful to welcome new businesses, especially ones like this,” she said. “We don’t have anything quite like it in the Square, so that’s always good to have a different kind of offering.”

Fitzgerald said she and Baldini chose the Square as the location for Mother Juice’s fourth shop because of its “vibrant community.” She noted that opening a location in the Smith Campus Center would allow the pair to return to their Cambridge roots.

“When we got started, we worked out of the kitchen in the Unitarian Universalist Church right in Harvard Square, so we’re back to our roots,” she said. “We love students and all the great energy that they bring, so I think it will be a great fit for us.”

“We’re so excited to be in Harvard Square. It’s always been a dream of ours to get on a college campus, so we couldn’t picture a better one,” she added.

—Staff writer Tracy Jiang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @_tracyjiang_.

—Staff writer Davin W. Shi can be reached at

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