BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — When Chiagoziem Nnodum first started working on his Black Rock juice bar in January 2016, he figured he would be up and running by summer.
Try Feb. 15, 2017, instead.
“It’s not as easy as it looks,” the Bridgeport native said of opening a new business.
But the wait has been worth it for Nnodum and his business partner, Fritz Africot, also of Bridgeport. Together they’re living the self-employed dream at Replenish Juice Bar, a healthy-eating bright spot along bustling Fairfield Avenue.
“We’ve been well received,” Nnodum said of the tight-knit neighborhood. “A lot of people have been waiting for health in this area.”
To that end, Noodum and Africot, who have been pals since their church youth group days, offer a varied menu full of nourishing choices, including juices, smoothies, protein shakes, energy shots, salads, sandwiches and wraps.
“We used the definition of ‘replenish’ as a guide,” said Nnodum, who holds a business degree from the New York Institute of Technology. “We want a quality experience.”
Replenish’s menu features organic fruits, Boar’s Head chicken and turkey (no red meat) and breads straight from the Bronx.
Featured juices include Miracle Cure, a tasty blend of beets, carrots, apples, celery, turmeric, ginger root and lemon, and Pucker Up with green apple, lemon, kale, parsley and mint.
Early risers can opt for one of six breakfast smoothies, offering energy-packed ingredients like blueberries, oats and almond milk. Those who have been out a little too late might go for the Hangover Heaven, a juice mix of star fruit, apple, ginger root and lemon.
All fruit smoothies are separated from those that feature yogurt for a little extra dairy.
“And, if you’re a gym guy, there’s a protein shake for you,” Nnodum said.
Replenish’s sleek design is accented by a vibrant wall mural of jungle animals and fruit by artist Olivia Be’Nguyen, who goes by the Instagram handle FiyaBomb, that is visible from the street.
Nnodum said he believes the juice bar concept fits right into the Black Rock vibe. While several of the storefronts on his block have been vacant recently, a spiritual bookstore and a yoga studio are primed to open soon next door.
“People are going green,” he said. “People are going the healthy route.”
Replenish is located at 2952 Fairfield Ave. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit the Facebook page or call 203-502-1037.