Leslie Needleman and Mary Kathryn Bass continue to celebrate health and wellness five years after opening their first GEM Juice Bar in Dallas.
“Our product that we offer has grown, the community has grown, the classes have grown, the blog has grown,” Bass said. “It has all gone up.”
Their first location, originally at the intersection of Lovers Lane and Inwood Road, moved to Luther Lane in Preston Center in 2013. They have a second location at Forest Lane and Preston Road.
“We don’t take ourselves very seriously, there’s not a lot of ego,” Needleman said. “We have different strong suits and skills, so we really refer to each other. We rarely have conflicts because we’re very happy in our roles that we take on here.”
Needleman and Bass met at their children’s school and became confidants. After Needleman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 she began making her own juices at home to keep her healthy through the recovery process.
Her juicing soon caught on when she started sharing recipes with friends, including Bass. They would meet at Bass’ house, share recipes, and drink the juices they made.
Needleman insisted the juice bar décor be modeled after Bass’ home because it was the perfect aura for the GEM, with bright yet inviting colors and furniture.
“We would have a juice club meet at my house, which is very colorful with lots of orange, pink, turquoise, and green,” Bass said.
The women wanted their business to be a place where people could learn how to be healthy while enjoying their food and drinks. The juice bar’s website offers a blog with a variety of recipes and health tips for anyone looking to live a healthier life.
The GEM also serves soups, salads, and smoothies, and offers an array of organic products and health counseling classes.
“We’re already different from everyone else,” Needleman said. “The main difference is we are very authentic, and we do live this life, and the products that we have are approachable.”
The women work hard to make the recipes healthy but also tasty. They say it’s all about promoting authenticity, health, and happiness.
Needleman, who has almost 20 years of experience in marketing, said the product development is always fresh.
“It’s honestly organic,” she said. “We work hard to make sure the products stay consistent. We have product development that’s ongoing to make things better. There’s a brand-new soup that speaks more toward eliminating things from [your] diet — the mushroom veggie power, a puree soup that is flying off the shelves.”
Needleman was a health counselor before the GEM opened and Bass suggested they use her motto at the juice bar: they say “the GEM is another way for you to have diamonds on your inside,” Needleman said.
To learn more, visit insidethegem.com.