In the video, a hunky young man with a five o’clock shadow stands behind a counter and speaks meaningfully to the camera. “Raw Bob’s started out selling a few juices and a few smoothies in a little hole-in-the-wall a few doors down,” he says. “Fast forward. Raw Bob’s expands. It grows. Why? We listen to the people. We love the people.”
The melodramatic monologue is part of an ongoing series, “Mondays with Mike” featuring their own nutritional mixologist Michael Dubuc that gets posted on the Raw Bob’s Facebook page.
“Let’s just start out by saying that Mike is a national treasure,” says Jill Burton, the new owner of Raw Bob’s Organic Juicery. “We started making these videos as a way to inform people with what’s going on with the shop, but then they just kept expanding to different topics. People love the videos and love hearing Mike’s perspective. He is able to be informative but also deep and at the same time, light and humorous – something we all could use a good dose of now.”
As it happens, there are a lot of things to talk about: After seven years on Main Street in East Greenwich, the plant-based juice company has moved to 5800 Post Road. The original owner, Patti Burton, has handed off the business to her daughter, Jill, so that she could focus on her new business, PB Bistro & Bar. Never mind the pandemic and general anxiety of our times; Jill is just happy to be taking over a business that she loves and moving into a building with its own parking lot.
“We love the vibe on Main Street and our neighbors and friends that we have made over the past seven years,” says Jill. “The decision to move was made based on lack of parking on Main Street and the want to distance ourselves a bit from my mother’s [new] restaurant. We didn’t want to be each other’s competition.”
As the “Mondays with Mike” video suggests, Raw Bob’s started as a modest juice bar that Patti founded seven years ago. “Bob” is the name of a man – Patti’s former partner’s father – who had several health issues and required a more nutritional diet.
“We started playing around with different smoothie recipes, the majority of which were gross, but we kept trying,” Jill recalls. “As we traveled around, we started seeing different juice bars that we would visit and try new things. We also realized that we did not locally have such a place devoted to fresh fruits and vegetables. The idea for Raw Bob’s was born, and as the struggle for a name continued, Raw Bob’s was thought of in honor of the man who inspired the whole concept.”
Eventually, Patti wanted her own restaurant – hence PB Bistro & Bar, which opened this spring. “We went back and forth for a while, deciding if we would combine the two into one restaurant,” says Jill, “and I really wasn’t ready to let go of Raw Bob’s or try to melt the two together. I really liked it just the way it was.”
In the videos, Mike stands in the now-empty location, seemingly upset, as he pretends not to know about the new address. In his hammy cadence, Mike laments his inability to make drinks without equipment. It’s a funny bit, because we know it has a happy ending. “We have reopened at our new location,” says Jill, “and things are going great so far!”