BEIRUT: In one of Batroun’s ancient neighborhoods, a small colorful shop stands out boasting a legacy of lemonade juice and the creation of an innovative dessert: the Sushi Crepe Boat.
It all started 60 years ago when Abdallah and Hala Daou opened a small shop of fruits, vegetables and juices and rapidly became popular for their freshly-squeezed refreshing lemonade. In 1991, their son Tony decided to open a larger shop and continue his parents’ legacy. He named the shop Jessy Juice after his daughter's, who was born around the same time of the opening.
As years passed by, the shop flourished and little Jessy grew up; she partnered with her brother Abdallah to add their innovative touch to Jessy Juice.
“Even though I studied Biology in AUB, I always felt nostalgic to the days when I used to jump around the shop with the cocktail juice aroma pleasuring my nostrils. Little did I know, the Biology field was actually related to my father’s business; it helped me connect with the nature where fruits develop and learn about the human body and the importance of the food that burst into it,” he explained.
Jessy Juice’s bright-colored setting is indeed all about the nostalgic childhood vibe; the multi-colored seats and purple walls set a joyful and friendly aura. To add to the sweetness, the shop offers: a variety of cocktails such as Exotic Cocktail, Banana Milkshake, Avocado Cocktail; juices like Strawberry Kiwi Banana, Papaya Mango Orange, and Cocktail Juice; several flavors of ice cream in a cone or a cup; plates of mixed fruits with ashta, whipped cream and other choices; smoothies including Chocolate Shake, Oreo Shake, Kiwi Strawberry and many others.
After opening another branch in Koura, Daou and his sister decided to add the waffle item to the menu to expand the customers’ choices.
“Four years ago, due to the high demand from customers who visited us from Koura, we decided to grant their wish and open there. We also introduced the waffle which wasn’t very popular in Lebanon back then. Hence, it was a huge hit and we had people ordering it twice a day,” said Daou.
Additionally, after being invited to participate in more than 40 festivals per year, they decided to start the Jessy Juice food truck which roamed all the cities of Lebanon.
Yet, the climax of the story was when Abdallah wanted to introduce the crepe to Jessy Juice menu.
“I traveled to Paris and took courses to learn how a real crepe is done, however, I felt that it wasn’t enough. The crepe had become mainstream and we wanted to distinguish ourselves,” he told Annahar.
One day, he was sitting in the shop cutting a crepe and trying to look at it with a creative eye and vision. The pieces looked like a sushi to him and so he asked for a chocolate dip; and the sushi crepe was created.
As for the Sushi Crepe Boat, need was indeed the mother of its invention. Abdallah and his wife were invited to a family gathering and needed a big amount of crepe to satisfy the invitees. Thus, they spent 12 hours making the boat which was eaten in less than 12 minutes.
Amid a huge hype, photos of the Sushi Crepe Boat circulated social media and Jessy Juice was flooded with people coming from all over Lebanon to try it.
The boat comes in different sizes and can contain 25,40,50, or 100 pieces of different flavors. The rolled options are many including: Oreo, milk chocolate, Lotus, and Nutella.
“Jessy Juice satisfies our taste buds with numerous items. My friends and I have a ritual of visiting Batroun every week just to order the Sushi Crepe Boat; its taste is a dream come true!” said Christina Abbas, a regular customer.
Daou noted that consistency is the key to any successful business.
“We insist on serving products with fresh ingredients; 2 or 3 days per year, we don’t serve avocado cocktails because of the lack of fresh ones. If you want your shop to stand out, you need to be passionate about what you’re doing and you need to pamper your passion with consistency,” he indicated.
Jessy Juice opened a new branch in Achrafieh this week.
Annahar is pleased to introduce the debut of “Dish,” a new section for all things Food. Section includes Recipes, Chef Interviews, new eating venues; restaurant profiles concepts; eating interviews, and dining options ranging from kitchen to clubs.
For recipes, food and dining tips send to Dish Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dish - Reach Out and Taste the World.
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