Mitchell has opened the juice at a time many other food service businesses are looking for ways of survival, but he said it was important to him to give his community a healthy option amidst the pandemic.
“I really wanted to do something for health and wellness of the Black community during the COVID crisis,” he said. “You get that feeling you’re doing something good in the neighborhood where you’re from.
“You’re not only making money, you’re feeding your soul and your heart.”
Brownsville has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, with 62,000 positive coronavirus cases and more than 7,000 in the neighborhood.
“This is a tough, tough community,” Mitchell, who played professional basketball overseas before returning to Brooklyn, said. “And right now is a really important time.”
Mitchell went to Seton Hall in 2008 where he became a starter at power forward. But clashes with the head coach saw him on the bench in his second year and an arrest in a wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time incident briefly landed him in jail. His conviction in a plea bargain deal was expunged earlier this year.
Mitchell has partnered with his dentist Dr. Bobbi Peterson and longtime friends Antoine Stoves and Mike Chavis to open the business on Rutland Road.
The group is focused on giving the community healthy options and they use many organic ingredients such as honey, turmeric, beets, kale, peanut butter and bananas in the juices. Thirst RX offers a dozen fresh signature drinks, including “Incredible Hulk,” with pineapple, banana, spinach and coconut milk and the Island Smoothie, a blend of peaches, mango, banana, ginger and orange juice.
Brownsville resident Jean Remarque sampled some of Mitchell’s new creations with his wife and two kids and said: “This is the bomb diggity bomb! This is something the neighborhood needs.”
Mitchell said he already had plans to open more stores across Brooklyn and get his juices to seniors and hospital workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.
“Essentially,” he says, “we’re trying to change the world.”
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