For Raleigh business owner Sherif Fouad, a 2010 layoff led to a payoff when he decided to throw himself into his online juice business Raleigh Raw. Five years after launching, Raleigh Raw is also a bustling downtown cafe offering its signature nutrient-packed cold-pressed juice, plus unprocessed smoothies, soup, poké and more.
To celebrate the second anniversary of Raleigh Raw’s brick-and-mortar location, the cafe is hosting an all-day block party on Saturday, April 21.
“Raleigh has been really great and supportive,” Fouad said. “The block party is a token of appreciation.”
The party will fill Hargett Street with live music, yoga, kids’ activities and more. There will be plenty of juice (as well as kombucha from Tribucha and local brew from Brewery Bhavana) to go around.
A highlight of last year’s party was the 3-on-3 basketball tournament; it is back in full force this year, with a trophy and cash prize at stake! Register here.
Emphasis on health and wellness
The event will be filled with fun activities but also emphasize health and wellness, which is what Raleigh Raw is all about. (If you didn’t know, the “raw” in its name refers to the unprocessed state of the ingredients in its juices with colorful names like Kale Me Maybe and Rock Steady.)
“We are very much for food that is still intact and still has nutrients and live enzymes,” Fouad explained. His juices only last a few days, but his customers appreciate the lack of preservatives and transparent ingredient list. In fact, Fouad started out selling bundled juice cleanses delivered to customers’ doors.
About that 2010 layoff: Fouad was living in New York and working in information technology when he was laid off. He had a passion for health food that he tried to share with his family, especially his father, who had been diagnosed with cancer.
Fouad’s father loaned him the money for his first juicer, and the rest is history. Fouad centered on Raleigh as the perfect market for a health food business. With the help of N.C. State University alumna Leslie Woods, who handles Raleigh Raw’s business operations, Fouad made enough to pay back his dad for the juicer — and then some. And now he’s ready to party.
Raleigh Raw Second Anniversary Block Party
Where: 7 West Hargett Street, Raleigh
When: Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
More info: Visit the Facebook event here.