Matthew Sherman: Miami's Juice King

July 02, 2012 | by —Jason Fitzroy Jeffers | Talk of the Town

Sherman at Jugofresh, plating a spoonful of Medicina—coconut oil, bee pollen, and coconut sugar

It’s 20 minutes until closing time at Jugofresh, a gleaming new juice bar just off West Avenue, and the line is nearly out the door. Owner Matthew Sherman isn’t breaking a sweat; instead, he’s vibing to vintage funk and soul tracks, and breezily explaining to a few members of the thirsty mob just how his meticulous cold-press techniques make his organic, enzyme-packed juice blends, smoothies, and small plates so much tastier and more nutritious than what they’ll find at dozens of other juice spots around the city.

“For a lot of people, eating healthy is a chore,” says Sherman. “It doesn’t have to be this monumental, arduous task. We’re trying to change that by providing an environment where you can come hang out, listen to some beats, and have a good time.”

His new role as a helpful juice sommelier makes sense when you consider his background as a sports exercise psychology consultant and holistic life and nutrition coach. However, there was a point in time when the trim, vibrant, 32-year-old Sherman was seemingly allergic to anything healthy. “I once weighed 360 pounds,” he says, pulling up a photo on his cell phone. “I used to order triple-cheese pizza, sit the box on my belly, and just go at it.”

Various fad diets and exercise plans helped him to lose much of that weight— but with one nasty side effect: He felt even worse than before. “I was having muscle problems, my weight fluctuated a lot, and I smelled bad. It was just gross,” Sherman says, grimacing. “It was only when I stopped reading books on diets, stopped judging myself, and simply started eating what made me feel good that I really slimmed down and got healthy—and juice was a huge part of that.”

Still, it wasn’t as if a juice bar was originally a part of his plan. First, he was juicing at home for himself. Then he started juicing for coaching clients. Before long, they were recommending friends and friends of friends. “The next thing you know, I had kale on my ceiling,” laughs Sherman. “My place was a total mess. I called up a friend from New York to come help me, and we started working out of a catering kitchen.”

They soon outgrew that kitchen as well, thus leading to Jugofresh. If the pattern holds, it might not be long before they need a bigger space. In the meantime, Sherman’s pleased to have a fun outlet to help people take a more relaxed approach to healthier eating, and especially drinking.

“Ninety-five percent of my diet is fruits and vegetables, but if someone shows up in a loincloth with a spear and a pig on it, I’m not afraid to throw down,” says Sherman. “My only dogma about eating is that I have no dogma. Feeling guilty about yourself and what you’re eating doesn’t help in the long run, and I know that from experience. I just pay attention to my body. If you listen closely, it’ll tell you just what it needs.”

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM ARBOGAST

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