After years of working in the music industry, Chris Roberts, owner of a new juice bar, is hoping to make customers sing the praises of his healthy concoctions.

Roberts is no stranger to the food industry, as his family has been in the business for multiple generations, including his great-grandfather, who opened the first large-scale grocery store in Bangor on State Street.

While food was the family business, Roberts decided he wanted to pursue a career in music after being recognized as a top-ranked concert timpanist and jazz drummer. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Roberts moved to Nashville, Tenn., where he worked in studios.

After leaving Nashville, he returned to Maine for a short period of time before moving to Indiana, where he began designing recording studios. Eventually, Roberts moved back to Maine, where he launched his dog treat company, Barkwheats.

He said after running Barkwheats for several years, he decided he wanted to transition into human food and wanted to be in Belfast. However, what product he would serve was still up in the air until he started talking to raw food chef and author Matthew Kenney.

“I asked for his input on what Belfast needs and he said ‘Belfast needs the juice,’” Roberts said.

As part of his business plan, Roberts said he wants to purchase as many of his ingredients as possible from local sources. He noted that Belfast is an agricultural hub and events such as the Farmer’s Market provide a convenient location for him to purchase fruits, vegetables and other items.

“I want to make sure the ingredients are top quality,” he said.

Because he’s looking to purchase as much food locally as possible, Roberts said his menu, which offers juices, smoothies, coffee, tea and raw food snacks, will change, with the season. However, he said he is working on maintaining a core group of ingredients year-round.

Roberts noted that one of the advantages of the drinks is that you can get a healthy dose of your daily servings of fruits in vegetables in just one beverage. As an example, one of the drinks offered at The Juice Cellar, Bold as Love, blends beets, apples, limes and ginger.

For those who want to venture off the menu, Roberts will craft a custom drink of their choosing, as long as he has the ingredients on hand.

As he prepares for the official grand opening of his business Friday, May 3, Roberts said he would like his niche to be small towns where juice bars aren’t commonly found.

The Juice Cellar, located at 9 Beaver St., Ste. D, will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the possibility of extending those hours if there is enough demand.

“I really love seeing people enjoy the benefits of juicing,” Roberts said.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at