For Portland native Cydnie Smith-McCarthy, juicing isn’t a passing fad—it’s a way of life. Smith-McCarthy has long been passionate about nutrition, wellness, smoothies, and juices. Her mission of spreading that passion to others began several years ago with her father.
“He and I had bonded very fast around food,” Smith-McCarthy says. “He loves food, but he also knew that he needed to change his diet around a little bit. We would add in smoothies to our diets ... that’s where my love for it came and stayed.”
Her father knew that something was deeply wrong with his health, but he was unable to get the help he needed, which Smith-McCarthy attributes to racial disparities in health care. “He was sick for two years, and he didn’t get the attention he needed. He didn’t get the tests or the medications or access to health [care] options as he should have,” Smith-McCarthy says. In 2018, her father passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition.
Smith-McCarthy has continued to spread her enthusiasm for wellness to those close to her, including her best friend and her mother, by making juices that they could turn to as healthier alternatives to sugary drinks like soda. In June, she launched her own line of juice, inspired by the blends that she and her friends and family love, called Drink Mamey.
The Drink Mamey lineup currently consists of three varieties. Smith-McCarthy’s favorite is Sweet Talk, a blend of watermelon, apple, and lemon juice designed to mimic the light, refreshing feel of eating a fresh, whole watermelon. Twenty-Four Carrot, her mother’s favorite, blends carrot juice, pineapple juice, and lime juice, while Green is Good is a melánge of pineapple, celery, and cucumber juice.
When Drink Mamey launched in June, Smith-McCarthy delivered juice to customers around the city herself. Word spread quickly via Smith-McCarthy’s network and through social media. Now Drink Mamey is available at Tea Bar in the Pearl District, where it’s repeatedly been restocked and sold out for several weeks in a row. The Tea Bar residency has helped Drink Mamey reach a wider audience. But one day, Smith-McCarthy wants to open a juice bar in a lower-income neighborhood with limited access to grocery stores and healthy food so she can help bridge the health gap between Black and white Portlanders.
“If you go into a low income area, you don’t see stores like New Seasons and Whole Foods, you don’t see a lot of juice bars.... In those areas, it seems like things like juicing or eating healthy are very unattainable.”
Available at DrinkMamey.com (online ordering will resume soon) and at Tea Bar Pearl, 1055 NW Northrup, Portland from 11 a.m.—7 p.m.