Health, nutrition and community are the foundations on which a not-for-profit juice bar freshly opened in the main street of Raymond Terrace has been built on.
Raymond Terrace Mission (RTM) Adventist Church celebrated the opening of Newstart Juice, in William Street, on November 21 with church pastor Blake Penland saying the vibrant bar was a space that "people can come and take that first step towards a healthier lifestyle".
"When we looked at what this community needed, Raymond Terrace, in terms of obesity and problems with weight, is one of the most obese cities in NSW. So, to help with this, we started Newstart Juice to help our community be a healthier place," he said.
"The first step towards a new start in your life is getting your nutrition right and getting healthy. At Newstart Juice we are here for our community so that people can come and take that first step towards a healthier lifestyle."
The juice bar is the church's first business-type venture but the money collected goes back into the community.
"The team hasn't run a community juice bar before so it has required a lot of courage and a lot of work to get it open. Everyone has pulled together beautifully and they're setting an example for other community groups who might like to do similar stores in their towns," Julian Archer, Newstart's project manager, said.
"Raymond Terrace Mission manages the Newstart Juice bar and the people who serve are all volunteers who have a genuine heart for caring for people.
"They donate their time and this helps the juice bar to earn income that can then be used to support other services of the Raymond Terrace Mission like counselling, health seminars, home visits and community events."
Paterson MP Meryl Swanson helped the Newstart Juice team officially open the store.
"It's a place for young people to come, hang out and catch up. It's also a positive vibrant spot in our main William Street," she said.
RTM also operates an op-shop next to Newstart Juice, which can be found at 45 William Street.
"It is only open a couple of days a week at the moment but will be open more when we have more items to sell and more volunteers to staff it," Mr Archer said.
"If anyone wants to volunteer or donate good quality clothing, furniture or other items we'd love to hear from them. Like the juice bar, the proceeds will be used to strengthen the community services of RTM."