MISSION, Texas (KVEO) – More than eight months after the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the Rio Grande Valley, causing businesses to close their doors and residents to shelter in place, there are signs of the entrepreneurial spirit in the area is recovering.
Restaurants have been amongst the hardest hit small businesses during this pandemic. Yelp reporting in September that just over 60% of restaurants in the country that closed since March, will remain closed. That equates to a total of just over 19,500 businesses that have permanently closed as of August 31.
The situation impacted businesses in the Valley as well, but after almost a year of restrictions and uncertainty, there are some new store fronts in Mission. Among the fresh faces is B. veggie, a health and wellness-oriented establishment.
Maribeny Jenis, the owner of B. veggie, came to the Valley from Mexico City 20 years ago. Her in health and wellness began after a battle with thyroid cancer 10 years ago. She credits a healthy diet for keeping her well, now that she is in remission.
“As I began changing my diet, I began to investigate and study. Now I am a health coach and a nutritionist,” said Jenis.
B. veggie is a family operated business. Along with her husband, son, and daughter’s recipes, she creates a colorful variety of cold pressed juices just down the road from her new establishment.
“The difference with cold-pressed juices is how we make them. The machine has two metal plates that press the juice with several horsepower. Because there is no heat in the process, phytonutrients and enzymes from the fruits and vegetables are retained,” explained Jenis.
For four years the family advertised by word of mouth and delivered their juices door-to-door. They would service only those they met at farmers markets and through customers. Janis says, however, in recent months a demand for her products increased.
“What has happened is that people are more worried or conscious of how to improve their health, and that is where we saw growth because we can offer that education and information,” she said.
Jenis believes customers have been coming to her seeking a healthier lifestyle after seeing the effects of COVID-19 on a weak immune system and those with underlying conditions. This demand encouraged Jenis’s family to open a physical location early last Thanksgiving week.
They have added meal preps to their services and all their products are made from scratch. Jenis encourages those looking into adopting a healthier lifestyle and believes anyone can benefit from it.
“Now that we were forced to change the way we lived our lives, it proves that we are, as human beings, are very adaptable and can get used to a completely different way of life. So, change is possible, we can all do it,” she said.
Beny’s establishment also hosts a variety of other health-conscious products made by five other small businesses, such as keto deserts and natural supplements.
B. veggie is located at the intersection of E Griffen Pkwy and Taylor rd, in Mission, Texas. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone number to contact business is 956-239-1553.