Julia Hogan McNeil, the owner of The JuJu Products and Cafe JuJu, wants to show everyone that even HEALTHY food can be full of LOVE and FLAVOR. She talked to Bayou Beat News about her company, her lifestyle change, and gave advice on how we can embrace healthier eating habits.

After being left blind and paralyzed from Multiple Sclerosis, Julia, or JuJu, as she is more affectionately known, decided it was time to change her lifestyle. She beat MS, fully regaining her physical abilities, by changing her food and drink, starting with a 30-day detox juice cleanse.

She first launched as Julia Cooks Organic, which has now evolved to The JuJu Products, with several businesses underneath the brand, which has been around since 2014.

In light of these uncertain times, McNeil changed her companies to adhere to the guidelines due to the pandemics, while still catering to the needs of the people.

“We’ve been known for our popular organic vegan food trucks, our gourmet healthy food entrees, like our Salmon Nachos and Salmon Salads. Now we have healthy food and drink in major hotels in the Downtown Houston Area,” said McNeil. “We also operate a healthy gourmet kiosk inside of the George R. Brown Brown Convention Center, satellite locations in Sugarland and West Houston and “Old Chocolate Bayou,” now known as Cullen Blvd. We have a Meal Preps Operation right in the Heart of Sunnyside, where our “JuJu Fans” can pickup their Vegan Meal Preps, organic customized seamoss, customized juices for a variety of health challenges.

[Check out slideshow of foods JuJu makes for you! Photos courtesy of Jeanique Williams of Globana Photography

The company also has monthly juicing segments, where we tape featured juices being made with other businessowners.

Let’s talk “Vegan.”

Q: Are you one?

A: Yes and No! I am a chef and lover of all food and drink. Whilst I am 95% vegan, I have to taste test everything! So I share my taste buds with everything we cook.

Q: Explain what it means to be vegan?

A: Eating, using or containing no food or other products derived from animals.

Q: Why should more African Americans eat vegan?

A: It allows our Body Types (African Americans) to alleviate high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental health issues, and cuts our medication in half. Where we eliminate certain types of food and drink from our bodies, even if only 30 days you will see major changes in your environment of your body, mind and spirit.

Q: There is a thought that food that is “healthy” for you does not necessarily “taste” good. Is this true?

A: Completely “Fake News,” not true at all. Our food and drink have spirit and souls, and our hands give them life! We challenge anyone to give our vegan meals a taste, you will say, “Yeahhhhhh, I can do this a few times a week “

Q: How do you substitute MEAT for people who are MEAT LOVERS?

A: We usually sneak into it at first, then sometimes do a comparison of OUR food and drink with their everyday routine of food and drink. They usually say “Yeah I can eat this Errrrrday.” Our philosophy is not to force anything, but rather show you why you should incorporate our Cafe JuJu food and drink into your weekly routine.

Q: Is this just a bandwagon fad for some? Do you see that many people who try vegan quickly go back to their old ways?

A: We have a 95% retention rate with our clients, not because our food and drink are so awesome, not because our chef & CEO beat multiple sclerosis, not because we work 1000% in our business every day, but because we truly care about each and every one of our clients from day one. Julia personally calls/texts/serves/delivers/listens to all of our guests! That’s right, you are treated as a guest, because you could have chosen anyone else to create food/drink/health/wealth for your needs. And our guests choose us daily.

For this, we are completely grateful and thankful each and every day. So no!!! No bandwagons over here, no fads either. Once you get our Cafe JuJu food and drink, you crave it! You desire it because you taste the love. You read the personal texts. You take the late night phone calls. You experience the personalized delivery or pickup services. What started out as a fad, has turned into a mandatory beautiful “Food/Drink/Love” relationship with “The JuJu Products” and “Cafe JuJu.”