Frequently Asked Questions by customers

How did you come up with your recipes and menu?
They’re primarily based on the store’s infrastructure and ingredient prices.  Other considerations include ingredient hardiness, customer demand, and taste.  We’ll discuss more in separate posts.

Are there any volunteer/internship opportunities for high school students? It’d be free labor for you!
Yes, but it wouldn’t be free labor, it’d be more like us providing free day care.  The cost to train an inexperienced volunteer who has never had a job is significant, emotionally and financially.  Also keep in mind that we work with dangerous tools and our training methods may not be acceptable to some parents.  We’re primarily interested in having interns help us develop employee management and leadership skills.

What would the internship program be like?
Interns will work with baristas and be expected to maintain a blog, develop with owner a reading list, and craft a well-written and convincing resume and cover letter.  Lots of homework.  Successful interns will be able to land a job in the food industry within six months.

What’s it like working at Alive Juice Bar
Demanding and challenging.  Several customers have described the owner as a “slave-driver.” We prepare by reviewing and play-acting real and imagined scenarios, asking questions, and answering open-ended questions.  Occasionally there’s some drill work.  We talk about food prep and employee training techniques, sociology of eating and food, brand development strategy, “court vision,” workflow processes, cute customers, creepy customers, social skills, funny youtube videos, fashion, music.  Everyone preps, cooks, cleans, serves.

Do you offer any cooking classes?
We don’t because owner doesn’t want to strangle a customer.  He does, however, offer cooking tips and will show, when possible, a customer how something is made.   If you hang around the store, observe and ask questions, you’ll get a free cooking lesson.  We also recommend you follow our blog, Foodyap, which offers recipes, cooking tips, and explains the attitude and mindset necessary to cook as we do.

What’s your cooking philosophy?
We teach our employees cooking instincts, to cook with their senses.  We don’t follow recipes.  Good cooks are resourceful, cook with their senses, and have flexible and adaptable palates. They’re fearless and not afraid of failure.

Do you share your recipes?
Yes, ask and we’ll put it on the blog.  Keep in mind that our recipes rarely have measurements because we cook with our senses and instincts.

How do you keep your prices so low?
We use seasonal ingredients, and our employees are 2-3 times more efficient than those at similar businesses.  

Why don’t you show some responsibility for the environment and serve on plates and glasses instead of disposable cups and bowls, you greedy hypocrite?
All restaurants in Ballinger Village — defined as food establishment with full-service — must be approved by Thriftway grocery store.  They’ve historically rejected all restaurants (Thai and Greek Diner at our location), which is why there aren’t any restaurants in Ballinger Village, only take-out.  We suspect they won’t approve of a restaurant unless it increases traffic to Thriftway.

Also, I doubt we can afford the infrastructural changes necessary for a dishwashing machine.

Our containers are recyclable.

Idealism without business sense leads to tyranny.

Why don’t you offer this and that?
We’re seasonal, there’s only so much space in our prep fridge, and you probably already get enough of that so we want you to try this instead. 

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