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Everything's smooth at Mountain Juicery

Walker Covington shows off a smoothie bowl. Walker Covington shows off a smoothie bowl.

Ashley and Walker Covington had everything a couple could want in Raleigh — good jobs as a CPA and schoolteacher, respectively, and a big city with plenty for young people to do.

But they also had a 2-year-old daughter, a love for the mountains and a yearning to set their own schedule. They started Mountain Juicery & Smoothies in the old Alykat space next to Planet Fitness on Spartanburg Highway.

Ashley worked for a big accounting firm and Walker taught middle school social studies in Raleigh before they moved to the mountains. They enjoy hiking with their daughter, Lincoln, and 8-year-old beagle, Cooper. Walker whips up smoothies alongside Ashley now but soon he’ll be back in the classroom teaching social studies again, at A.C. Reynolds Middle School in Asheville.

When the couple met friends who owned the first Mountain Juicery, on Hendersonville Road in Asheville, they thought, “We should try that.” The shop opened this month next to the gym, which feeds them lots of fitness-minded customers looking to reload some nutrition. They found the property through Ashley’s stepfather, who owns the Great Clips shop on the other side of Planet Fitness.

Now, instead of crunching balance sheets for the PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers), the largest financial services firm in the world, Ashley is balancing her job as a mom with running a business (and yes, handling the bookkeeping).

Both owners chirp a friendly greeting to everyone who walks in. One young woman was happy to be back, for the third time that week, she said.

“We’re all vegan,” Ashley says. Cold-pressed juice retains more nutrients than conventional juice-making processes and the shop's menu features an orchard of fruit, nut and veggie ingredients. “All our products are getting a great response. It’s going great,” Ashley adds. “We’ve had tons of families. We try to make it family friendly.”

The shop serves 14 cold-pressed juices, from Pisgah Pear Ale (kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, pear, mint, lime, $7.48) to season Southern Breeze (watermelon, lime, mint, $6.54) to Daily Glow (pineapple, cucumber, lemon, mint, $6.78).

The 17 almond milk-based smoothies include the healthful and fun-sounding Blue Ridge Bliss, You Lift Bro? My Date with Chocolate, Morning Joe and Cold Kicker and come with citrus, banana and other fruit, nuts, kale, coconut water and protein powder. They range in price from $6.54 to$9.35.

Smoothie bowls ($9.35) include the Blue Ridge Bowl (strawberry, mango, blueberry and coconut water topped with banana, granola, almond butter, raw cacao nibs, coconut flakes and matcha ground tea leaves), the Chocolate Cherry Bowl, Heavy Greens Bowl and Peanut Butter Crunch Bowl.

The shop also serves 12-ounce kid smoothies ($4.67), shots and elixirs (ginger, wheat grass, immunity), hot and cold brew coffee and grab-and-go wraps and salads.

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Mountain Juicery & Smoothies is at 636 Spartanburg Highway, Suite 60. Hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is 828.513.1898. They’re on Facebook and Twitter — @mountainjuiceryhvl.