Meet The Traders: Juicing your way to a better lifestyle with Joy’s Health Sanctuary

Joy Nelson, centre, with Katrina, left and Karlene on the right. Pic: Stephane Elad

From 7 day juice cleanses to herbal remedies, meet the family changing the way we see healthy lifestyles. Joys Health Sanctuary is a family-run health bar that sits in Catford’s busiest road. Joy Nelson, 58, decided to leave her administrative job at Evelina’s Children Hospital in London and set up shop in February this year to realise her dream for making healthy drinks and snacks.

After learning about how easy it is to make her own refreshments from her daughter’s workplace, Ma’at Centre, a local shop in Catford, she took it upon herself to learn how to do it. Nelson told ELL:

“I bought one of the cakes and it tasted really nice, so I asked one of the ladies that works there, how comes this cake taste so nice and does not have egg or margarine. One of the guys that works there sat down with me and we started talking about how we should eat and treat our body”

This interaction introduced Joy to new method of staying healthy she continued to tell ELL:

“I started looking into it on the Internet and YouTube, going into work now, I began to bring in my food. juices and cakes, I would give it to some of my colleagues and they loved it, so I brought more in and they said why don’t you start selling your cakes. And that’s where it all started “

Joy shortly left her job afterwards and managed to secure a spot at Elephant and Castle market where she freshly made her juices and sold them to the public. She said:

Joy at Elephant and Castle Market. Pic: Karlene Davis

“To tell the truth it was hard at the market, hard as in putting up my gazebo and getting everything prepared, then pulling it down again when I was finished. I managed to get good clientele, people would come to me as they got to know about me”

Joys success also took her to Vauxhall market as well where she could start building up her brand, she soon decided that it was time she got her own shop. Her daughter Katarina Thompson, 40, is a nutritionist and beauty therapist and provides tips and advice to the customers so it was ideal they got a space that allowed her to also operate from .

“When we came across this shop, it was not really the size I wanted, but you know when you get that good energy about the shop, I thought you know I’m going to go with it. It’s a lovely small shop”

Joys smoothies include a diverse mix of ingredients,  their number 1 selling smoothie called “Joys Green Special” includes super-foods like  Wheat Grass, Kale and Moringa. A mixture of herbal remedies such as Black Seed Oil and Baobab Fruit Powder are sold at Joys Health Sanctuary as well.

Joys Health Sanctuary Smoothie Menu. Pic: Stephane Elad


Joy recently decided to start making her own cake, she explained:

Joys Fruit Cake. Pic: Stephane Elad

“Before when we were at the market I used to order cakes from a couple of ladies, I thought I don’t want to go home and start baking. But two weeks back I thought let me start baking my own cakes, and now they are just selling, I’m baking every single day.”

Joy is now also aided by her daughter Karlene Davis, 32. She added: “I’d love to get a bigger place but something under the same roof, where someone can come into the shop and see my daughter and get a treatment from her then come out and order something nice and healthy like a juice or Vegan Snack,” Nelson said.

You can find Joys Health Sanctuary at 117 Rushey Green, London, SE6 4AA.

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