Many Maryville College students may have noticed some new signage at the Watkins road shopping center after returning to campus this fall semester. Former financial firm employee Debra Dana opened Twisted Sister Juice Bar and CBD Emporium on March 20 after moving to Maryville from Houston, Texas just over a year ago. The shop sits just a few doors down from Target.
Once inside the shop, one is greeted with the scent of fresh fruits and veggies and the sight of a bright purple and green rendition of the Twisted Sister logo painted largely on the left wall. The mural, completed by local tattoo artist Micah Jones (@mr_puck_face on Instagram), overlooks tables and a counter full of other items they have for sale in the lobby, including essential oils, bohemian handmade jewelry and bath salts among other sustainably made merchandise.
Twisted Sister Juice Bar offers an extensive menu of fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, power shots, gelato, protein bowls and one of Twisted Sister’s many signature concoctions: the Twistaccino, a blended frappe of Southern Grace Cold Brew and gelato. In any of these options, one can choose to add ingredients such as agave nectar, honey and chocolate syrup—among more interesting options like bee pollen, chia seeds and hemp hearts—to their order for 99 cents apiece.
Among these add-ins is also Cannabidiol (CBD), another product advertised and sold by Twisted Sister Juice Bar and the main focus of the business. Twisted Sister stocks a variety of CBD products, from pre-rolls to gummies to creams to oils. A special section of the shop is even dedicated to CBD products for pets.
Upon first glance, Twisted Sister’s menu is overwhelming because of their wide array of options. However, after further inspection, I could look no further than the Purple Haze smoothie to order upon my first visit there. I gladly added CBD to the concoction—one of coconut milk, blueberry, honeydew, pineapple and agave nectar. Customers can opt for a CBD add-in with or without a perfectly legal and minute amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Dana encourages customers to try adding CBD to their orders, as a way to introduce people to the benefits. Dana herself has witnessed the positive change it can have on a person’s life.
“I had a customer send me a video just the other day of her little girl who’s autistic, and she has her on [CBD] now, and it was a video of the baby just laughing,” Dana said. “And she told me she’s never laughed like that before in her life. She’s 3 or 4 years old, and her mom told me she’s never heard her laugh like that. That brought tears to my eyes because that’s what I want to do is change people’s lives, but I don’t want to mark up my product 400%. Our prices are the cheapest I can make them because of that.”
Every member of Dana’s staff is educated on CBD and is happy to help customers figure out what product and dosage works for them.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, many were unable to enjoy Twisted Sister’s fun selection of juice products over the summer. After months of preparation, however, she was faced with possibly the worst nightmare of a start-up business owner: a global pandemic and statewide stay-at-home order.
Business is fully back in session for Twisted Sister now, though customers should bring face coverings and observe a six-foot distance between them and others. One can also catch them at AMS Haunted Attractions on Uncle Crumpet’s Freak Farm every weekend night through the end of October (see photos for details).
On Oct. 17, Twisted Sister will also be hosting their first event at the store: a private fundraiser for the benefit of Izaiah, the nephew of one of Twisted sister’s managers, who is in need of retinal surgery. An RSVP on the Facebook page for the event is required, but this can be completed virtually at the door. More information can be found on the shop’s Facebook or Instagram page.
I encourage you, Highland Echo reader, to support your local businesses like Twisted Sister. It is just one of many simple ways to do good on the greatest possible scale. Next week, I will be visiting Maryville Corner Market to survey their selection of fresh produce and meals.