27 February 2023
Married couple and business partners Lachlan and Jess Hewitt met in Sydney, Australia in the early 2000s. Jack-of-all-trades Lachlan graduated from university with a degree in finance and teaching, and opened a café in Sydney’s famed Bondi Beach before travelling to teach English in Japan and Korea. He later shifted careers into sports as a tennis pro.
Jess, deeply passionate about health and wellness, graduated with a nutrition degree and worked in at a hospital in Wellington, New Zealand.
The two moved to Cayman almost 15 years ago. Noticing a lack of health-focused dining establishments at the time, they endeavoured to open a business that prioritised healthy, alternative foods. The concept of Jessie’s Juice Bar & Cafe was built around Jess’ mother, who operated a low-waste farm where food was always made fresh, from scratch.
“The passion Jess has for the space comes from the passion her mum had for real food,” Lachlan Hewitt said.
An early champion of sustainable dining on the island, Jess Hewitt emulated her mother’s example by opening Jessie’s 12 years ago with a strong foundation in "green" values.
“She recycled glass jars and bottles to use, and our waste, like the juice pull, went back into baking and wraps. Jess always has a use for something," Lachlan Hewitt said.
Alongside their sustainable approach, other sources of pride include service and quality. The Hewitts strive to understand their customers and produce the best quality possible, often working with local farmers — including stalwart of the Camana Bay Farmers & Artisans Market, Clarence McLaughlin. Lachlan Hewitt says knowing that what they produce is their own — and that they can promote local agriculture through collaborating with farmers — is a highlight of their work.
While keeping up with the pace of the food and beverage industry can be challenging, particularly as parents of two children, the community aspect of their work remains rewarding.
“Talking to such a diverse group of people every day is very interesting and good for the brain,” Lachlan Hewitt said.
He shares a comedic story from the Jessie’s vault: “We have had lots of different people come through and one was a Hollywood star who came in years ago. We were doing a photo shoot for one of the local magazines. He came in with his partner, who was pregnant, and wanted something refreshing. We had a camera crew there for the food shoot and when he came in he thought they were there to snap his photo and disturb his private holiday. When I explained that they were not there for him, his wife laughed so hard, and he went very red in the face."
While their respective professional backgrounds and shared enthusiasm for promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles make Jessie’s Juice Bar & Cafe the ideal career path, he says that in another life he “might be a DJ in a roller disco somewhere.”
This article was originally featured in the February 2023 print edition of Camana Bay Times.