Welcome to Deep in the Heart of Dallas! Our latest series, focused on sharing the stories of the Dallas Black community, follows local creatives through the city to learn about favorite spots, must-taste foodie finds and how the city inspires their work. Today, we're featuring Courtney Johnson!
Johnson is the owner of Magnolia Juice, a cold-pressed and fresh juice company that services markets, events, and even delivers throughout the metroplex! While her initial transition to Dallas came via unfortunate circumstances, she's found a way to turn lemons into lemonade. Let's take a deep dive into Courtney's story!
Tell us about your journey to Dallas and how you got into the juice business.
My family moved to Dallas in 2005 from New Orleans - which is where I was born and raised - after Hurricane Katrina. Our home was completely destroyed. I finished high school in Dallas and just stayed because it felt like home at that point. My story about getting into the juice business is honestly a little funny. I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled and knew I wasn't going to be able to eat, so I got a juicer and started putting recipes together. I really enjoyed how it made my body feel. I started posting and sharing what I was doing on social media and I asked, "Who would like some?" A lot of people responded. From that point, I started the business and began selling them.
What makes Dallas home?
The friends that I've made here. I've been able to have the same friends since I first moved to Dallas. Also, anywhere where my parents are is home to me. Also - I'm really big on business and opportunities, and I feel like Dallas is a major place to truly live out your dreams. I'm able to spread my wings here.
Describe your perfect day in Dallas.
Starting off the day doing emails and invoices over at the Wild Detectives in Bishop Arts. I love to have the cappuccino Old Fashioned that they have. I'm really into art, so I like to pop over to the Dallas Contemporary where they usually have free exhibits and local art on display. By that time, it's probably time to take a bite. I'd probably pop over to Saint Ann for brunch for some good food and a couple of mimosas. From there, I'll go where the day takes me; maybe to Deep Ellum to smoke hookah at Zatar or listen to jazz at The Free Man.
Where's your favorite place to eat in Dallas?
I'm big on aesthetics and ambiance so I like to go to Te Deseo. It's beautiful inside; they have flowers everywhere. My favorite food place is a food truck from New Orleans called The Bells Sweet Factory. I visit them at least once every two weeks. The bourbon wings and crab cake potato topped with seafood sauce are my favorites.
Tell us about a neighborhood you love.
It's a toss between Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum. I love Bishop Arts because it reminds me of Magazine Street in New Orleans. There are bookshops, unique thrift stores, food and bars. There are also small businesses selling one-of-a-kind items that you can't get anywhere else. I love that vibe. I love Deep Ellum because you can eat, you can party, you can find some good live music, and even pop into speakeasies.
What's your go-to place to take out-of-towners?
I would probably take them to Paradiso, a restaurant in Bishop Arts that has a bar next door called the Botanist.
What is your favorite Dallas memory?
I remember one of my friends took me up on a dirt road off Interstate 30 and Hampton a while back to see the most beautiful view of the Dallas skyline. We hung out and listened to music and looked at the stars. It put everything in perspective for me. It was right around the time I started appreciating and really loving Dallas.
What are you looking forward to?
Honestly, I'm looking forward to going up from here. 2021 has been really rough for me personally. I was involved in a car accident, I endured the winter storm and had to get a new apartment and furniture. I'm looking for a smoother ride so I can focus more on my business and get back to doing more events and having a bigger presence.
To learn more about Courtney, Magnolia Juice and what she's up to in Dallas, follow Magnolia on Instagram: @magnoliajuice