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Juice cleanse! Ditmas Park smoothie joint reopens as banh mi shop

Baguette, set, go!: Early Little Miss Saigon customers Mindy Xu and Tommy Chen tuck into their banh mi sandwiches.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

He’s off the juice!

A Ditmas Park restaurateur has shut down his smoothie bar and reopened it as a Vietnamese sandwich shop on Sunday after learning a particularly hard lesson in life — juice doesn’t pay.

“Juice wasn’t panning out,” said Teddy Mui, former owner of Cold Press’d Juice Shop and new owner of Little Miss Saigon on Cortelyou Road between E. Ninth Street and Coney Island Avenue. “I was throwing out a lot of the product.”

The big problem with the health-drink business, according to Mui, is that kale and the other perishable ingredients necessary to make fresh and tasty fruit and vegetable beverages come in bulk shipments — and if you can’t turn that juice around fast enough, your investment quickly turns rotten.

“Organics don’t come in small batches,” Mui said. “By the end I was throwing half of it away, because I’m not going to serve my customers yellow kale.”

So Mui decided to discontinue his career as a drinks specialist and Cold Press’d closed its doors in early August.

He then turned to his wife Macie’s expertise in banh mi sandwiches — baguettes stuffed with Vietnamese ingredients that are beloved by foodies around the city — and made-over his storefront as a banh mi-tery.

Little Miss Saigon also has salad options, bubble teas, summer rolls, and — proof that old habits die hard — freshly-made fruit smoothies.

Little Miss Saigon [921 Cortelyou Rd. between E. Ninth Street and Coney Island Avenue in Ditmas Park, (347) 350–9747].

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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