Swope Health announces a new edition of its podcast, One on One with Swope Health, featuring Chris Goode, founder and CEO of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, 3000 Troost Ave., and other locations in the Kansas City metro area.
Eric Wesson, managing editor and publisher of The Call, hosts the show’s conversations with Kansas Citians about issues of importance to the community’s health and wellbeing. In this conversation, Eric and Chris discuss healthy eating, and Chris relays the origin story of Ruby Jean’s – named for his beloved grandmother who died at age 61.
Chris said his grandmother didn’t trust doctors or the health care system and as a result, died of Type II diabetes, a preventable and manageable condition. When Chris discovered juice cleansing as a transformative health care tactic, he became a health care advocate and educator. The juice bar, launched in 2015, is in honor of his grandmother.
He served as a member of the Kansas City Parks and Recreation board of commissioners and was responsible for leading the charge to rename the J.C. Nichols Boulevard on the Country Club Plaza. The campaign succeeded in removing Nichols’ name from both the street and the fountain on the Plaza.
Chris discusses his earliest forms of community engagement and civic action, starting out volunteering on Janice Ellis’ campaign for mayor, supporting the Gillis Home, bringing LeBron James to Kansas City for fundraising. He describes an “insatiable appetite” to pour himself into the city.
His current initiative is the renaming of Troost Avenue to Truth Avenue. The street is currently named for Dr. Benoist Troost, the first resident physician of Kansas City and the builder of the city’s first hotel. He also was a slaveowner who owned six people. The 11-mile avenue named for him has also become synonymous with the dividing line of Kansas City, a legacy of redlining.
Chris explains his approach to making the case for the name change, starting with an educational exhibit at Ruby Jean’s. He has held collaboration sessions, virtual and in-person with stakeholders and the community, and he plans a mailing to every address on Troost Avenue. He is working with city council members to bring the change, using a petition with 15,000 signatures to rename the street.
“Truth pushes us forward,” he said. “There’s only one truth. Truth is universal, not divisive.” He argues that the name change will flip the narrative about the dividing line and serve instead to unite people.
Learn more about Chris Goode and his passion for driving positive change in this conversation.