It all began with a frightening diagnosis. In the summer of 2019, Devinne Whittaker received word that her mother was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Doctors told her mother she had 2 to 3 years left. Though she was living in Austin, Texas when her mother was diagnosed, she moved back home (to Florida) after receiving the news.
Dev always believed in the healing power of all-natural, healthy food. So, she and her mother both decided to try a vegan diet. The results were promising. “That really helped,” she said. “The cancer stopped spreading when we did our diet change. But, it really wasn’t enough to say that she was going to beat it.”
Inspired by the progress, Dev became a certified health coach and began extensively researched juicing—a method used to extract vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and more from fruits and vegetables. She started making her own concoctions with celery juice as a base. What happened was nothing short of magical. Dev told us in an interview, “Six months into that, her original tumor shrank and literally disappeared.” As of August 2022, Dev’s mother is one year in remission.
Dev now had a mission: to heal the everyday health battles most people struggle with on a day-to-day basis.
Dev decided to begin her business on Valentine’s Day of 2022. She originally made grocery runs to Detwiler’s in her Mini Cooper. “It’s been comical doing all this stuff with my car,” she laughed. “Starting out, I was using Detwiler’s. It was easiest because they had mass quantities of the stuff I needed… But my goal all along was to find something local and organic.”
Then, The Center of Anna Maria Island allowed Dev to utilize their kitchen with an industrial-size juicer. They’ve now developed a partnership, with Dev using their kitchen space, and the Center selling her juices at the front desk. That partnership led to a connection with Gamble Creek Farms out of Parrish.
In the beginning, Dev was looking for a way to recycle her compost from juicing. Gamble Creek Farms told her it was no problem to swing by, as they were already picking up compost from other local restaurants and businesses. Dev had a moment of inspiration: “I thought about it, and I was like, ‘Wait. You’re a farm. Do you sell produce?’ And Jim [General Manager of Gamble Creek Farms] was like, ‘Yeah!”
They have now formed a symbiotic relationship. Twice a week, they get her compost, and she gets organic fruits and vegetables from a local farm. Dev was overjoyed. “I don’t have to pick it up anymore! They deliver! I cried when he told me that.”
Kids: Drink Your Vegetables!
The Center of Anna Maria Island offered another opportunity to Dev that she wasn’t expecting: a chance to educate kids. The after-school program at The Center is right outside Dev’s kitchen. So, while she was juicing away one afternoon, she sparked the kids’ curiosity. She said, “I turn around, and I see like 13 little heads peeking in the window. They’re like, ‘What are you doing?’”
She created a weekly after-school program for kids to teach them about healthy foods. For an hour each Friday, Dev teaches the benefits of different fruits and vegetables. Then, the kids get to pick the ones they want and create their very own juices. “Together, they have to come up with a recipe that will be my flavor of the week every week,” she said.
Those aren’t the only kids that love what Dev’s doing. Her eight-month-old niece, Phoebe, is Dev’s biggest fan. Her Instagram page is filled with adorable videos of Phoebe trying different juice flavors. Dev said, “She loves every single juice I give her!”
3-Day Juice Cleanse
For those that want to dive headfirst into all the benefits juicing has to offer, Dev’s Bevs can provide a 3-Day Juice Cleanse through her website. Unlike other juice cleanses from larger companies, Dev tailor-makes cleanses for each customer.
First, she does free 15-minute consultations before the start of the cleanse. The purpose, as she tells it, is “to gauge what the person is wanting to get out of the cleanse, what ailments they’re dealing with. A lot of the people that reach out to me are dealing with either heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, acid reflux, or inflammation… Each cleanse is specific to each person. Not one cleanse is ever the same.”
Dev utilizes her wide variety of juices, each with its own benefits, to devise a plan to address those issues. If she doesn’t have a juice to address a particular ailment, she’ll make one for that customer. “When I’m doing the cleanses,” Dev shared, “if I’m creating a new juice specifically for them, I name it after them, and it stays on my menu.”
Additionally, Dev makes daily check-in calls to see how a person is doing on the cleanse. She offers advice and caring words all along the way. Once the customer finishes the cleanse, she then instructs them on better eating habits to ensure the benefits of the cleanse are not lost.
Dev’s Bevs offers over ten different flavors on her website. With the rotating weekly juices from the kids and new juices from the cleanses, more flavors are always becoming available.
Dev said her most popular flavor is the Groovy Green—a blend of spinach, kale, apple, parsley, cucumber, and pineapple. She said, “I’m making like 75 of those a week. It’s insane.”
Another popular flavor is Sunny Christy, named after Dev’s mother. That juice is a mix of carrot, turmeric, ginger, orange, and black pepper. The description on the website states the juice “helps keep BG levels normal, lowers cholesterol, promotes healthy skin and digestion.” It also claims to aid in reducing inflammation.
Of course, little Phoebe also has a juice dedicated to her. Called “Pure Pheebz,” the juice’s ingredients are apple, carrot, orange, ginger, and beets. “This juice is an energy booster, great for eye and skin health and boosts the immune system,” reads the description.
Where to Find Dev’s Bevs
The Center of Anna Maria Island, where Dev makes her bevs, keeps a steady stock of juices available for purchase. In addition, Dev sells some of her juices through Salty Buddha Paddle & Yoga, also on Anna Maria Island. She’s also a regular at the Friendly City Flea market, held twice a month at Oscura in Downtown Bradenton. You can also visit her website to send your order directly to Dev’s inbox.
Dev’s list of customers is growing rapidly, and she couldn’t be happier. “My clients that have been with me now for the last six months are starting to reap the benefits of diet change and juicing,” she said. “And word is spreading! [People] are like, ‘Oh man! She knows what she’s talking about!’ It’s been really cool to watch all these bridges I’ve built over the last few years in my hometown come together.”
When you pay a visit to Dev’s Bev’s (and we hope you do!), be sure to tell her you heard about it on Discover Bradenton!