Juice for the Soul, From Garden to Glass
One of the welcome developments of our ongoing food revolution is the increasing embrace of local, seasonal produce. These days our farmers markets teem with fresh fruits and vegetables, and even supermarkets feature the bounty of local farms. So now that quality produce is widely available, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that consumers are finding new ways to enjoy both the flavor and health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. And these days, for a rapidly growing group of consumers, that most often means trying natural juices and “cleanses.” Juice and cleanse businesses are launching across the country. But in California, where fresh produce is available year-round, the growth is particularly rapid. Here are a few local standouts with product available in Silicon Valley.
Available via three retail locations in San Francisco, but with product available for delivery in Silicon Valley, Thrive Cleanse offers a line of cleanses based on cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices. And for founder Stephanie Hubbard, using cold-pressed juice is key: “The cold-press process extracts the most enzymes and nutrients as possible from the fruits and vegetables and they never come into contact with heat. You can definitely taste the difference between a cold-pressed juice and a juice that one might make from the juicer on your kitchen counter at home.” The cold-press process itself involves using a large, powerful press to literally squeeze the juice from the produce, but without added heat or oxidation. “We have a daily delivery of fresh, all-organic produce that we juice that very same day. We use a large industrial cold-press machine that allows us to make many gallons an hour. We make two deliveries each day to all of our locations, so the juice is fresh daily,” says Hubbard. Thrive cleanses are designed to make their users feel better over a multi-day regimen and “cleanse” the body of toxins while providing the nutrients of fresh juices. “We aim to make our cleansing juices more alkalizing to ensure a better pH balance so each cleanse has a healing effect to rid the body of toxins and acidity. We spend many hours developing new recipes … we want all of our juices to be well balanced and taste delicious. No one should have to drink a juice that doesn’t taste good. Our green juices are packed with seven servings of vegetables in each bottle, with nothing else added. Each bottle is vibrant and robust with nutrients!” says Hubbard. Thrive features cleanse sets like the “Reboot” and the “Deep Dive,” but also offers dozens of individual cold-pressed juices for sale. Flavors range from “The Green Machine” (kale, romaine, spinach, cucumber, lemon, parsley and ginger) to the “Pamp” (pineapple, apple, pear, mint).
Bushel Whole Blended Juices
Variety is the spice of life, and the same applies to fresh juices. For those looking to enjoy their fruit and vegetable juices whole, they can look to Bushel Whole Blended Juices in Menlo Park. Bushel maintains a retail location within the Willows Market and also delivers and provides on-site blending services throughout the Bay Area. The difference with Bushel is that they blend fruits and vegetables whole and include all the natural fibers and solids in their juices. Bushel does not sell cleanses, as co-founder Tasneem Manjra notes “cold-pressed and pressed juicers ‘juice’ fruits and vegetables, meaning the fiber, skin and other parts of the fruit are left behind. We whole-blend such that our juices contain all of the fiber and nutritious (edible) parts of fruits and vegetables. We think this is a nutritionally superior way to drink juice … we think that drinking a healthy juice should be a part of a lifestyle. Our juices are designed to make you feel good, boost your immunity and, if you’re lucky, help you lose a few pounds. That’s it.” Bushel sources most of its produce locally and from organic, sustainable sources. Flavors include the popular “Sincerely, Green” (kale, spinach, apple, lemon, orange and pineapple), “Beets Me” (beet, apple, lemon, pineapple, grapes, ginger), “Apple of My Day” (kale, apple, banana, fresh raw and fresh unfiltered almond milk and nonfat yogurt) and “Avocado Bliss” (avocado, fresh filtered almond milk, and a touch of agave). Bushel also features seasonal specials: “Right now, we are offering ‘Carrot Top, a blend of carrots, lemon and pineapple. It’s a super-fresh drink, which is great for summer,” says Manjra.
Another successful juice and cleanse company, Project Juice, recently opened a retail location in Palo Alto. Project Juice started as a pop-up concept in San Francisco just two years ago but expanded into three retail locations and maintains a solid local delivery business. Project Juice sells both cold-pressed juices and cleanses, with 80% of its ingredients coming from a handful farms in Watsonville. Project Juice cleanses are a “series of juices in a specific order. They give your digestive system a break and that energy is diverted to other parts of the body in need. People feel better inside and out. We think the benefits are both mental and physical,” says co-founder Greg Malsin. “Cold-pressed juice is a great part of a healthy diet.” It was the health concerns of Malsin’s wife and co-founder, Rachel Malsin, that led to their founding Project Juice (with third co-founder Devon Briger). “Rachel has food allergies and a doctor recommended a raw food diet. She tried it and never felt better, had a ton of energy. In New York there were lots of convenient options for her. We moved to San Francisco and saw a gap in the market, started and then grew Project Juice into what it is today,” says Malsin. And the growth continues. In January Project Juice received an investment from First Beverage Group, which had started a fund to invest in emerging companies. With the investment Project Juice “wants to have five to six locations by the end of the year,” says Malsin. Project Juice features beginner, intermediate and advanced cleanses along with 15 individual juices. Juice flavors include the “#getyourgreens” (Celery, Cucumber, Chard, Romaine, Cilantro, Lemon, Ginger, Aloe) and the “Immunity” (Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Ginger, Cayenne).