It's the middle of winter, and eating well can be tough. Comfort foods beckon from everywhere: close ups of melt-y pizzas and mile high desserts on your Instagram feed, heaping bowls of pasta and juicy burgers on magazine covers and food blogs, four kinds of chicken wings on your local pub's specials board. Optimistic as we are, let's face it: January is just not salad season.
But at HubBub, we've got something new to help meet your daily fruit and veg requirements in a delicious, easy way: JuiceHub cold pressed juices. These beauties are 100% vegan, raw, organic, and made around the way in Ardmore, PA. We've had green and orange juice for awhile now, but are very excited to share our new expanded line up with you!
There is Green Juice Phase II (apple, cucumber, kale, spinach, lemon, and ginger - delivering 75% of your recommended veggies just like that - POW!), Green Juice Phase I (apple, kale, lemon, ginger), agave-sweetened Ginger Lemonade, Fresh OJ, and Red Root Juice (pineapple, sweet potato, carrot, and beet).
Here's the deal with cold pressed juice: the juices you might make at home (do you juice at home? If so, GO YOU!), or the stuff you'll find at a typical juice bar are usually made with a machine that uses a centrifugal blade basket. The blade basket has to spin so quickly to separate the juice from the pulp that it creates a significant amount of heat - heat that actually par cooks the juice. That process kills a bunch of the enzymes that make raw juice so wildly good for your body. Kind of a bummer.
Cold pressed juice is made with massive amounts of pressure, and the juice is never, ever heated. We source our JuiceHub juices from the Juice Dr., a small, independently owned company based in Ardmore, PA. Their owner, FJ Leto is super into juicing (obvs), but from a nutrition-driven perspective informed by science, not diet dogma. We recently took a trip out to the Juice Dr. kitchen space to talk with FJ about his story, the benefits of juicing, and more.
FJ has known HubBub's owner Drew and his family since he was a kid. He went to college at St. Joseph's University, where he studied marketing. While there, he was part of a group that won a prestigious Business Policy Competition for re-imagining Kodak as an alternative energy company. FJ says, "If you win, you get an A, you get money, and pretty much instantly get a job...so I got all these job offers, but all of them sounded like a prison sentence. I didn’t want to just go sit in an office."
After graduation, FJ and a friend took a trip to Central America. "We wanted to have some adventures, you know, jump off water falls and stuff," he says. During his travels, he fell in love with being outdoors, and when he returned to the States, moved to California and began teaching at an outdoor school in Big Bear. He eventually transitioned to Program Coordinator at the school, where he got some experience making videos. He moved to a new job in Berkeley, CA managing a documentary studio, and went on to start a digital marketing company. The entire time he was living in Cali, FJ was getting super into drinking fresh juice, which was available all over the place (oh, California, don't ever change). As FJ puts it, "You could walk to a juice bar from pretty much everywhere."
FJ moved back east in December 2012, and was disappointed to find that the nutrient-packed cold pressed juices he loved in California were nowhere to be found. After working with a health-focused client of his marketing company, he was completely convinced that poor diets are at the root of most health problems in the Western world. He came up with the idea to start a juice company that positions the juices as prescriptions for health issues - prescriptions that would be recommended by health and wellness professionals.
FJ first tested his model out on his own dad. It was about two years ago, and his dad had just come back from a routine doctor’s check up, where he'd gotten the news that he was in the 50 percentile of high risk for heart disease. FJ remembers: "I said, 'Hey Dad, let me make you one juice every morning and have it instead of your cereal.' He complained at first, but then got really into it - he ended up losing 20 pounds!" When FJ's dad went back to the doctor, his levels were all in the perfect range. Bolstered by this anecdotal evidence, FJ approached Drexel University's Nutritional Sciences Department and they helped him build out the first juice prototypes in the summer of 2013.
Actual scientists and nutritionists helped FJ to develop the recipes for his juice, optimized for maximum nutritional benefits and flavor. These juices make an amazing quick snack, but, as FJ explains, they are really designed for regular consumption.
That's wild, right? We know that junk food is designed to give us pleasure, but it's crazy to think that there is a true chemical component to that: processed foods overwhelm your pleasure center and give you an instant hit of serotonin, but in an hour it’s gone. When you can teach your brain and body to crave nutritious fresh foods, those levels can balance back out. FJ calls cold pressed juice a "silver bullet" for nutrition: "There’s just no way to get that much fresh food into your body other than juicing it. No matter where you are health wise, those nutrients have been pre-digested for you: the juicer pulls the insoluble fiber out, and the nutrients hit your blood stream in a matter of minutes."
The Juice Dr. officially began in February 2015. Their model is based on a client subscription program, where they deliver ridiculously fresh juice to peoples' homes or workplaces. They now have a large customer base, and are producing 600 bottles of juices and smoothies per week. **Important note**: HubBub is the only place where Juice Dr. products are retailed by the bottle. So while bottled juices are popping up all over the place, drink smart. A lot of juice is made with mostly fruit juice, contains extra sugar or other filler, and are not cold pressed. Each bottle of Juice Dr. juice is made with 100% raw, organic produce, measured down to a fraction of an ounce, and made and blended by hand. Plus, each bottle of JuiceHub juice is between one and four days old - instead of collecting dust in a cross country tractor trailer, they come from just a few miles away from their kitchen to our fridge.
Speaking of the Juice Dr. kitchen, check out some rad photos of their space below. When we went to visit, the whole place smelled like sweet pineapple, 80's jams were on the stereo, and the entire kitchen crew did shots of fresh ginger juice together.
So, try a bottle of juice with your coffee next time you're in and see how it makes you feel! Our bet is...pretty darn amazing.