There was a time when juicing was touted as a last ditch effort by desperate dieters, or the grassy liquid accompaniment to “extreme” healthy lifestyle choices. The game, though, has changed in Vancouver, and during the last few years, a gaggle of health-focused entrepreneurs has given juiceries some serious street cred.
“Our intention is nourishment,” says Nectar Juicery co-founder Lara Kozan. “Which is why we have been so methodical in the design of the juices and cleanses.” Kozan, the creative force and co-founder behind YYoga, started Nectar with friend Tori Holmes shortly after they met in 2013. The duo’s juices are not only 100 per cent organic (without exception), but are also cold-pressed, unpasteurized (meaning that, despite a limited shelf life, it is alive with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes), and use a consistent three-to-one vegetable to fruit ratio. “All of our juices have not only been designed by MDs, NDs, and holistic nutritionists, but also by Ayurvedic specialists,” Kozan says. “We are creating alkalizing vegetable-based juices, and we have worked with mixologists to get the flavour just right.”
Nick Lewis, founder of Kitsilano’s Krokodile Pear juice outlet, has just opened his second location in Yaletown. “By extracting our juice without heat using a hydraulic press, we are able to create the highest quality and most nutrient-dense juice,” says Lewis. “A centrifugal juicer kills nutrients and enzymes, resulting in a lower quality, less flavourful, and nutritionally-inferior juice.” Currently, Krokodile Pear’s green juices are the most popular, with the Alouette juice being a clear favourite (kale, spinach, parsley, romaine, cucumber, celery, apple, pineapple, lime).
At Radicle Juice in Mount Pleasant, Briana Wutsch’s menu is about transparency; the company is about community. “We wanted to offer juices and smoothies that were fun, funky, and satisfying. Customers see right in front of them what goes into each drink,” she affirms. The vision is similar at the Juice Truck’s new brick and mortar location (a companion to the bright pink truck usually staked out in Gastown). “It embodies health and wellness and community,” says co-founder Zach Berman. “Here we wanted to promote some of the things we believe in and we wanted to have a space that we could offer.”
It’s certainly a credo that is catching on. At each location, powerful potions in all colours of the rainbow are brimming with nourishment and taste, giving Vancouverites city-wide the glow. Who would have thought the elixirs of life would be so widely available and taste so sweet?