I sat down with Wen Kosters-Qin, the owner of Sustain Juicery and JuiceWell in Houston, TX. Wen tells the story behind Sustain Juicery, the reasons you should shop local, and explains what type of juice you should look for to get the maximum health benefits!
What’s the story behind Sustain Juicery?
The first Sustain Juicery started in 2011 in Los Angeles, the idea is to create an unique atmosphere to serve freshly made to order organic, cold-pressed juices. To create an organic vibe between customers and the bartenders, unlike the usual counter service or kiosk juice bars. Since the name is Sustain Juicery, Sustainability is also a part of the culture, we want to build the business organically, meaning no fussy marketing posters or gimmick items. We want to be as real as possible with no secret ingredients, being very transparent with our customers.
Can you explain the different types of juices that are available on the market right now?
The most common are the plastic bottled juices in the grocery store, and all of them are either pasteurized or HPP (High Pressure Processed) unless the juices are directly made by the grocery store itself. Once the juice is pasteurized or HPP in order to increase shelf life, all the bacteria in the juices are killed (both the good and bad bacteria). The purpose of drinking fresh raw juices is total defeated.
There are also many juice bars serving unpasteurized and non-HPP juices, some of them are using the centrifugal method (there is heat involving in the juicing process), some of them are cold-pressed, most of them are made in large batches and distributed to satellite locations.
Our brands (Sustain Juicery and JuiceWell) are trying to make handcrafted cold-pressed juices in small batches (2 to 8 bottles batches/depends on popularity), so customers will always get fresher juices. We are also trying to stick with using glass bottles, promoting recycling and reuse. Also, we are capable of customized juices based on customer preferences, on a bottle to bottle basis. We will even run to the grocery store to grab the ingredients (if we don’t usually carry that ingredient) if it is requested. We even offer direct delivery service.
What are the benefits of having raw, cold-pressed juice in your diet?
The benefit of having raw (unpasteurized and non-HPP juices), cold-pressed juices is to retain all the nutrients, enzymes, etc. for your body. There is always a catch when trying to extend shelf life or minimize risk of any raw food products, otherwise all the juice bars who make juices fresh would not be in business. Buying juices in a grocery store or even getting it shipped to your house is just so convenient, why would people go to the juice bar and buy them? It is because they are usually more beneficial than mass-produced and distributed pasteurized or HPP bottled juices.
What are the benefits of a juice cleanse?
The benefit of a juice cleanse is to detox and flush your body with liquid nutrients. Give your digestive system a break, and jump start clean eating. You will also gain the benefit of fasting. It also helps you strengthen your mind, staying away from refined sugar and processed food. It saves people time from their busy schedule as they don’t have to be trapped in the quick service processed food environment.
Sustain Juicery uses mostly organic and locally sourced ingredients when possible. What’s the reasoning behind that?
Using organic produce is important, as well as using local sourced ingredients to keep local farms engaged. There are many local farms using sustainable growing method, but not fortunate enough to have all the resources to certify their farm. It doesn’t mean their produce is worse quality than certified organic produce (there are also mass produced certified organic produce which barely pass the organic standard). We believe “having a certified organic tag or label on the product doesn’t mean it is always better”. There are many local farms growing high-quality produce with sustainable methods, as well as many local businesses provide high quality food products. We need to support our local community, keep them engaged and in business, otherwise it will benefit the large corporation monopoly of our food supply.
What’s your mission at Sustain Juicery?
The mission at Sustain Juicery (now JuiceWell) is to create an atmosphere promoting a healthy lifestyle. Stay 100% transparent with our customers, what you see is what you get, no secret ingredients. We are always trying to use fresh produce and authentic ingredients, we make everything from scratch, and take pride in serving customers real, handcrafted, fresh food and beverages. At the same time, make it fun, just like a cocktail bar but without the alcohol, building more connection between the customers and the bartenders. We share health tips with each other. Of course, there are a lot more to tell, but to keep it simple, I would just say “Keep it real!”
For more information about Sustain Juicery/JuiceWell, visit their website.
Thank you Wen for an informative and insightful interview!
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