By Paula Roy –
If you’re wandering the side streets near the Parkdale Market, you might be surprised to come across a carefully tended garden on Spencer Street in front of a nondescript industrial building. It’s the perfect welcome mat for Urban Juice Press, an 18-month-old business that recently relocated from Vanier
Founder Justin Gauthier says they made the move so they can offer customers a storefront, something they’ve been asking for since they opened.
“We also looked at our online orders and realized that many were coming from the Hintonburg and Westboro areas, as well as farther west, so this location made great sense for us.”
Inside their chic, comfortable shop, you’ll find a collection of healthful juices produced on the premises, using an enormous hydraulic press.
“All our juices are made from raw, organic fruits and vegetables which are cold-pressed to preserve maximum nutrients,” explains Gauthier, who became a juicing aficionado when it helped him overcome health problems. After a trip to New York City where he saw the vibrant juice bar scene, he decided to open his own business with partner Tyler Saikaly.
With Urban Juice Press, they are leveraging multiple talents.
“I have a degree in Kinesiology with a focus on nutrition and was working for an occupational therapist,” says Gauthier. Saikaly, meanwhile, has a geography degree but is a self-taught nutritionist. The pair has enlisted the support of trained nutritionists in developing their juice blend recipes and have built up a range of loyal customers, some of whom incorporate the juices into their regular diets while others use them for periodic juice cleanses.
Urban Juice Press’ offerings include seven varieties of cold-pressed juices and a nut milk called Creamy Cashew. Gauthier says of their five original juices, the beet and ginger-based ‘Immune Supercharge’ is a consistently strong seller, but he expects their two new recipes – the anti-inflammatory ‘Turmeric Ave.’ and alkalizing ‘Sabroso’ to become very popular as well.
If you’re wondering what happens to all the fruit and vegetable pulp that is a byproduct of the juicing process, you’ll be happy to learn that it doesn’t go to waste. Some is collected by Mariposa Farm for animal feed while Bianca Coldrey of Take Another Bite in Manotick is also using some to create jams and relish for her catering and food shop business.
Between their own storefront, online sales and their numerous retail partners – including Thyme and Again, Green Rebel, Market Organic and Nature’s Buzz – Urban Juice Press is steadily growing its volume.
“We now have the capacity to produce 250 bottles in a five-hour shift, and we’re up to four production days each week,” notes Gauthier. “We expect to move to additional pressing shifts as we take on more retail partners whose values align with ours.”
Appealing to storefront customers is a high priority now, adds Gauthier. “We’ve just added smoothies to our repertoire; they’re freshly made to order and we have three super-nutritious blends available. We can’t wait for people to try them.”
The Urban Juice Press shop is located at 340 Parkdale Ave. (on Spencer between Hamilton and Parkdale). Just look for the garden.