DC food entrepreneurs are juicing success

DC-based juicing companies appeal to consumers embracing healthy eating

Whether you need a quick refreshment or a way to easily get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, fresh juice and smoothies can quench any kind of thirst you have. As the demand for healthier options that use fresher ingredients increases, the demand for traditional boxed juices and bottled smoothies is on the decline.

According to Euromonitor, a global market research firm, American consumers bought 4 billion gallons of packaged juice in 2012, but by 2017, that number fell to 530 million gallons.

An article in Food Navigator in August, there has been a general negative perception around sugar and sugary beverages in the United States and around the world. That has left the door open for healthier options, including natural fruit smoothies and cold-pressed juices. Thus, it’s not surprising that in the DC area, a place that is filled with health-conscious consumers, it isn’t hard to find cute juice and smoothie bars, filled with kale and bananas, for the on-the-go professional or the thirsty athlete straight out of the gym. A common theme among these juice bars is what makes their juices taste so good: fresh, oftentimes organic, and locally-sourced ingredients.

A must-stop juice shop is South Block Juice, located in Georgetown, with several other locations across the city. The chain is planning spring 2019 store openings in the high-traffic neighborhoods of Ballston Quarter and Downtown Rosslyn in Virginia, respectively. The Founder and CEO, Amir Mostafavi, thought that healthy food and drink options were lacking in DC “I wanted to have fresh and healthy smoothies and juices to go along with the mission of building a healthier community. We do this both through the food and experience,” he said.


Originally this was an idea that came about while Mostafavi was studying at George Washington University, and he opened his first shop in 2004. South Block finds that creating a community is an important part of the experience and, “put no limits on people that are seeking out positive energy and fresh and tasty food,” to make South Block as inclusive to all demographics and age groups as possible. And the company doesn’t take any shortcuts when it comes to making their products, whether it’s cold pressed juice or an acai bowl. Each item uses fresh ingredients and is made with the consumer’s needs in mind.

Puree Juice Bar is another DC-based business that creates delicious, cold-pressed, organic and unpasteurized juices. With three locations in the area—Mosaic District, Bethesda Row and Sibley Hospital—consuming clean products is an essential part of Puree Juice Bar’s vision. “We believe in concentrated phyto-nutrients without chemicals or pesticides,” according to the website.

They also offer a variety of juice cleanses for all your detoxing needs, which can also be made to order with assistance from the Puree team, depending on your needs. All drinks are packaged in glass bottles, maintaining crisp flavor and eliminating the harsh chemicals that are present in plastic.

If you’re in DC’s City Center, Fruititive will give you 100 percent plant-based, organic, kosher and sustainable juice, in par with its motto: “Live Your Health.” As the first certified Organic Fast Casual Restaurant in North America, all juices are made from scratch, using in-house ingredients. Unlike many other companies that use high pressure processing (HPP) with their cold-pressed juices, Fruititive stays clear of anything that can reduce nutritional value.


High-pressure processing “adds 60,000 lbs. of extra pressure to the juice after packaging, which not only deactivates microorganisms and live enzymes that would naturally decompose the juice over time, but also necessitates the use of harmful plastic packaging,” says the company’s website, further adding “HPP removes ingredients that decompose the juice, allowing for a longer shelf life, but it unfortunately also removes the original nutrients (that are present), as well. Fruititive’s juices stay fresh for the same amount of time as any other fruit or vegetable—about four to five days. On top of its juices, Fruitititive also offer bowls, overnight oats and other food options.

Misfit Juicery is juicing success in the nation's capital
Misfit is juicing success with ugly produce. Photo by Misfit.

In line with sustainability and the rise in sustainable eating and living is MISFIT Food. Created to put “ugly” produce, or produce that is shaped and looks a little stranger, than their counterparts, into use, the idea originated on a college campus by students passionate about food waste. When these ugly fruits and veggies aren’t bought in stores, they get thrown away, resulting food waste as well as monetary losses. MISFIT takes these unique pieces and creates delicious juice out of it.

Its website says, “all of our juice contains at least 70 percent misfits—the oddball produce farmers can’t sell—and weird-looking scraps leftover from manufacturers making carrot sticks or watermelon cubes.” Their juice mixes fresh fruit flavors with leafy greens like spinach and kale, creating a power-packed refreshing and socially conscious juice experience. According to Washington Business Journal, the company is now expanding to produce food products in addition to juice, originally starting as MISFIT Juicery and rebranding after additional investment for expansion.


National chains also offer a variety of healthy options. Robeks gives customers health boosts like a wheatgrass shot and Joe and the Juice offers juices, shakes, yogurts and coffee that will have you set no matter the occasion. Several local community based juice shops, aimed at catering to residents in the food dessert parts of DC also create delicious and affordable drinks.

Author credit: Sonikka Loganathan

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