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Issue No. 18 - Humanity

Interview: Organic Avenue

Organic Avenue is one of the leading providers of organic cold pressed juices, raw food cleansing programs, snacks, superfoods, truly natural beauty products, healthy lifestyle education and community building events. Founder Denis Mari combined her passion for whole foods, healing , vegetarianism and entrepreneurship to create the company in 2000. Musée Magazine recently had the chance to catch up with Organic Avenue advisor Teresa DeFalco and Jessie Gould, Senior Vice President of Retail. Here is what they had to say:

 

INTERVIEW: TERESA DEFALCO

How long have you been working at organic avenue?

This August will be two years.

What prompted you to apply?

I was a devoted customer first at our Upper East side boutique. I looked forward to going to the store every morning to pick out my lunch and juice for the day. I have been passionate about health and wellness for as long as I could remember and really enjoyed learning more from the knowledgeable staff on the health benefits of the products I was purchasing. One day they had a sign up that said "LOVE where you work!" I was already in love with the company and the product, so becoming part of the organization was a no brainer for me.

Are you Vegan or Vegetarian?

I have been a vegetarian since I was 15.

Which Juices get the best responses from customers?

Our customers come to us because they trust we have the healthiest juices with the highest quality. Knowing they can't go wrong with whatever they decide, most will choose their juice based on flavor preference. Sweeter juices like Royal Red and Sweet Greens get a lot of attention, but without a doubt our green juices rule the fridges! Our signature green juice, Green LOVE, still ranks super high among customers.

What about food?

Our salads are unique and loaded with flavorful toppings like nut cheeses and dried fruit and served with creamy, healthy dressings. The Big Kale salad, specifically, is very popular and proves healthy food can taste delicious.

What are your personal favorite juice and food choices?

My all-time favorite is the Green Coco juice. I start every morning with one in lieu of coffee. The coconut water is very hydrating and the greens give me energy and help fuel my day. For food, I often crave our quinoa bowls. We have a variety of flavors, so I never get bored. They are filling without weighing you down and make the perfect lunch or dinner side dish.

What health benefits do you notice when consuming juices regularly?

Juicing has become such a part of my routine, I rarely go a day without a juice. Since consistently consuming juice, I noticed that my energy level stays even throughout the day. I also noticed that I don't have cravings for sweets anymore. The most rewarding benefit from regular juicing has been a boosted immune system. I breeze through cold and flu season without a single sniffle!

 

INTERVIEW: JESSIE GOULD

 

Your degrees are in Finance and Economics, do you have a background in nutrition and health as well?

My background appears quite the contrast to the health & wellness world I dove into with Organic Avenue. However, I have always been very interested in nutrition personally and in companies that help create a healthier world. I have learned so much about health and nutrition in my time here so far, and the environment has inspired me to pursue further nutrition studies in the fall.

How did you get involved with the company?

I was previously working with Weld North, the investment firm that purchased Organic Avenue. I'd been looking to gain some operational experience and there were some projects Organic Avenue needed help with. I spent a few months with the Company and I was hooked! I eventually took on the role as Head of Retail.

Can you tell us some of the few benefits of juicing?

Cold-Pressed juice is a quick, easy, and delicious way to nourish your body with vitamins, nutrients and energy. We consider daily juicing the key to a higher level of health and happiness, delivering increased energy, balance and mental clarity.

Who develops the juice formulas?

We have an incredible staff at the Organic Avenue ‘Plant’, and so many of us here are passionate about juicing so we like to partake in tasting and improving new and existing recipes together.

Do you have any ideas for future juices?

Our juice recipes are always evolving, and we like to focus on what’s going on seasonally. Right now we are working on a special juice for cold and flu season. So yes, there are new juices in the works for Organic Avenue!

What about the food?

We provide clean, nourishing food that is always organic. At Organic Avenue, we focus on plant-based recipes that are free of dietary toxins, and are sugar sensitive & nut light. As with our juices and smoothies, our food recipes are constantly evolving as well and we are excited about the new dishes we have in the works!

Exercise is a key part to healthy living. What regimens do you recommend?

We agree, and encourage people to incorporate more exercise into their daily lives. Many of our customers enjoy cardio, yoga, Pilates, weight training, and we support it all. It’s wonderful to be here in New York City, where there are so many fitness studios offering unique, effective, and fun classes. We recommend getting out there and exploring them.

While juice shops are popping up all over New York, the rest of the country is still relatively behind on the trend. Are there any plans to branch out to middle America?

We have tremendous growth plans - everywhere and everything is possible.

What makes Organic Avenue different from there other juice companies like Blue Print Cleanse, The Juice Press, The Butchers daughter, etc

We pride ourselves on our creatively curated rotating menu, offering a fresh assortment of juices each day with a wider variety of vitamins, nutrients and flavors. Information and support is the key, and our unique Cleanse Concierge program offers complementary tips and guidance before, during and after our cleanses. Finally and most importantly, our juices simply taste the best!

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding juicing, specifically that it encourages disordered eating and self-starvation, what isOrganic Avenue doing to fight these misconceptions?

There are a lot of misconceptions about nutrition in general, not just juicing. We always want to be a credible, transparent source of information to help our customers on their journey to a higher level of health.

On a similar note, Organic Avenue recently partnered with CFDA and Fashion Week. Are there plans to partner with CFDA again in the future?

Our partnership with the CFDA was successful, and a great opportunity to provide models, designers and fashionistas with nutrient-rich, healthy options at the shows, etc. We would love to partner with them again.

Do you drink Organic Avenue juices everyday? Which are your favorites?

I am a huge fan of having at least one green juice a day. Incorporating more green juices into your daily diet makes you feel great. Some of my favorites are Green Love, Master Tonic and most recently I've gotten really into putting a ginger shot into my Green Love.

Juices, food, what’s next?

We are pretty focused on our core business right now but we've got endless ambition so you never know....

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