Musée Talks to Erica Huss and Zoe Sakoutis, Founders of BluePrint Juices

BluePrint has revolutionized the juice cleanse. Can you tell us how the concept for the BluePrint Cleanse and BluePrint Juice lines came about? Zoe: In early 2000, I was battling a savage cold and turned to a raw foodist friend who recommended a nutritional juice cleanse instead of the usual drugstore remedies, which never really felt like they were healing as much as covering up. After a week of juicing, I was not only cured but felt amazing. While I was thrilled with the results, I found the process itself excruciating (buying, washing, prepping, juicing, cleaning, starting over).

After that first encounter, I went from full-scale carnivore to raw foodist overnight and was inspired to bring my knowledge to others. I created BluePrint for myself and for the many like-minded people I knew, who lived at a demanding pace but were searching for a practical, accessible system of cleansing to help them maintain their health and balance, whether they were raw foodists or not. Four years after BluePrintCleanse launched, we introduced BluePrintJuice, our line of individually sold juices, to our clients who wanted freshly pressed juice even when they weren’t cleansing.

Erica: I had a background in musical theatre and dance, and the grueling lifestyle led me to nurture what was already a passionate interest in food and nutrition. I was always of the mindset that while I wanted to eat well for health, truly enjoying good food and wine is a priority for me as well. Zoe and I became friends working in the NYC hospitality and nightlife world, and when I left to pursue hospitality public relations, Zoe called me up in 2006 to help create BluePrintCleanse, so that others could experience the benefits of juicing, presented in an approachable, accessible, and non-dogmatic way. The company has continually grown over the years, including the launch of BluePrintJuice. It is incredibly exciting to think that we started a movement that really has become a way of life for so many people.

Why did you think there was a need for a company like BluePrint?

Zoe: At the end of the day, it just shouldn’t be difficult or intimidating to get access to fresh juice that is healthy and delicious. My takeaway from my first cleanse was that the process needed to be easier, particularly for beginners, and needed to be customized to each person’s level of nutritional awareness and dietary history. That’s exactly what BluePrintCleanse aims to do.


There are lots of fruit and vegetable juices on the market. What makes BluePrint Juice different?

Erica: In addition to being the pioneer of the modern fresh pressed juice category, BluePrint is incredibly flavorful, organic, accessible — and we make it easy for people to understand how to incorporate it into their lives. Our juices are loaded with fruits and veggies, vitamins, minerals and live enzymes — one day of the BluePrintCleanse includes 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables.

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Your mantra is “We Think. You Drink”. Can you tell us what this means?

Erica: Cleansing and freshly pressed juice used to be a complicated process and idea; we set out to make it easy for our clients.  We have three different levels of cleansing, depending on one’s dietary habits, and each bottle is clearly labelled so it’s easy to understand. We do all of the heavy lifting, including sourcing organic produce, juicing it in a special hydraulic press, and packaging it in easy-to-follow numbered bottes – so that you can simply drink.


Can you tell us more about yourselves? What were your backgrounds before establishing BluePrint?

Zoe: I graduated from Marymount College with a B.A. in Communications, then moved to NYC, where I wrote and developed pitches for TV shows during the day and worked at Ian Schrager's Hudson Hotel at night. I studied at the Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute in Puerto Rico and in 2001 became a Certified Nutritional Consultant (A.A.N.C.). Since then, I’ve evolved through many phases of nutritional orthodoxy to where I am today. I enjoy raw food but am also a New Yorker at heart who loves restaurants and nightlife, with all of their dietary perils!

Erica: I graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Theater and French, and continued my lifelong path in musical theater and dance. I performed for several years, during which time the grueling lifestyle led me to nurture what was already a passionate interest in food and nutrition. I had always enjoyed good food and wine but took a more serious interest when I became increasingly aware of trying to find the balance between pleasure and feeling strong and healthy. I went on to work in some of NYC's top restaurants and catering companies and then spent four years in public relations, representing various clients in the food and wine industries, at which point I met Zoe and we became fast friends.


What are the benefits of juice cleansing? Why are you fans of cleansing, personally?

Zoe: Without a doubt, you’ll feel better in your own skin – both physically and mentally. Cleansing also helps clear your mind because your body isn’t working so hard to digest, and your cells are detoxifying, giving your brain room to function at its maximum capacity.


BluePrint Juice has quite the celebrity following. Who are some of the celebrity fans of BluePrint Juice?

Erica:  Some of our fans include Jessica Szhor, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Ashley Greene.


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What do you think has driven the surge in popularity of juice cleanses recently?

Zoe: I think many people - from the most austere of raw food acolytes to those who choose a more indulgent diet - are looking for healthy and nutritious alternatives to what has commonly been readily available in the American diet. It’s healthy, delicious and easy to use. It’s exciting to see how people have taken to it and are feeling the benefits firsthand.


Why did BluePrint expand beyond the BluePrint Juice Cleanse line into individually packaged juices?

Erica: We launched our signature BluePrintJuice line of cold-pressed juices at the request of our clients, who were looking to grab a bottle on the go or to add more fruits and veggies to their daily routines, and also for those looking to snag some juice to supplement a cleanse.


Can you tell us what other products and programs BluePrint offers?

Zoe: In addition to our BluePrintCleanse and BluePrintJuice juice lines, we recently launched BluePrintBar made from the best and simplest fruits and nuts, and nothing else - raw whole, natural and unprocessed ingredients with zero fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.


You have published a book entitled The 3-Day Cleanse. What is the book about?

Erica: In The 3-Day Cleanse, we give you the inside scoop on how and why to cleanse, with 100 delicious recipes for food and juice that you can make at home.


Who is responsible for choosing the ingredients used in the juices? How do you decide what ingredients to use?

Zoe: Erica and I develop all of our recipes, which is incredibly important to us. We also care deeply about where our produce comes from and source 100% organic, natural, whole and unprocessed ingredients from farms that practice sustainable agriculture. Approximately 20 lbs. of freshly pressed fruits and vegetables are consumed in just one day on the cleanse, and we make sure it’s the very best.


Your juices claim to be ‘cold-pressed’ and ‘unpasteurized’. What does this mean and why is it important?

Erica: Our juices are raw—cold-pressed and unpasteurized—and are made with our special hydraulic press, which uses seven tons of pressure to extract every drop of goodness our fruits and veggies have to give. Raw juiced fruits and vegetables are especially high in easy-to-absorb vitamins, minerals and plant enzymes.


BluePrint is the first juice cleanse company to become USDA certified organic. What does this mean and why is it significant? Are there benefits to eating organic?

Zoe: We have been sourcing and producing 100% organic juice for some time now, but we were especially thrilled to be the first juice in its category to achieve the distinction of USDA certification. In taste alone, organic juices have an advantage, because the freshest and most clean fruits and vegetables make the best tasting juice, and whole, unadulterated food is packed with nutritious enzymes.


Is BluePrint working on anything exciting for the future?

Erica: The most exciting recent news is that we are launching our first ever store on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, CA. We also plan to come out with several new flavors over the next year.


Photo of Zoe and Erica by Chris Cragoe

Juice Photographs by Evan Sung

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