WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL BACKGROUND ?
Before being in the UK, starting a family and setting up the East London Juice Co. I lived on my own in the wilderness on a converted ranger station by a Canadian lake, painting and foraging, working in a nightclub (as you do!) But while much has changed in the way I spend my days, from the lake to the city, my vision + intention has always remained the same: An artist working toward a connective practice of inner and outer well-being. So in many ways, East London Juice Co. is very much in-line with that same journey.
HOW DID YOUR IDEA FOR THIS COME ABOUT?
Whilst studying Permaculture in Peru, a self-sustaining business around food + wellness was imagined. That was the seed that grew. Now, we are an evolving business that facilitates mindfulness in how we approach plants + food within our culture. I think when we breathe life into any creative project, support it + nourish it, it can evolve + grow in a very natural way. So the juice thing has been less of a lightbulb moment + more of an evolution. I was very familiar with making juice, passionate about it + wanted to share it. In a way, it didn't make sense not to set it up.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF THIS BUSINESS ?
We're still very much at the start of our journey here. It's been a steep, but enjoyable learning curve. Initial funding came from savings + a small Kickstarter Campaign (thank you again to everyone!) + a pop up was the ideal place for us to start as it gave us a great location + an opportunity to experiment with the business. The biggest challenges have been around business inexperience, finance + time, however, it’s such a fantastic project to live + breathe.
WHATS YOUR PERSONAL FAVOURITE DISH ?
You're asking us to pick a favourite child of ours?! That's impossible, so I'll pick the newest born. We’ve just started offering a hot vegan broth -new to the menu. It's got over a hundred different ingredients including 6 different seaweeds, wild pine pollen + synergistic adaptogens focusing on supporting the immune system. Although there's a lot of exotic + unusual ingredients, the excitement is making it fresh. Something like this, that is made with such care, feels amazing to have people enjoy.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO KEEP GOING + GIVING TO YOUR BUSINESS?
The sense of community that comes from working with a group of likeminded people + meeting new people all the time that want to be a part of it. We’ve held the odd supper club happening for small groups of about 15 guests. It's a multilevel nourishment experience in the middle of a crazy city. Each time it’s a completely different experience. We start by leading participants through a meditative practice that activates the rest + digest response within the nervous system. We encourage everyone to listen closer to what the body actually needs from food beyond cravings, which, most of the time, is just the mind playing tricks on you. Then, when it’s time for a beautiful meal, participants feel relaxed as they eat slower, seem more rooted in their body, + connect with each other in such a different way.
WHY DO YOU EAT THE WAY YOU DO?
My personal relationship with food health has been a very contradictory one. I have always been aware of what I was putting into my body, but my relationship was not always balanced or healthy. I’ve experienced food as a fuel during competitive martial arts training, to food as unnecessary during an extended period of bulimia as a young girl. We all have our stories around what we eat, and mine today is more about approach. I am a 'clean eater' but with a terrific balance. I am vegetarian + gluten free but very open minded when it comes to an individual’s needs. I deeply respect slow food but you’ll also often find me at HQ on a Friday night with friends spiking our cold-pressed juice + eating GF pizza.
WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL OPINIONS ON JUICE CLEANSES ?
We do not and will not ever offer juice only diets. When we were in the research and development phase of the business, one of my friends with expertise in marketing began to research the juice industry, and I was really disturbed by what he showed me. Most juice companies have taken something really good + made a cleanse into something less than ideal. I strongly oppose some of the online advertising that's out there; encouraging new breastfeeding mums to just drink juice for 5 days, teenage girls to drop a dress size and fuelling many insecurities, even to the point of villainizing solid food and fat. As such, we have decided to avoid juice only diets like the plague of faux-faddish health-hocum that they are.
A cleanse could possibly be done in a beneficial way for the right person using the right tools, but I’ve rarely seen that happen. We get a lot of young girls coming in requesting juices to cleanse, detox + lose weight, which actually makes me so angry! We simply believe in PAD (Pay Attention Diet). Pay attention to how you feel! What does your body really want? It’s a long journey to learn to listen to oneself more, but let's start moving in that direction !