June 24, 2014
Sales of Virginia wine are at an all-time high, and craft breweries are experiencing rapid growth in the state, but could a third beverage trend be catching on the Commonwealth?
Health conscious juice companies are growing in Virginia, but these aren't the standard apple and orange juice. In the past year, The Juice Laundry and Lumi have expanded in Charlottesville and beyond.
"We cold press over two pounds of organic produce into every 16 ounce bottle of Lumi, and to preserve the nutrients and flavor we use high pressure processing," said Hillary Lewis founder and CEO of Lumi, which stands for ‘love you, mean it.’
Lewis has only been working on Lumi since last April, but in that time she's set up manufacturing in Charlottesville to several grocery stores in the Mid-Atlantic. This week Lumi expands to 41 Whole Foods from Ohio to New Jersey and 54 Safeway locations in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
"I remember the first time I stocked the shelves in Whole Foods Charlottesville and I saw someone reach for a Lumi and ask 'what is this, it's local? It’s new?' and I saw this girl take four and put them in her basket. I thought to myself, 'what just happened?" said Lewis.
Mike Kennan founder and owner of The Juice Laundry delivers his non-processed, fresh juices directly to customers in the Charlottesville and Richmond areas, and sells that at the City Market. Customers can drink the juices individually or as part of a multi-day cleanse.
"Juice is unique in that you drink it, and unlike a vitamin or a pill, with the juice, and I'm not alone in saying this, you drink one and you really just feel it energizing your cells," said Keenan.
Keenan also has plans of expanding, opening a juice and salad bar in Charlottesville.
Both Keenan and Lewis say most importantly, at the heart of both companies is health.
"People are becoming more educated about this. People are becoming more tuned in to what they are putting into their body. The relationship between what you put in and how you feel," Keenan said.