New juicery owner has zest for success
A smoothie and juice business that started as a home-based enterprise a few months ago has set up in premises on Elliott Street.
The change was necessary after a house move meant there was no longer space at home to prepare juices for clients.
In December, OM Juicery moved to a kitchen set-up on Elliott Street, next to the former premises of Chewstick. The location is proving to be an ideal base for the enterprise.
While not a shop, the working kitchen allows batches of cold-pressed juices and smoothies can be made efficiently.
Preston James Ephraim, better known as Preston James, makes the juices with help from supporters.
The business has built a customer base through word-of-mouth, and is looking to expand further as more people learn about it from friends and colleagues, or through its website and Facebook page.
Things have been moving swiftly in for the business.
It is three years since Mr James started Mr Organic, an online distributor of wholesale organic food and holistic products.
He is also a fitness, meditation and life coach, and last year recommended to a client to start juicing. The client asked if he would make it.
Juicing is something Mr James has done for himself for many years, but not for others. When, only days later, another client also asked if he could prepare some juices, OM Juicery was born.
“I did not plan to go into the juicing business. It is something that developed,” he said.
Mr James said there are studies that point to health and wellness benefits associated with freshly prepared juices, particularly detoxing using juices on a regular basis.
OM Juicery prepares its drinks using a cold pressed juicer, which Mr James said is the first and only one on the island. It applies 200 pounds of pressure to the ingredients to squeeze out as much of the goodness — the enzymes, nutrients and flavour — as possible.
The more commonly used centrifugal juicers generate heat that can oxidate ingredients, causing vitamins and nutrients to be lost.
Two decades of experience preparing his own juices has given Mr James an extensive knowledge of effective combinations and recipes.
“I select each and every ingredient and handpick the produce,” he said.
Where possible, OM Juicery uses organic ingredients and locally sourced produce.
“We are at about 85 per cent organic.”
There is a wide range of customers, from corporate executives and attorneys, to stay-at-home moms and children, and locals.
“There are people who are working in offices who want to eat healthily but they do not have the time to make their own juices — there is a lot of labour involved, and you have to clean the juicer immediately after use.”
Mr James is particularly happy with the way the enterprise has been able to connect with people living in the immediate neighbourhood.
“One of the differences from being here is seeing the smiles on people in the neighbourhood,” said Mr James, mentioning how he has shared some of the juices with appreciative locals.
“We feel it is a new heartbeat in this area. We have conversations with the guys and it's a great way to lead by example.
“I believe that anyone can accomplish anything in life. It is great that we are in this area.”
The business prides itself in listening to its customers, and tweaking recipes according to feedback and individual tastes.
After four months of making juices from home, having the opportunity to do so in a dedicated working kitchen has brought further inspiration for Mr James.
“It is a different feel. It feels that we are growing and demand is increasing.”
Looking ahead, he said it is his intention to eventually have OM Juicery's drinks available in shops.
For now, he is pleased with the organic, word-of-mouth expansion that has occurred.
“It is like watching a child grow. I'm watching to see where it is going to go.”