Jugofresh

We have been a little obsessed lately with “juicing,” recognizing the health benefits of leafy greens everyday and willing to fork over large sums to get someone else to do the “heavy lifting.” Juicing at home is hard. Sure, the ingredients are not expensive. Go to your local produce market and stock up on kale, spinach, pineapple, orange, maybe some herbs, and you too can juice at home. The difficulty is waking up early to blend the juice and keeping the ingredients fresh, consistently. We have found that juice smoothies are great after working out or a day on the go, and locally, we prefer Palm Beach Smoothie in Boynton.

The other day we found Jugofresh while walking around Wynwood in Miami on our day off. Jugofresh is like Jamba Juice, but healthier. There are several other locations around Miami. This location, behind Wynwood Kitchen, was a little tough to find. It is less than a year old, but people have found the place. It is a bright and large space, with lots of artwork. There is no big menu of items when you walk in. It is sort of a cross between a retail space and a restaurant space.

There will be several workers prepping raw ingredients behind the counter. You will not notice a blender. You will not hear a blender. The juicing itself goes on behind the scenes. The juices are bottled and sealed on site throughout the day. I think this is a pretty smart idea. In most smoothie bars, you order, then wait for about 10 minutes as the raw ingredients are prepped and blended in front of you. At Jugofresh, your juice is already waiting for you when you walk in, so the service is super fast. My only concern with this is that the “value” is going to be lost on some people. At $10-$11 a pop, these guys are not cheap, and to just walk in and be handed a bottle in 10 seconds, while convenient, may throw some people off.

There are about 30 different varieties of juices, all stamped with a three day out expiration date. How do they control waste? By constantly replenishing supply, how do they guarantee that these bottles will be sold? Very interesting concept. They must constantly keep a few bottles of each at the ready, and with the help of analytics, decide par levels. I’m a food service nerd, and this really fascinated me. For the juices themselves, Stef and I both opted for “deep green” varieties, the most “hard core” option with seaweed and spirulina, and I must say, they were a little rough. There is no sugar added. It really tastes like 12 ounces of blended kale. It does a body good. This stuff cures cancer (no shit!).

Overall not sure what to make of this concept. It will be successful in wealthy and health-conscious areas (NYC, Miami, LA), but I’m not sure that really healthy “rough” tasting $11 bottled juices will sell in many areas of the country, much less Florida. Check them out if you are so inclined and tell me what you think-

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