Organic, Cold-Pressed Juice At The Press Of A Button, And The Man Behind It
Meet Doug Evans, the mastermind behind Juicero, planet earth's first at-home organic cold-press juicing system that is quite literally changing the way we will juice, forever (and, so much more). Although engineers and health enthusiasts don't usually go hand in hand, in Doug's case, they do...and our thirsty cells are super grateful for it.
A NEW KIND OF JUICING
"I don’t know if people really get what it takes to actually prepare something that’s organic, delicious, and fresh. Even on the juicing front, some people compare Welch’s grape juice on a per ounce basis to Juicero, or something else. And things like that are just like comparing apples to a baseball.
At the core of what you’re doing at Sakara is you’re delivering plant-based nutrition that’s super convenient to help close that produce gap. And, similar to your beliefs, we [at Juicero] want people to have more servings of fruits and vegetables. When I look at the choice of beverages people can have, it’s water, tea, coffee, energy drinks, and bottled juices. Most of the integrity of what people are consuming is just not worthy of human consumption. My life experience has built me up to this point — to knowing what the ideal beverage is, and that would be fresh, organic produce that is coming from somewhere you know — you know when it is harvested, you know what the nutrients are, you know that the recipe is formulated and it’s delicious, and then you have a mechanism to press it so that you’re actually getting that juice in the moment.
There’s nothing else like that out there, because making cold press juice in, for example, Norwalk, would A) costs thousands of dollars, and B) takes four to ten times longer than using a regular juicer at home. And people who know plant-based nutrition and know juicing — guys like Rich Roll — are like, ‘OMG this is the apogee! This is the moment that hasn’t really been conveyed!’ We’ve made that experience.
For me, I have a very regimented yoga practice — I’ve been doing ashtanga since 2000. And I’m a devoted organic cold-press juice drinker. Never in my life before was I able to actually have a green juice before I went to practice at 5:30 in the morning. Now, literally, I get up and the first thing I do is put the pack into the press, and by the time I’ve brushed my teeth and I’m dressed, I grab the juice. It’s ready to go. It’s unbelievable."
THE 411 ON HOW JUICERO WORKS
"In our packs, you’ll find it’s just fresh, ripe, raw, organic produce. So no additives, no preservatives. It’s been triple-washed in a state-of-the-art LEED gold certified produce processing facility. We have 110,000 square feet on 4 and a half acres. There’s solar panels on the roof and filtered water coming into the plant. We wash the produce using chilled water at 35 degrees. The entire operation runs at 35 degrees, or negative 20 degrees below zero for our freezer. There’s over 90,000 square feet of refrigerated or freezing environment. This is a big part to how we make it all possible.
And with our app, you’ll see that we’re interconnected. Our app will scan the produce pack and actually show the unique QR code for one bag, so everything is in an individual lock code. It’s tied into our back office ERP system, and it shows you when that bag was packed, when it expires, what farms the individual ingredients came from, what the nutrition is, and what the recipe is, down to a fraction of an ounce.
[Doug whips out the app and a greens pack] You can see, this was packed yesterday, expires on Friday, and has 4.1 ounces of spinach, celery, romaine, kale, lemon and cucumber. I can see what farms it came from. I can see the nutrition — this 8 ounce pack has 25 calories, zero calories from fat, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 10% vitamin C, 150% vitamin A. We do that for all of these! For the press itself, you literally open the door, it sees the new bar code, you hang it up, and then you close the door. It automatically locks. Then it’s generating 8,000 pounds of force. This is 2 and a half times the amount of the force of the large industrial juice presses that are used in big factories. We’ve reduced this to something that can sit on a kitchen counter top — that’s pretty amazing." [Agreed.]
LESSONS IN BUILDING JUICERO
"The best part of Juicero is all of the people who are now talking about organic cold-pressed fresh juice around the world. We've created a conversation around the world about this, and now people are questioning and comparing things. We've created something that's actually relevant to the contemporary time, and I think that what we've created — from the flavors and the industrial design and the software — have all exceeded my wildest expectations. When I started on this, I had a very simple vision, and this has exceeded it exponentially.
There’s a quote in The Greatest Salesman in the World and it says, ‘And how will I speak? I will laud my enemies, and encourage my friends. When I’m tempted to criticize, I will bite my tongue. When I’m moved to praise, I’ll shout from the roofs.’ When I think about that, it’s so easy to criticize, and everyone is so fragile. Being able to think about the present, about all the communication so that you can get the desired outcome and build people up, but still maintain that high standard, is essential.
I think that juice is a means — organic farming practices are necessary for the sustainability of life on the planet. If I were to look at human consumption: the average American is only consuming about 1.7 servings of fruits and vegetables. The recommended is 7 to 10, or greater, so there’s a huge produce gap. Having spent 25 years and 20,000 hours juicing, I was in there and I went through it. The reason why juicing continues to grow and be developed is because of how much people love it, how effective and delicious it is. The brain is trained to actually see something and taste something that’s fresh and that’s colorful and that’s vibrant. The big food companies try to mimic that by using all sorts of engineering and food science hocus-pocus magic. When I realized that it was possible to scale that experience that I believed so wholeheartedly in — which was fresh organic produce and a cold-press — that just came through me. I don’t have a choice. I can’t do anything else."
MORE JUICE, PLEASE
"I think that juice is an exceptional way to get micronutrients, phytonutrients, and flavonoids. Especially if it’s organic juice, because it’s basically rain water that’s filtered through plants and that’s just an exceptional way of closing the gap. The US dietary guidelines recommend that 50% of our diet come from whole fruits and vegetables and the other 50% can come from alternative, innovative things like 100% juice. And Juicero juice just becomes a very potent way to do that, because it’s so easy and effective.
We’re not promoting juice fasting or cleansing. We’re promoting that this is a way to increase your amount of servings of fruits and vegetables. We’re a convenient beverage to do that."
THE KEYS TO BUILDING GREAT BUSINESSES
"I think it's important to get a great coach. Coaches and mentors are really helpful. I think from a business perspective, you want to have a board, but that absolutely has the ability to turn on you and crush you. They may not be that helpful. Independent of that, I think it’s important to have people who you can call just to ask a question — people that you trust and have no motive whatsoever. People you don’t have to have your guard up with. You can just call them and say, ‘Hey what do you think about this?’
And also, have some people that are the best in the world at what they do — not just someone who is a know-it-all, and who always has an opinion, because that can be very dangerous. You want to know who to call on each part. If you want culinary advice, you want to call a Michelin Star Chef.
People require knowledge in order for them to be able to follow through."
"I don't like to eat anything after 7pm. I have dinner scheduled at 6 every night — I blow it off frequently, but that just depends on my calendar. When I'm in town, at 6:00 PM— unless I have an important meeting or something else — I eat every night with my brother.
I get up really early. I meditate twice a day. I have a yoga practice. No matter how busy I am, I always want to squeeze out at least some of the standing poses. I'm as mindful as I can be. I’m present about my breathing and about my posture. I'm very deliberate about my words and about what I'm willing to consume. I don't watch TV — I haven't had TV or cable in a really long time. I kind of publicly state that I'm on a media fast. Unless someone sends me an article, I'm not getting bombarded with irrelevant things. On the weekends, I swim at Equinox. I’ll do a leisurely mile, and it might take me an hour and a half. I read a lot— I like literature and poetry.
I grew up in a pretty violent, urban, decadent setting in New York City — on the way tip of Manhattan Island. It was dangerous. I went to high school for one year — High School of Music and Art — when it was in Harlem on 135th and Covenant Avenue, and I used to have to run from the subway station up this monstrous hill to Covenant Avenue to get to the school because I would get beat up and attacked.
In 1994 when my mom died of cancer, I was in denial about it. But then my father died of heart disease. Then my brother got Type II diabetes, and had the first of his 2 strokes. That was a real wake-up call of my mortality. That’s when all of this started becoming big part of my life. I knew that juice was one really powerful antidote or addition to what we could do for better health.
I feel very lucky. There’s a certain degree of what other people would refer to as success, but to me, I look at it like we’re in the first inning of a long game that could go into overtime. It’s really just square-one."
"I would like to make Juicero ubiquitous, globally, in all channels. In an office, I see it wedged between a water cooler and a coffee maker. In the home, I see it as a staple on the kitchen counter top. I see that as the beginning of a whole convergence of technology and organic agriculture that really coddles that fresh, organic produce all the way through the process, to allow easier human consumption. I want to use technology in a way that preserves the integrity of the produce, but makes it easier for consumption — which is exactly what we’re doing at Juicero."