Photos by Asia Morris.
Rainbow Juices has officially opened for business at their new brick and mortar location, and while the date for the official grand opening party has yet to be announced, the dynamic duo is inviting Long Beach to stop by to chat, pick up a few cold pressed juices and check out their fresh new location.
Rainbow Juices' co-founders and owners, Long Beach locals Chrissy Cox and Dawna Bass, have certainly come a long way since the health-conscious duo met through their love of roller derby and discovered they had a common passion for creating healthy concoctions of their own.
What started as a small demand for their blends from their immediate community of friends and derby competitors quickly grew into a full-fledged small business. From juicing out of their homes to opening their new location, the two say they're beyond ecstatic to become even more involved with the Long Beach community, not to mention the revitalization of the downtown Long Beach scene.
Cox, a fire dancer and certified yoga instructor, said that it was one of her yoga students who started pushing their juices all around town, which led to Lord Windsor Roasters asking them to stock the product at their coffee shop.
"We never really thought it would go further than that so we looked into it and we got into a kitchen and we bought some equipment and that was our first big account," said Cox. "So, we started seeing how that worked and our demand went up really fast. Then a couple other places contacted us."
"So in a way," Cox continued, "it's really beautiful because—like our juice—it was very organic."
While Rainbow Juices will no longer be stocking Portfolio, Berlin, Viento y Agua, Steamed Organic Cuisine or any other outside consignment locations, in an effort to consolidate, the small business will continue personal orders and delivery.
Creating a space for their patrons and the community is one of the reasons the two have been looking forward to opening up this space, to have a place where they can interact with their customers. Cox explained that while landing accounts like Portfolio and Purple Yoga was fantastic for the business and essential to their growth, "we didn't get to have that personal connection, to be able to say how we feel, how this juice makes us feel, to help educate people one-on-one, except for the people who actually came to us to order their juices directly from us."
Bass chimed in, "The difference between cold-pressed juice and regular juice, that's really what people need to know. So now we're going to be able to explain that, all the time."
Long story short—they can explain it to you in a much more thorough manner when you visit the new space—a cold-pressed juice made and bottled yesterday contains more nutrients than a juice made in front of you at a juice bar, where the process commonly utilized creates heat that destroys essential nutrients.
Bass also explained that juice labeled "cold-pressed" and sold at a grocery store is simply not as nutritionally potent as a juice cold-pressed locally and sold the same or next day. One of the reasons Rainbow Juices won't ship their product outside of Long Beach is Cox and Bass' desire to keep it as fresh and nutritious a product as possible.
Cold-pressed juices stocked at a grocery store have to endure a process called High Pressure Pascalization, which kills the bacteria that would make a product spoil after three to five days, but also kills the good bacteria that would have made the product more nutritionally rich, Bass explained.
"So that's why you can go to Whole Foods and pick up a box of a cleanse that is the same price as ours, but ours is made fresh and theirs is pasteurized," said Bass. "It's cold pressed juice, you know, but you can come here, get it freshly made [and] know where all the produce is coming from. We deal directly with our farmers, so[...] that's something that we're really excited to tell people."
Cox added, "We knew about those other kinds of juices and we were like, 'Why would you take the very best processed juice on earth and then pasteurize it?' It doesn't make sense. It's so that, you know, people can call it cold-pressed, so that didn't seem right to us."
Bass and Cox pride themselves on the transparency of their business and want their health-conscious customers to be in the know when it comes to where the company's ingredients are sourced. The new space will allow the local farmers who provide Rainbow Juices their produce to drop off their fresh products right in front of customers' eyes, and will be open and willing to discuss their practice with anyone interested.
"It's fresh, the farmers are going to be there, if [customers] ever want to talk to the farmers. The farmers love to talk about the stuff that they bring," said Cox.
Not only will the farmers be dropping off their produce, they'll also be picking up the dry pulp waste the cold-press process leaves behind, which is a useful ingredient for making compost.
"One of our goals is to get 100 percent of the compost into farms for different reasons," Cox explained. "Foodscape [Long Beach] is going to make compost and we hope farms will want that, and we can give it to individuals, too."
"That's the biggest thing we create as a waste, is the pulp," said Bass, "which is super dry so it's perfect to turn into compost, but it's just a matter of finding the people that want to come get it."
Rainbow Juices will have a revolving menu that changes every day based on what they've made that morning from available produce. Being able to offer employment to locals, to showcase other local vendors alongside their juices, to showcase local artists for the monthly art walk as well as throughout the year, to collaborate with other food-minded local organizations like Product Plateful, and the smaller farms of Long Beach and to be able to host events in the shared courtyard behind the building, are just a few of the plans the two have in mind for the shop's growth.
"Another thing that's exciting, not only to have a storefront where can share our passions about this juice but to be able to not be like a stand-alone anymore, because we've been doing this, just us, for so long and it's so nice to have other people that are like minded to collaborate with in different realms," she concluded.
As local small business owners, for the two to now be able to communicate all of their intentions and values about why they started making cold-pressed juices, with the quality of the juice and the community in mind, it's gratifying to say the least, when a customer tells you it's working.
Cox said excitedly, "We just had a gal come pick up her cleanse and she lives in Huntington Beach. She said we'd cured her cold. It was awesome. That feels really good."