It’s not a coincidence that your Instagram feed is filled with gorgeous, toned models displaying their designer handbags on one hand and juice smoothies on the next. Juicing has rapidly become one of the hottest trends and for obvious reasons: they are detoxifying, energizing, and the unique recipes ensure you do not get bored of the same old thing. Fulfilling every Bostonian’s juice and smoothie needs is Squeeze Juice Company, a new venture that is keeping you healthy with their delicious drink formulas. They even have killer Acai bowls -must we say more! Squeeze is now conveniently located in more than four places all over the city with no plans of slowing down. We caught up with the owners to find out how they started the business and what keeps motivating them every day-besides their amazing treats, of course.
What inspired you to get involved with nutrition?
Sasha-One motivating factor is that my father struggled with controlling his diet and weight his entire life, part of which contributed to his cancer and passing 4 years ago, so when I had the opportunity to get involved in a business that gave people access to healthy alternatives in a way that they could enjoy, it was a perfect fit.
Raquel-My inspiration first began with food. Being 100% Portuguese, food is the center of our culture. It always intrigued me (and sometimes made me gag, ha) that my mother and grandmother had all of these concoctions of home remedies from how to relief an upset stomach or a sore throat to curing a cold and other ailments. I truly believe that food is medicine and the quality of food consumed not only directly influences your health, but your state of mind, emotions and consciousness. Eating clean and making whole foods a part of your every day lifestyle will help you feel better, look better and simply be better. That positive self-image will shine through no matter what you wear. “Happiness and confidence are the prettiest things you can wear” and I find that to be so true.
What is the best nutrition advice that you have been given?
Sasha-Don’t eat anything if you can’t read or understand what’s listed in the ingredients.
Raquel-I would say the philosophy about food that I learned while taking my health coach certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). It’s the notion of primary and secondary foods. Everything we consider as a source of nutrition is a secondary source of nourishment. The foods you eat are secondary to all the other things that primarily feed you. Relationships, hobbies, career, spirituality, your movement/exercise…are the things IIN calls primary foods. What we consider today as nutrition is just a secondary source of energy. Of course, the quality of food we consume is very important for many reasons but it’s also important to look at other facets of life that “feed” you.
What is the mission behind squeeze?
Raquel-We exist to design thoughtfully crafted, great-tasting, nutritious, juices, smoothies, acai bowls and other light bites from premium ingredients that you can pronounce; developed with integrity, passion and purpose for the lives we live. We’re about promoting health as a lifestyle rather than a quick fix fad diet.
Are there ways for people to have a healthy diet in an affordable way?
Sasha-It’s about living within your means. It’s important to put more value on nutritionally dense food rather than foods that act as fillers with little to no nutritional value.
Raquel-I think so. It may require planning and budgeting but there are definitely ways. Planning meals and cooking at home more often is not the reality for many people therefore if there is a place you frequent, chat with them about any specials, discounts and/or a customized snack or meal that meets your nutritional requirements and your budget. For example, if someone has $6 to spend on a smoothie, we could customize one to fit their needs.
What are some cool things that are ahead in terms of product offerings?
Raquel-I would say the light bites we make in house. We’re making superfood truffles and energy bites with almond meal left over from the almond milk we make in house. What was once tossed is now being utilized for a nutritious and pretty tasty snack. People seem to love them so that makes me very happy.
Sasha-We have a great relationship with Equinox and their management therefore a few years back when they needed an operator to manage their juice bars, it worked out. Coming from the hospitality industry and having a passion for quality food and craft beverages, we figured we could bring a great culinary experience to this space.
What is the biggest challenge you face in creating products for squeeze?
Raquel-This is a tough one. I love creating so product development really excites me. I don’t really perceive it as a challenge but I will say that I do need to be mindful of ingredient costs. It’s very easy to create very expensive smoothies, juices and acai bowls.
What advice would you give for aspiring entrepreneurs in the nutrition field?
Sasha-Make sure you have a plan before starting a business. A great idea is starting point but not necessarily enough to be successful. You need to proceed with patience and a great team because success takes time and it’s very difficult to do things alone.
Raquel-I’m really excited about the future of Squeeze. We currently operate 3 locations in the Boston area within Equinox and plan to open at least 5 additional locations outside of the gym setting.
Sasha-We’ve been ramping up over the last three years and have plans to come on strong in 2016 so watch out for us!
♥View the menu and find out more about Squeeze here!