Molly Brown and Tatiana Kaiser met in a glass-blowing class. Two lifelong artists, they discovered they had something else in common: a lot of health issues.
“I had severe ulcerated colitis,” Kaiser said. “I couldn’t kick it for the longest time. Molly also had had health problems. We became good friends and she got me into juicing.”
Their common interests led them to become business partners, too. With the help of another artist friend, Chris Ryan, they opened Sun & Soil Juice Co. this past week in midtown Sacramento. At 1912 P St., the organic juice bar has a built-in clientele; it’s next door to a yoga studio.
“We definitely know when yoga class lets out,” Brown said.
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Offering high-grade organic raw juice and smoothies, the pair want to attract customers far beyond the yoga mat. For their menu, they’ve developed a broad range of intriguing and flavorful juice concoctions, bursting with flavor as well as antioxidants. Upscale in price and made fresh to order, the raw juice blends and smoothies are priced from $6 (for an 8-ounce basic apple) to $9 (for a 16-ounce special blend). The juices also are available bottled to go. Between squeezes, we caught up with these entrepreneurs:
What inspired you to open a juice bar?
Kaiser: Health. That’s No. 1. We want people to eat better and see the difference in their own lives. Maybe swap one of your daily coffees or sodas for a juice drink instead. ... Mostly, we want people to eat better, eat organic and give back to your body.
Brown: We just want to serve a high-quality product packed full of nutrition and good organic food. ... Most people don’t eat enough greens or fruit. We want to give some new options.
What makes your juices different?
Brown: All our juices are raw cold-pressed. We use a lot of produce; typically, there are two pounds of carrots in our carrot drink. We use two cups of spinach in our Sweet Green (juice blend) plus apples, cucumbers and other good stuff. The juices are highly concentrated; that also means they have a high concentration of nutrition. We use all certified organic produce, locally sourced as much as possible.
Kaiser: The cold-pressed method uses a slower RPM (in the juicing machine), so it doesn’t heat the produce up. That also cuts down on oxidation. It yields 30 percent more juice, so we’re not wasting anything. It also preserves a lot of nutrients; that’s important.
How did your business idea evolve?
Brown: Originally, we were going to do a mobile juice truck. We were a finalist in the (2013) “Calling All Dreamers” contest sponsored by the Downtown Sacramento Partnership (for new businesses). We didn’t win, but we still wanted to do (the juice business). We found a really comfortable space for us and opened (as a storefront) here in midtown. We signed the lease in January and have been working on the space ever since.
Kaiser: We’re all artists, and you can see that in this space. We tried to have fun and make it creative. My brother (Joshua) made our tables and counter out of reclaimed bowling alley floorboards.
Why midtown instead of downtown?
Brown: (Midtown) is a little more slow paced but has much better parking. That’s important for our customers and for deliveries. We go through a ton of produce.
How did you come up with your recipes?
Kaiser: We’ve been testing recipes for a year and a half. For sweeteners, we use apple juice, dates and honey; no processed sugar at all. It’s all seasonal, so the menu will change along with the seasons. We had fun coming up with ones like Beauty & the Beet (carrot, beet, apple, ginger) or our Stress-Free Strawberry smoothie (strawberries, almond milk, banana, honey, hemp seed, licorice root and ashwagandha extract). But most of all, they’re delicious and good for you, too.