"Sometimes health and wellness in general can be a little elitist at times," said Hayden Slater, who opened Pressed with two close friends in Los Angeles in 2010. "I think Pressed's whole mentality is just be better, whatever that means to individuals ... drink a juice a day, a juice a week, a juice a month; whatever you can afford, whatever you can incorporate."
The Pressed team, which began as three friends who had all turned to juice for various health and personal reasons, opened its 17th location at the Stanford Shopping Center in late November.
It's a bare-bones store, with not much more than a counter the employees stand behind and a refrigerator full of cold-pressed juices, but that's the point (and is the same way at other Pressed locations). Customers can walk in, sample any of the 40-plus pre-bottled juices on the menu, make their purchase and be on their way.
Slater said that he feels "passionate" about convenience; hence the pre-bottled concept and in-and-out feel.
"How do we make it as easy to incorporate (juice) into your routine as possible?" Slater said he and his two partners asked themselves early on.
The 16-ounce juices run $6.50 a pop and range anywhere from "greens 2" (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon) to "citrus 2" (pineapple, apple, lemon, mint) and apple/strawberry/coconut. There are also two flavors of almond-based drinks — vanilla and chocolate — with such ingredients as almonds, dates, cacao, vanilla bean and sea salt ($8 each). Since this is a farm-to-bottle-driven business, there are always seasonal flavors on the menu (for winter, think yam, apple, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg or apple, cinnamon and persimmon).
All the juices are made with a hydraulic press, which crushes and then presses the produce to get the most juice possible. This, compared with a regular juicer that squeezes out the juice, reputedly yields fresher, more nutrient-dense juice.
Pressed also offers a range of juice cleanses, both in length (one, three and five days) and level (from "first time" to "experienced" cleansers). These can be purchased online or at the store and will be sent to the customer with detailed instructions for how to prepare, when to drink which juice, an explanation of the nutritional benefits and results (regulated colon, increased energy and stamina, increased mental clarity, better sleep patterns).
Beyond juice, there's also tea: red rooibos, green rooibos and lemon myrtle. Chlorophyll water, coconut water and aloe vera water sell for $5 each.
Though the company's base is in Southern California, the Stanford Shopping Center brings Pressed to six total Northern California locations.
Pressed also has a massive delivery operation, sending juices all over the country from the Central California farm where all of the company's juices are made fresh every day.
Slater said he likes to think of the delivery service as "a modern-day milkman, but with juice."
But it wasn't always this way. When Pressed first started, it was Slater, partners Carly Brien and Hedi Gores, and one employee in Los Angeles. Slater would make the juice himself every night and bring it to the 22-square-foot kiosk where they sold juice.
One of his partners, a full-time mom, "loved the idea of creating healthy options for younger generations," Slater said. "My other partner (Brien) lost her mom to cancer and is a big advocate of the product and healing benefits of it. For me personally, I really struggled with my own weight for years. I'm not going to say juice was the only thing but it was the catalyst for me that inspired me and got me into a living a more healthy life."
660 Stanford Shopping Center (between Macy's and Bloomingdale's, facing the parking structure)
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