First of all, about how I met Juice.
- The power I felt in my body in Taiwan
This is a story about when I lived in Taiwan for about 3 years from around 2009. Taiwan is a Buddhist country and many people do not eat meat for religious reasons, and Taiwan has the highest rate of dual-income workers in the world, so there are plenty of vegetarian options at restaurants. Ever since I knew nothing about Taiwan, I fell in love with its vegetarian-friendly culture and lived a strictly vegan lifestyle. At that time, I was training much more intensely than I am now, and I was participating in running, biking, or open water races once or twice a month. Endurance sports + vegan life is pretty good for my body, and I've been overwhelmed by the power of plants.
- Juice scene in America
When I returned to America, where I used to live as a vegetarian, a cold-pressed juice stand was introduced to me by a friend in New York. I've always had brands like Jamba Juice and Odwalla, and I used to drink freshly squeezed vegetable juice at my grandpa's house, but I was surprised to find it in a stand in town. At that time, I was blown away by the cold press juice shop “juice press” that I met. It is now available in many stores, but at that time it was just beginning.
I still remember the signal my body gave me when I drank "raw real cold-pressed juice" there. The cells are happy, and the feeling that makes you smile when you drink it. I was surprised. Rather than thinking about business, I want as many people as possible to know this wonderful feeling. I've always thought that if you drink several cups of coffee a day, if you replace one cup with this juice, your life will change. I want to know more about juice! I want to spread it! With that in mind, I returned to Japan, bought a juice machine at home, and started making juice.
-Trial and error back in Tokyo
At that time, there were no shops, so I was allowed to serve prototype juice squeezed at home at fashion brand exhibitions and yoga events to see how people reacted. At that time, the concept of "cold press" was not known, so reactions varied. There were positive comments such as, "What is this delicious!", but there were also many negative reactions such as "The taste is too real and harsh" and above all, "The price is too high".
-Awareness I learned from traveling around each region
At that time, I had no idea how vegetables were distributed, so I just bought organic vegetables from vendors. But if you do that, the cost will be about 2000 yen per bottle. This is no business. How are vegetables produced and distributed in the first place? I thought it was strange, so I asked a senior who runs a restaurant that I was indebted to, and asked him to take me to a farmer in Miyazaki Prefecture.
It was almost my first time hearing real stories from farmers and seeing many farms. I learned that there are many "vegetables that don't sell because they look bad" at the production site. Carrots abandoned in the field. When I asked, "What are you going to do about it?", he said, "The tip is broken and has scratches on it, so it won't sell." Even in the field of citrus, "I can't sell it because there are scratches on the skin." Even in the field of foliage, "I can't sell it because it's too big." Seeing such things, producers can sell vegetables that were difficult to sell by asking them to use vegetables that do not look good as much as possible, and they can also make juice at a lower price. Customers who buy juice can also purchase high-quality juice (even with this) at a low price. All good things! With that in mind, I spent a year visiting farmers around the country looking for such vegetables.
During this one-year preparation period, many people introduced me to the producers and met them.
When I told them that I wanted non-standard products, there were many who got angry and said, “There is no such thing!” I really wanted to use the vegetables grown there, so I picked up a farmer-like person at a roadside station in that area, and he was the principal of a junior high school in that town, and he drove me to many producers. There was also something like that I was able to purchase it after going there.
"We have apples, so why don't you buy them? But the unit is from 1 ton." I made a mistake in thinking. The days when I really had to learn from experience. I tried many blends and made juices using the vegetables I found that way.
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