Ginger Juice, a cold-pressed juice company frequented by University of Richmond students, has expanded its mission to promote a healthy lifestyle with its new menu launch earlier this month.
The menu additions include a kale salad, bagels and a line of protein smoothies among other vegan-friendly products, said Erin Powell, Ginger Juice’s owner and CEO.
Senior Maire Lindlauf said she loved the new energy box, which allows customers to pick two items as smaller portions and comes with an energy bite. Lindlauf goes to Ginger Juice a few times a month because it’s so close to campus and she feels healthy after eating there, she said.
“I don’t know if it’s actually healthy, but they do a good job tricking you into thinking that,” Lindlauf said, referencing the Three Chopt Road store’s sleek, white and modern aesthetics. She said she often posted photos of the picturesque acai bowls to her food Instagram account, @hungrymaire.
Ginger Juice recently spent $50,000 on a slight revamp, which included buying new juicers for all three locations and bringing the smoothie and juice-making out to the front. This was done to increase transparency, allowing customers to see first-hand the healthy and quality ingredients used in their orders, Powell said.
Powell originally started juicing to increase her then-3-year-old son’s vegetable intake. In 2015, she opened the first Ginger Juice in The Village Shopping Center to bring this same healthy mindset to UR students and the greater Richmond community.
Powell believes that Ginger Juice’s popularity among students is in part because of the health movement that the student body population is embracing.
“When I went to college we were not eating healthy,” Powell said. “We were eating pizza and beer. I’m sure there’s still plenty of that that goes on in college too, but it’s refreshing to see a younger population interested in health.”
Powell felt strongly that these healthy lifestyle choices were not a trend or a fad, but a movement, she said.
When Ginger Juice first opened in Richmond, no one knew what cold-pressed juice was except for people who had had it at other juice bars in major cities such as Miami, New York and Los Angeles, Powell said.
“I think that at the end of the day, if there are more juice bars than there are McDonald’s, as a society we’re winning,” Powell said. “And we’re nowhere even close to that.”
Former Ginger Juice employee Andrei Buna, who graduated from UR in May, said he had wanted to work at Ginger Juice to learn how to eat better and how to make food on his own that was healthy.
Although Buna thinks certain products such as the toasts and smoothies can be made at home to save money, he recognizes that time is something UR students value heavily, since they’re constantly studying and socializing.
“I think people want to have a healthy treat and treat themselves, do something good for themselves, that they’re going to feel good about and not guilty later,” Powell said.
From hosting profit shares, participating in student marketing research projects, catering campus events and hiring students as employees and ambassadors, Powell said she appreciated the partnerships she has formed with people at UR.
The company can’t sell Ginger Juice products at UR without opening a cafe or something similar on campus because of Food and Drug Administration regulations. Powell said this is not currently in the company’s growth strategy, since Ginger Juice is located so close to campus already. Powell does have ideas in the works to do nutrition courses, since Ginger Juice has a certified nutritionist on staff, Powell said.
Powell also took the mini MBA course at the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business, knowing she wanted to build a business that she could franchise.
Ginger Juice now had three locations throughout Richmond and was hoping to start selling franchises in January 2020, Powell said.
Contact contributor Sydney Charlton at email@example.com.