How Virtue Juice Bar Offers On-Demand Cold-Pressed Juice

virtue-juice-bar-inside-location

How Virtue Juice Bar Offers On-Demand Cold-Pressed Juice

As recently featured on Fox News, Virtue Juice Bar is the first juice bar to offer made-to-order pressed juice.  (By the way, thanks for wearing the Goodnature tee’s Virtue team!)

Offering real pressed juice on-demand has been attempted many times, but I’ve never seen a juice bar successfully pull it off until now. The issue in the past has been that the process required to do it and the equipment available have been prohibitive.

The equipment

A press that can work quickly enough to support a line of customers was essential to the development of their juicing program.  In 2018 we released the X-1 Mini Pro. The Mini is primarily intended to be used by juice bars making bottles of cold-pressed juice in batches, but we anticipated it would be used by some to make single servings of juice—hence the reason for the “single” speed on the press, which presses in half the time as the “batch” speed.

The reason for two speeds is that a large amount of produce must be pressed slowly to achieve a high yield, while a small amount can be pressed faster.

X-1 Mini control panel close-up
X-1 Mini controls offer a “single” speed on the press for making single servings of juice quickly.

The back story

Tom came to visit our Buffalo headquarters in 2018 to discuss the idea of offering on-demand pressed juice successfully in a juice bar. I shared with him a hand sketch of what I thought it would take to make it work, created by my friend Kenny Lao. The concept is basically a custom counter that allows the machines to be washed down right in place—drastically reducing the cleaning time between recipes.

Initial design sketch for X-1 Mini custom juicing station
Initial design sketch for X-1 Mini custom juicing station

I warned Tom that it’s much more complicated than just buying a juice machine, and it would take a lot of planning and experimentation. Having a background in enterprise technology sales, Tom is the type of person that enjoys taking on a challenge. After he left Buffalo, Tom started working out the details with his team.

The concept comes to life

Six months later they had a fully functional, custom fabricated juicing station. The end result is quite a bit different than the initial sketch, but the concept is the same.

Custom juicing station for made-to-order pressed juice at Virtue Juice Bar.

This unique system allows the juice maker to simply pour water through the machine to rinse it, only taking a few seconds before making the next juice. The water drains into the sink in the middle. The sink can also be used to wash machine parts or juice pitchers without carrying anything to the back.

Optimizing the wait time

The customer’s total wait time from order to receiving their glass of juice is currently around 4-6 minutes, including prepping produce, making juice, and cleaning the machine. Considering the average wait time at Starbucks is 4.5 minutes, they aren’t too far from industry standard for a coffee shop. Getting this time down even more is what they are working on now. The actual time juicing on the juice machine is only about two minutes, so there’s plenty of room for improvement.

When the staff doesn’t  have orders to fill, they put the X-1 Minis to work making bottles of juice to stock their grab-and-go refrigerator. “We’ve learned that the more juice we have in the fridge, the more we sell.” Having grab-and-go juice allows customers to order a fresh juice, and also take a few to go.

Photo of Virtue cold-pressed juice
In addition to on-demand juice, Virtue offers grab-and-go bottles.

Differentiating factors

Since opening their doors in April of this year, Virtue has been busy with a non-stop flow of customers. Many people in the local area have abandoned the (in my opinion) obsolete “Jamba Juice” type juice bars, and upgraded to Virtue as their juice bar of choice. They like that the products are all organic, and that the store generally feels fresh, clean, and there’s plenty of space to sit and hang out.

Most importantly, customers simply like the juice better. Tom explained “When someone orders a Virtue juice for the first time, we explain to them that what they’re about to taste is going to be different than what they normally get at a juice bar. It’s going to taste smoother and more vibrant than juice made using other methods like a centrifugal or slow juicer.”

Tom, founder of Virtue Juice Bar

After the first sip of truly fresh pressed juice, customers simply can’t imagine going back to “conventional” juice. In the past, customers would have to choose between fresh juice or cold-pressed. Now they can have both. After seeing the success of Virtue, I now believe more than ever that made-to-order, custom cold-pressed juice is going to be the next big movement in juicing. It’s simply better than anything else out there.

Want to learn how to offer made-to-order pressed juice at your juice bar? Attend JuiceCon 2019 to learn directly from Tom. He will be presenting a step-by-step guide complete with best practices based on what he’s learned from first hand experience, and will be available to answer questions throughout the weekend.

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About The Author

Instagram: @cwjuice
YouTube: ColdPressedTruth

President and CMO - Goodnature
Co-founder - JuiceCon
Co-founder - Juice Makers Association

I’ve been around juicing all my life. My Dad built his first hydraulic juice press in 1976 and founded the company Goodnature Products, Inc. I have incredible memories of having “cider parties” when we would invite all the people in our rural neighborhood over to make apple juice. To this day, when I taste apple juice made on a Goodnature press, a rush of nostalgia runs through my body.

I pride myself on guiding our clients into the world of cold-pressed juice and showing them how much fun this industry can be. I love talking business, technology, and marketing.

14 Responses

  1. I am a Norwalk juicer owner. Can your machine’s shredder compare to Norwalk instant, no heat pulp? The juice is literally gushing out of Norwalk pulp before it’s even pressed.

    I understand in commercial settings, veggies are usually pre-prepped and stored in plastic often the night before. When you say “on demand” are you starting with unpeeled, uncut material at each instant?

    Thanks

    Reply

    1. Laurence-

      1) Yes you can compare our shredder to a norwalk but our patented Herbivore grinder technology actually works better on some produce like leafy greens, achieving a higher yield.
      2) By on-demand we mean the machine works quickly and efficiently enough to make a glass of juice as the customer orders it. You can put in most produce without peeling or prepping, however to run a truly efficient juicing operation we recommend doing some preparation before hand. As you can see in this article, Virtue cuts large produce into smaller chunks, peels their lemons, etc. This allows them to quickly get through a long line of customers.

      Reply

  2. We cold press our juices to order also! We have been doing this for 2.5 years. Someday I hope to have the mini X-1

    Reply

    1. Interesting! What type of juice press are you using?

      Reply

      1. I have 2 commercial Hurom juicers with additional carriages so we can change what juices we press quickly. I can’t fault them…. apart from a lot of prep is needed!

        Reply

        1. Fresh juice is great no matter how it’s made, however for this article I’m specifically referring to juice made in an actual press. A Hurom is a masticating juicer.

          Reply

          1. Ah yes I understand! It’s still a slow process and most other juice bars don’t make to order with them for that reason. I’m still working towards getting the mini X-1.

          2. Sounds good! You will notice a big difference in juice quality when you change. Juice made on a real press has a much better texture and taste, and it separates less.

  3. Focusing on health, first?
    And then they sell sugary juices that cause the customer an insulin spike!
    Interesting.
    But hey, it’s business and there, – Bucks first 😉

    Reply

    1. It sounds like you’re saying raw fruit and vegetables are unhealthy…

      Reply

      1. I said that? Where did you get that sound from? Assumption?
        There’s a HUGE difference between raw food and fruit juices. Latter little to nothing to do with “Health” (especially if they are mainly orange or apple juices). Hey, don’t believe me, I’m nobody. Look it up yourself . If I was you, I wouldn’t get my ‘Fats’ from fruit juice fanatics, though. 😉

        Reply

        1. Saying there’s a huge difference between raw produce and fruit juices is simply incorrect. Juice is simply the water pressed out of fruit and vegetables, which contains nutrients and enzymes (yes, sugar is one of the nutrients). Don’t confuse raw juice with heat pasteurized juices made from concentrate syrups.

          Reply

          1. WOW.
            That you’d go that far, in misleading the public, That, I’d never have dreamt.
            Reason for me NOT to buy your machine, Not Ever (let alone, promote it).
            Business always was and will be – Brutal – and walk over dead bodies to get to the money!
            Not over mine, though.
            Good luck.

  4. I’m looking forward to it Charlie 🙂

    Reply

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