As Americans become more aware of alarming obesity rates and increased instances of diabetes, many are making more conscious food choices and the food industry has taken notice. Health and wellness is a booming business, and within it, a trend is emerging: juicing. Juicing is exactly what it sounds like: fruits and vegetables pressed to a liquid and many are turning to it for detoxing, weight loss and just incorporating much needed fruits and vegetables into their diets.
Witnesses to the benefit of juicing firsthand are Brooklynite entrepreneurs Carl Foster and Kelly Keelo, who launched their business, Juice Hugger. The duo’s mission was to create tasty beverages that happen to be good for you. The company started as an online business in 2010 delivering juices to each customer individually and selling at festivals, events and corporate functions. They opened their first full scale location, incorporating food items in October and have tripled their sales in the first year.
BlackEnterprise.com: What was the impetus behind starting a business in the heath and wellness field?
Foster: I was fat (laughing). I’d reached 218 pounds on my 5’ 9” frame. I’d gained the weight while working as an auditor; a position with a great deal of travel which led to on the road eating at fast food stops. In 2009 I’d reached my breaking point and wanted desperately to get healthy. I was introduced to the benefits of pressed juices through a great friend. After I started shedding pounds while making my own juices, making better eating choices, and through moderate exercise; my friends started asking me to make juices for them. From there the company grew quite organically. I started researching, talking to nutritionists and personal trainers and taking classes on nutrition and cooking. It became my life mission to help people, like myself, gain access to more healthy beverage choices. Today, I weigh in at 160 pounds.
Check out the rest of their story at Black Enterprise.com.
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