8  Oct

Campaigns to Inspire: Juice Hugger Cafe

Smallknot is a way to help local businesses in your community achieve great things.  Invest in a Smallknot campaign and you’ll get great value for your contribution in the form of goods, services and special benefits — all while helping passionate entrepreneurs grow their dreams.  Today, we’re featuring Juice Hugger Cafe in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.  You can find them on Smallknot here

Juicing is all the rage these days, and with good reason.  With obesity rates and diabetes on the rise, it’s no surprise that people everywhere are looking for healthy alternatives and making more health-conscious food choices.  Cold-pressed juices made with fruits and vegetables are an increasingly popular way to lose weight, detox, or boost your veggie intake.  While it’s not unusual to find cold-pressed juices around the city, they’re often expensive and almost always in high-priced neighborhoods.

And that’s one of the reasons why Juice Hugger Cafe is so exceptional.  Opened in October 2011, Juice Hugger’s storefront is in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Rogers Avenue, and they’re committed to bringing fresh and affordable organic juices to a neighborhood that often lacks a lot of healthy choices.  They sell their own line of cold-pressed juices and nut milks, and a variety of juice cleanses that will get you feeling energized in no time.  And with prices starting at just $3.50 for a juice, anyone can enjoy it.  Oh - and did we mention they deliver?  

Co-owner Carl Foster knows the power of juicing first hand.  Just a few years ago he was 5’9” and 220 lbs., and desperately looking for ways to get healthier.  After a friend introduced him to fresh pressed juices, he lost more than 60 pounds through a combination of healthier choices and moderate exercise.  When friends started asking him to make juices for them too, the company began to grow organically.  Together with his fiancee and business partner Kelly Keelo, Carl began bottling juices and selling them online and at festivals and corporate events.  Last year, they opened their first storefront and have quickly become a mainstay of the neighborhood.  

Juice Hugger is on Smallknot today looking to upgrade the cafe and make it more comfortable for everyone to enjoy. Carl and Kelly are looking to build additional seating that will create more of a lounge area in the space, and they plan to upgrade their refrigerators, freezers and ovens so they can expand their offering and selections.  

Invest in Juice Hugger Cafe today and you can get great values on juice packs and juice cleanses.  It’s rare indeed for Juice Hugger to offer any kind of a discount, and this is a great way to jumpstart a healhty lifestyle.  Your investment will help these entrepreneurs continue to grow their business and bring even more healthy, delicious juices.  There’s only about a week left in the campaign, so now’s the time to get in on the deal!  

Feel good, get healthy, make a difference in your community.  What’s not to like?  

Find Juice Hugger’s Smallknot campaign here. 

Juice Hugger Cafe
85 Rogers Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Twitter: @juicehugger

1  Jun

Smallknot on Street Fight - Crowdfunding Should Be Local!

A bit of Smallknot press to report! We’re featured in Street Fight talking about the benefits of hyperlocal crowdfunding, why small businesses don’t need to wait for the JOBS Act to start taking advantage of the phenomenon, and why everyone can benefit by supporting small businesses in your community: 

For small businesses, which are in the early stages or are operating a cash business, repayment can be a major obstacle. And for the most part, this is not a function of how well they are doing but rather a consequence of managing cash flow and committing to payments on a regular basis. The standard investing model — invest $1,000 and return $1,500 in interest — is ill-suited for a small business and often difficult to manage, so why not let businesses repay interest at cost through services, goods etc., instead of in currency. When you repay at cost it’s a positive for each side of the equation: the business can raise funds and complete a project without a large cash outlay in the future, and investors can receive a larger return than they would otherwise.

Smallknot Profiles: Keith Beavers, Co-Owner In Vino & Alphabet City Wine Co.

Smallknot loves local business, and every week we’re profiling the people and places that make our neighborhood special.  Want to get covered in a Smallknot profile, or know someone who should be? Shoot us a message here.  

This week, we’re talking to Keith Beavers, a co-owner of In Vino Wine Bar and Alphabet City Wine Co. in Manhattan’s East Village. 

Keith Beavers is a wine geek. In the best possible way.  Self-taught and super, super passionate about wine in the least pretentious way you can imagine, he is the co-owner of In Vino Wine Bar and Restaurant  and the wine shop around the corner, Alphabet City Wine Co.  We caught up with him in the store this week and talked to him about how he got started, the meaning of “Wine to the People” and running a small business in New York City. 

How did you get started in wine? Where did your passion start? 

I was working as a waiter at Max, an Italian restaurant in the East Village, back in 2003. Right when I got the job, the owner there decided that the staff really need to learn about wine. I started researching wine, and had this moment where I was like “Wait a second, wine is really interesting!” I had that moment in my life when it suddenly hit and I realized “I’ve got it!”  Pretty much since then, I’ve been obsessed with wine; it’s never gone away. I am obsessed with reading, drinking and blogging about wine.

How did you wind up at In Vino?

I was always trying to educate the customers about wine when I was at Max. The owner moved me to his wine bar, In Vino, because I was being so ‘geeky’ about wine. I steadily became a manager, a wine director, then I helped the owner run the place. In 2006, I hired David, my co-owner, and we opened a wine shop. At the same time, the owner of In Vino was looking to sell the restaurant, so we decided to take it over. 

What are some of your favorite things at In Vino and ABC Wines? 

At In Vino, I love the meatballs — they’re my grandmother’s recipe! And the skirt steak too — it’s always made so well.  At the wine shop, I’m really proud that the majority of wines are all between $15-20.  You can get great wines without spending a ton of money, and that’s something I care a lot about. 

Is that ‘Wine to the People’ means?

Yes! I’m self-taught when it comes to wine. I would buy books, buy wine, research it, understand the science and history behind it, and then blog about it. That’s how I learned about wine and how my blog got started, East Village Wine Geek. ‘Wine to the People’ was a term I came up with because I really believe wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. It’s my movement to teach people how to enjoy wine on an everyday basis.  A lot of people just don’t realize that it’s a part of life!  

Ever make your own wine?

I could tell you anything about wine, but I’ve never made it before. It’s my next project. I actually want to make a video of myself making my own wine press, finding grapes, then screwing it up completely. That humility is a part of it: I want to learn something new about wine every day and show it to people.

What’s the best thing about owning your own small business?

I love having my own business, especially here in New York. I love seeing people enjoy the food in the restaurant, watching people smile when they drink a bottle of wine, especially if it’s a wine they’ve never heard of before. I also love when people come back to the wine shop and say “Thank you for helping me pick that bottle out!” 

Why the East Village?

The East Village will always have a sense of creativeness to it that I don’t think other neighborhoods can maintain most of the time. It has a long history. I love that we don’t have a lot of subway stations here.  Because we don’t have that much high traffic, it makes it easier to feel like a real community. 

In Vino is located at 215 E. 4th St. between Avenue A & B.  

Alphabet City Wine Co. is at 100 Avenue C between E. 6th & 7th. They have wine tastings every Friday and Saturday night from 6-9pm — stop in and see what’s good!