In the blink of an eye, juice has become the new cupcake. You may have seen more than a few jucieries pop up all over Toronto. But like all things trendy, not all juices are created equal.
Let me introduce you to Village Juicery. Having just opened a week before I visited the store, it was already buzzing with regulars, bringing back their (clean) used bottles and picking up a new batch for the next three days. It’s fair to say Village Juicery’s opening at College and Euclid came as a very welcome and long-awaited treat for many in the area.
Above all else, this juicery is an experience. It’s clean and bright, and clearly designed for its specific purpose. Upon further inquiry, I was informed that it was the brainchild of a design collaboration with Mason Studio, the firm that recently got voted best design firm in Toronto by NOW Magazine.
There are reading materials on one wall, with books providing guidance on better living that have inspired the owners and staff, and cute “newspapers” with information about their juicing process (In particular, you can read up about why they are so adamant about their juices not being HPP’d). On the other wall, you can find some of their favourite snack products, including chocolate from Chocosol and organic kale clusters from the Healthy Crunch Company.
There are a lot of options on the menu but for your sake (and mine!), I managed to tried them all:
There are two green juices: Be Nourished, and Be Clean. Be Nourished is a great “starter” juice for many who want to try incorporating green juices into their lifestyle because it’s a very well-rounded combination of dark greens (green kale and swiss chard, and some cucumber) with Granny Smith and Gala apples. Be Clean is a more intense juice, with kale, chard, romaine, parsley and dandelion designed for maximum green detox.
The red juices Be Active and Be Strong are fabulous, especially if you love beets. Be Active is a perfect alternative to a 3PM caffeine kick, and with pear, apple, beets, ginger and lemon to boost blood flow to the brain, is also a heck of a lot better for you. Be Strong has cucumber, apple, beets and swiss chard, but the red cabbage (also known as the “purple crucifer”) is the main power ingredient in this juice, giving you sulfur-containing glucosinolates that break down into biologically active compounds that may be serious cancer fighters.
Be Calm, as its name suggests, helps to wind down your digestive system with celery, pineapple, fennel, mint and cucumber.
Finally, Be Radiant is the perfect wintertime drink, and if I had to pick just one, would be my favourite. The carrot, sweet potato and fresh turmeric root provide beta carotenes which nourish the skin and fight free radicals, while the biotin promotes stronger hair and nails. There is also Granny Smith apple and lemon for antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
As for the bottom line? The cold-pressed juices range from $10.50 to $13 for a 500 mL bottle, while the milks and freshly squeezed juices are between $7-9. 250 mL options are available as well. A fair price considering the nutritional value you’re getting.
Final Note: After a fun afternoon hanging with the team, we all joked in store about how it felt like I was doing shots at the bar. Only it was a juice bar… and I walked out the door with a spring in my step that one simply could not get from any alcoholic beverage. Drop by Village Juicery sometime to discover the juices for yourself!
Location: 540 College Street Toronto, ON (Little Italy). Keep on the lookout for the entrance which is actually on Euclid Ave. You can now also find the juices at select Kupfert and Kim locations.
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