Nat tells us the story behind The Cold Pressed Juicery. She talks entrepreneurship, travel, fads and food. Learn about the lady who started it all, and get a bit of inspiration for your year ahead.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
His name is Tony. Tony Chocolonely. Their chocolate tastes so incredibly good, I have a hard time walking past them in the supermarket and not buying one. Let me rephrase. I only go into a supermarket to get Tony. It's not just the taste, but also the entire story behind the brand is pretty great, it's probably the first chocolate bar world wide that is slave free. Brilliant! But I would call this my pleasure, because to be honest I don't really feel guilty at all after eating it (woopsy)
It's all about a balanced life, thats my motto.
Favourite hidden gem for foodies in Amsterdam?
I almost don't want to share because my two favourite places are that good, that I kinda don't want anyone to know about them. Is that selfish? Haha. My absolute favourite is Mana Mana in de Pijp. It's an Israeli place. I always eat the same thing there every week: hummus, spinach with polenta, grapefruit and the psychedelic cauliflower.
My second favourite, well that is definitely hidden. It's a tiny authentic Japanese restaurant called, Umeno. The quality of the food there is exceptional. The Japanese owner, who is also the chef makes the food himself with his son every night and his Japanese wife serves the guests. The chef can prepare anything you wish for, whether you want plant based, vegetarian or full on fatty tuna. If you let him surprise you, he will make different dishes for you each time you visit. It's so pure, so clean, seasonal and tasty! And the love and patience that goes into it is incredible to see and taste.
What my typical average day of food looks like?
Breakfast: Ginger, aloe vera and kurkuma shots followed by a fresh juice. Four days a week it's a large leafy green juice and three days a week a root veggie and/or fruit juice. Ginger, kurkuma lemon tea, and an almond latte from time to time, max one coffee per day if I have one.
Lunch: Soup. Pumpkin, sweet potato, any veggie soup. Raw wraps. Lots of hummus with raw veggies or on spelt bread. In summer instead of soup, I go more for salads!
Snacks: Raw cacao balls, smoothies, chocolate
Dinner: Veggie curries, falafel, more hummus, salads, a pasta once in a while and also lately I try to eat grilled salmon once a week to get my B12 fix.
Drinks: Herbal teas, water, juice, more juice and in the weekend I enjoy a glass of red wine
What’s the one food you can’t live without?
I would say chocolate, but if I could only choose one food that I would have to eat for the rest of my life and I couldn't eat anything else - I would choose vegetables. I really genuinely love the taste of veggies, all kind of veggies.
Rumour has it TCPJ concept comes from the streets of the US of A. What inspired you to bring it here?
I was inspired by all the amazing juice and smoothie bars when I was living in New York. People lead such busy lives there, but there was always a quick healthy fix available. I came back to Amsterdam often, and noticed there was no where I could get juices, clean foods and smoothies on the go that were actually healthy. An idea sparked. I wrote a business plan, moved back, and opened Amsterdam’s first cold pressed juicery. I’d been juicing for about nine years at that point, so seemed qualified for the part.
What was it like trying to introduce an entirely new concept into the Dutch market?
I’m not going to say it was easy. In the beginning I worked seven days a week in store from morning to close, 13 hour shifts. People were curious initially, but they didn’t really get the concept of cold pressed. They wanted a fresh juice they could see being made, but they didn’t understand it’s fresher than you can do for yourself at home or with a normal juicer. But slowly that changed. People started feeling the difference. They had more energy, or they weren’t getting sick over the winter, or they lost weight starting the day with a healthy breakfast. They told their friends, who told their friends and it just grew from there. Soon there were lines outside the door. And it feels like before we knew it we’d expanded and had three more stores.
So many health philosophies are just short term fads - why do you think this one is lasting?
I don’t think it’s a trend or fad. I believe in a balanced life, I’m not saying don’t drink alcohol. I love a glass of red wine. But I believe the purer you eat, the longer you live and the less sick you get. It’s that simple. Go for what’s natural and not processed. What comes from the earth. Things that have an expiration date longer then a couple of days is not fresh food, its products that are manipulated. Food isn’t meant to last forever, it’s meant to be fresh. Fruit and veggies go off. That’s why our juices only last three days.
If people wanted to make one simple change to have a healthier lifestyle what would you suggest?
Stop eating meat or sugar. Or both. I know its hard, I find it hard too but refined sugar is pure poison. It’s even more addictive than cocaine they say. Meat, especially processed meats its one of the main causes of intestine and gut cancer. Plus climate change! It’s not just for your body. It’s bad for the environment and our planet too. If people stop eating meat the world would be a much better place.
People always compliment the style of the stores. How would you describe the look?
Hopefully on brand (laughs)
I try and use as many natural elements as I can - trees, plants, wood, natural materials. Also we use the original authentic materials of the building where possible. At Herengracht the floor was this awful fake wood, we stripped it back and found that beautiful exposed concrete underneath. So we kept it. We always aim for a minimalist look, and the design is all very linear. We did each store a different colour, but they all link back to colours on our packaging.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mostly from travelling actually. I used to travel to lots of great cities all over the world for work. Everything is a combination of things I’ve seen the last few years. I’m inspired by little snippets here and there. Also never underestimate what you can find online. I’ll always scan Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, other stores for inspo.
What do you think is the key to being a successful entrepreneur?
To not give up. No matter what, perseverance is key. When you have a push back, remember to keep going. But to really be successful and have a successful business you need to assemble the right team around you. Great people. People that are better at you in the areas you fall short. That really takes things to the next level. Oh, and listen to your gut. Always.
Have you always eaten healthy?
I had some health issues growing up. I frequently had stomach cramps and digestive problems. My parents took me to different doctors and hospitals, they did several tests but no one really knew what it was. I started eating cleaner, but still it didn’t go away. Eventually they discovered I was intolerant to gluten and dairy. When I was eighteen I did my own and first DIY seven day juice cleanse. It totally reset my system. For the first time in so long I felt really good. I could sleep. My eyes weren’t itchy. My stomach pains went away. I could go to the rest room. Since then, I have always started my day with a juice. That’s why I’m such an advocate for the cleanse.
Are there any challenges to being a brand ambassador for health?
Sleep. I don’t sleep enough. I work days that are long. My brain is always turning. "I still need to do this", “I need to write that down.” When you don’t sleep enough you look tired. You get bags under your eyes. You don’t look healthy, but people expect you to look healthy. Running a juice brand looks super cute from the outside, but there are so many fluctuations in organic produce and people. They are two of the most fun but also temperamental things to work with.
What helps you manage the stresses of running your own juicery empire?
I don’t (laughs). It’s so hard to switch off. I do love Rocycle. I don’t have my phone. No one asks me any questions. And the music, the music takes me to another place. I lose myself. Kite surfing does the same thing. You get to be in the moment, look at the weather, the other kites on the water. For me it’s like therapy.
What’s your personal goal for 2017?
Goal or wishes? Travel! To go to a warm place I haven’t been and sip on juice, fresh coconuts, relax, surf. Like Hawaii. I’d also love to go to Africa and do charity work. Build houses, grow veggies.. Help people.