This year, the Hoxton took the Fresh + Fit fest to Amsterdam, and asked our founder Nathalie Streng to join in on the panel discussion 'How to Build a Health brand', alongside other leading entrepreneurs in the local health business.
Samantha, co-founder of Cultcha Kambucha and Healthy Happy, kicks off by stating there’s a point of conviction going on in Amsterdam. A turning point within the city. “It wasn’t that long ago that you would not be able to get breakfast before 10 am, that you had to go to Schiphol to get something decent on the go. People would be so accustomed to their ‘broodje met kaas’. Now there is yoga and juice everywhere, and it is so nice to see that the country is supporting what we do.”
When asked how she came to the idea of starting the Juicery, Nathalie gives us the moving insights of her personal background, her vision looking back and her general mission looking ahead. Sharing is caring, we did not want you to miss out on this one. Here is her story.
“From when I was little, I’ve always had problems with digestion. I was the kid who couldn’t eat anything because she was intolerant, and my stomach would get upset all the time from the slightest things. Growing up, this was a long and painful journey of going to health coaches and seeing doctors, until one day, 12 years ago, a friend said to me ‘hey, you should try a juice cleanse’. I was like ‘a juice what? And you don’t eat for how many days??’. But I tried it, my first cleanse, a 7 day juice fast and nothing had ever worked better for me. I was hooked.
I bought a centrifugal juicer and juiced every morning ever since. There was no cold pressed juice bar around back then. When I moved to New York back 5 years ago, I would always come in to work with my own jar of home made juice in the morning, until someone asked me if I wanted a sip of their bottle of cold pressed juice. I didn't jump at the offer as I didn’t want anything "packaged", and I’d rather just stick to the juice I made myself because I knew it was fresh, organic and contained lots of greens. But they convinced me to try it, and right away, I was like ‘WOW what is this??’. There was so much flavour and you could just feel the, rawness, freshness and nutritional density. When looking at the ingredients I couldn’t believe how many there were in there! When I learned more about the amazingness of cold pressed and realized I couldn't even make this at home, that’s when I crossed over and never touched my own juicer again.
Whenever I would go back to The Netherlands, I missed all the cold pressed juice and healthy raw food to-go options I was able to find in New York a lot, and it made me see this huge gap in the market. I was so surprised there just was nothing that came even close to what I had become accustomed to in New York, and, well long story short, I quit my job, moved back to Amsterdam and started doing it myself. I opened up the first organic cold pressed juicer and raw food to go spot in The Netherlands, where everything you would get you know that it would be the healthiest thing you could put in your body. Sugar free, gluten free, organic, vegan, raw, and yet super tasty.
It wasn't easy. I was in stores 7 days a week from 6AM till 8PM, and the work continued at home until midnight. At first, people came in skeptical, just like I did the first time when I walked into a cold pressed juice-bar in New York. They would think, 'there is a place around the corner where the juice is made fresh in front of me, here it’s all packaged!'. But I explained to them that cold pressed was fresher than fresh, more nutrient dense and more vitamin rich. They would try it, and they'd come back, and they kept coming back, and we heard them say ‘I didn’t get sick this winter’. And that is exactly is what we do it for! That is our unique selling point and that is my mission. To make people healthier and make them feel better, by providing something on the go that is nurturing and healing .”