In an exclusive interview, the Co-Founder of Greenhouse, Emma Knight, reveals how they're making healthy & sustainable juices the new normal.
October 27, 2021
Innovation , News , Sales tax recovery
In an exclusive interview, the Co-Founder of Greenhouse, Emma Knight, answered our questions about the organic, plant-based beverage company and how they are succeeding in making healthy and sustainable the new normal.
We launched Greenhouse in January 2014, just over seven years ago now. Our mission is to offer widespread sustainable access to plant-based nutrition and wellness of the highest quality.
When we launched Greenhouse, we had no idea what we were getting into. I’m a journalist by training, my husband/partner, Anthony Green, is a filmmaker, and our other partner, Hana James, was taking time off before medical school when she started her first healthy café inside a gym in Toronto.
We had discovered cold-pressed juice in our travels, and we decided to band together to open a modest shop in Toronto that would offer the best possible version of it: organic, in glass, with no compromises.
We found a perfect little former coach house on Macpherson Avenue, which inspired our logo and our name. We had initially wanted to launch in the summer of 2013, but we had never built out a store before, and it turns out it takes time… so we ended up opening the shop in the middle of a bone-chilling winter. At the time, we thought it will be a soft launch. Surely only immediate family would buy something with “cold” in the name when it was minus thirty plus wind chill. But to our great surprise, we sold out within an hour on our first day. We ended up leaving our other jobs and jumping in headfirst.
When he lived in L.A., Anthony was working long hours shooting and editing concert films, and he found that drinking cold-pressed green juice was a turnkey way to stay healthy. This one tweak to his routine helped him feel better, and it brought about a real domino effect. He found that he was sleeping better (because he relied on coffee less, especially later in the day), exercising more (because he had more energy), and getting sick less often. There was lots of green juice in L.A. at the time, but it was mostly bottled in plastic and made from conventional produce (grown with chemical pesticides, etc.), and oftentimes it was too sweet. In our hometown, where cold-pressed juice was not yet a going concern, we decided to do something different.
From the beginning, our juices have been 100% organic, in glass bottles, with recipes that keep sugar to a minimum and really focus on vegetables. Vegetables are delicious. You don’t need sweetness to make something taste good! We now have five other categories of organic, plant-based beverages alongside our juices, plus made-to-order smoothies in our stores and a whole Plant Pantry of partner products.
As we watched a community form around organic plants in reusable glass bottles, our mission took shape. We set ourselves the task of offering widespread, sustainable access to plant-based nutrition and wellness of the highest quality. That meant building a proper plant and making a whole lot of juice.
Now we are a national, vertically integrated business with eight of our own stores in Toronto, an e-commerce business from Greenhouse.ca in the GTA+, and hundreds of grocery partners across the country.
I’m most proud of our team. We have changed a lot over the past seven years. We’ve grown a lot: we started juicing out of our first 300-square-foot shop in Toronto, and now we make it in a 30,000 square-foot plant that’s SQF and HACCP certified. Our team now includes food scientists, engineers, logistics experts, supply chain experts, and many more brilliant, creative, resilient people who bring diverse skills to the table. We would not be where we are today without this team.
Learn more about Greenhouse and their products: https://www.greenhouse.ca/
Social media : @greenhousejuice
Check out Emma’s latest book: How to Eat with One Hand: Recipes and Other Nourishment for New and Expecting Parents : https://www.howtoeatwithonehand.com
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