The Heart of the Moon | A Morning Chat with Moon Juice owner, Amanda Bacon

So imagine what might happen if you skipped your morning caffeine and sugar fix and put it towards something completely delicious that will leave you feeling satisfied and full of energy all day long. That is what you’ll get if you stop by the newly opened Moon Juice on Rose and 5th in Venice. It’s not just health fanatics and yogis that are lining up to order some power juice, but regular 9-5′ers who are looking for a healthy boost to their morning ritual.

A white shop,  colorful bottles, and simple aesthetics immediately catch your eye. It’s not some juice bar tucked in back of a market, with pungent smells wafting through. This place makes you want to smile, makes you interested in what they are serving, and within moments you are drawn to what’s going on here. Not only are they offering up juices, raw sprouted vegan treats, but they have a juice cleansing program  that will change the outlook on what you’re eating. Since walking into this tiny shop I’ve overheard a handful of patrons saying this is my second and third time coming in today. People are coming in and coming back, daily. The juices are simple, cold pressed, 100% organic, there is no doubt you’ll be tasting quality ingredients.

WELO had a morning chat with owner Amanda Bacon, on the evolution of juice and the way she views vegetables; keeping the quality of her product as high as possible. After an hour long deep discussion, I am a 100% certain that she is the real deal. Someone who lives, breathes, and cultivates and exceptional livelihood out of raw organic fruits and vegetables. A true breath of fresh air for the thriving Venice Health & Wellness community.

WELO: Congrats of the opening of Moon Juice, a welcome change to Rose ave.  So tell me, When did you start juicing?

AB: I went to culinary school for a bit, then had the opportunity to work with Suzanne Goin, who became my mentor and long time friend. It was a lot of hard work, sometimes physically grueling. She and I did Sunday Supers at Lucques… it was an incredible time. I am so grateful for that experience because what came out of it was a sensitive palate. Suzanne cared about fruits and vegetables which ultimately become my passion.

WELO: How did you know fruits and vegetables was your passion?

AB: I think I’ve always known since I was a child, just like one responds to painting or music. As a child you don’t really know what fruit and vegetables are, let alone that they could be your job. You just think that they are there, and you eat them, but I was fascinated by them.

WELO: Have you always lived in Venice?

AB: Two years ago I moved from the eastside after putting in the foot work into opening a restaurant. We moved to the Westside simply because we yearned for a community where you could ride your bike to pick up fresh produce. I am a New Yorker, so Venice feels similar in terms of having access to  markets, by walking or biking, that eastside does not.

WELO: When did the idea of Moon Juice come to mind?

AB: I started making juice with a Greenstar, which is a cold pressing machine that takes quiet a bit of time, so I would say “it’s my full time job”. I guess I just took that and ran with it.

WELO: What makes Cold pressed Juice so special? And why hasn’t everyone done this?

AB: A Cold Press extracts juice through the tremendous pressure exerted by a Hydraulic force.  Maximal amounts of natural fruit sugars, vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, and other vital elements are preserved.  This imparts to the juice an extremely fine quality and flavor which is unequaled by any other method of juice extraction. Other types of juicers involve a rapidly spinning strainer.  Heat, static electricity and large amounts of air are drawn in; nutrients are destroyed as oxidation occurs. We get organic produce everyday, so our product is pressed daily. with cold pressed juice the nutrients can last up to three days, with strainer extract juice it loses it’s vitality within 15mins.

We are the first people to do cold press juice that is 100% organic in Los Angeles. There are a few people who are doing Cold Press juice but they aren’t 100% organic. For me…what is the point of going thru the extra effort of cold pressing if it’s only half organic? I knew it was going to be a more expensive product because you are dealing with over three pounds of organic produce. plus the laborious process of hydraulically pressing it. I do what I can to price it so we can literally keep our lights on. but the intention with this place… Is a place where you could come by three times a day. A meal a day…. And later hopefully do volume.

WELO: How did you find this space?

AB: It was originally the CAVE gallery…  I rode by on my bike one day and saw the for rent sign. As soon as I signed the lease four days later, I found out I was pregnant.  It was 13months of construction and dealing with the city. We didn’t get clearance until our son was turning 5 months. and through that process, it was the Green Juice that was keeping me going. If I was selling pastries…  I would have crashed.

WELO: You have so many amazing juice combinations, How did you come up with these recipes? They’re not your typical juice bar ingredients.

AB: I am interested in bringing in organic superfoods that are delicious, poetic… food should be simple. the complicated part should be sourcing the best ingredients. the simple part should be preparation and service. To me the most important part of cooking is not someone grilling a steak but how someone can make a salad… The underlying sensitivity to their palate. Make me a salad with salt, olive oil and lemon, when you can perfectly balance that approach, and hit the right note… you have enough acidity to lift, you have enough salinity to boost and enough oil to make your mouth feel like it’s pull all the flavors together.. that’s what i care about.

WELO: So far what is the best seller?

AB: Goodness Greens

WELO: What are your favorite Juices?

AB: Goodness Greens and Mint Chip

WELO: Is everything recyclable?

AB: Everything is compostable or recycled so there is no waste. We even use our Almond pulp for the raw cookies, that are delicious and nutritious. In fact, those goodies were my private late night snacks. I was dipping dried food in the almond butter… And thinking this is delicious?  Real food that tastes great. it’s not processed vegan tofurky? It is what is it.

WELO: What’s your biggest hope for Moon Juice?

AB: Health is playing a big part. People are embracing the farm to table movement.  I think this is just taking it one step further. we have an appreciation for food. we appreciation for quality that in turn affect our community and our environment, to bring a product to people that is still exciting, titillating and satiating. a balance that should be celebrated.

WELO: I’m hooked and thrilled a place like this now exists in our neighborhood, thank you. I wish you much success. One more thing… How did you come up with the name Moon Juice?

AB: Moon Juice came from seeing a vintage school bus come out of the fog in San Francisco, with a beautiful mural of a full moon in the nights sky. It hit me instantaneously. Moon Juice.

WELO: Brilliant.

Photos captured by Emily Hart  http://www.emilyhartphotography.com/

Stop in for some Moon Juice on Rose Ave. & 5th in Venice.
http://www.moonjuiceshop.com/

About the author

If it's one thing Mikki loves about her Venice neighborhood, is the house party culture and she throws one mean house party. If she's not planning the next gathering, she is whipping up batches of her organic lip balm. you can probably catch her riding her bike, attending a yoga class, checking out the music scene, or planning an adventure with her hubbie. Check out her latest discoveries on her blog The Sage Press http://thesagepress.wordpress.com/

9 Comments

  1. Jenny Lens says:

    SALT? As a raw foodie, I only salt to make raw pickles, sauerkraut and veggie kraut. No oil either … Most raw foodies tend to consume too much oil … seeds, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil …

    I’m sharing cos we as a nation consume too much salt and oil … When your palate really cleansed, greens are terrific. Now we often can get a variety of organic greens at the 99 cent stores!

    Add mashed small avocado sometimes, fresh lemon juice, herbs, so many other things … I’ve read a TON of raw food books for many years …. just saying …

  2. Jenny Lens says:

    I too have a Green Star/Green Life juicer. It’s awesome … most don’t use it cos it takes time to set up, lots of greens, and then washing/drying … it’s a serious juicer!! GREAT for greens like parsley, cilantro and of course wheat grass: the stringy greens which most juicers can’t handle …

  3. Mikki Sage says:

    Awesome Jenny– GreenStar is great!! Good for you for juicing :)

  4. elizabeth says:

    I REALLY enjoyed this article. i got my first Norwalk juicer back in 1992 when I was 26, after using my acme which I acquired when I was 19 back in Santa Cruz. I could not believe the difference in taste, texture, and the way my body reacted to the pressed juice. It has an almost creamy quality to it, and somehow allows me to enjoy the bitter greens that were a bit hard to swallow with any other juicer. This goddess has the right vibe and approach towards her business- an uncompromising and passionate quest to use quality ingredients in her products,
    This is the kind of place that needs and deserves our community’s support, I will definitely pay her a visit sometime soon

  5. Mikki Sage says:

    Thanks Elizabeth!! Be sure to visit her–and moon juice for sure!!

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