.Foodie File: Perfectly Pressed Juice

Perfectly Pressed JuiceWith two new locations in the county, small business has taken off
Two years ago, Monica Berriz-Ocon opened her first Perfectly Pressed Juice in Salinas, and now she’s on the cusp of opening her sixth location, which will be in Watsonville in January. She just opened a Santa Cruz location a few months ago, and like her other locations, it’s been a hit. She doesn’t run a typical Jamba Juice-style juice/smoothie bar, but bottles all of her juices every morning and delivers them to the different locations.
How did you get into the juice business?
MONICA BERRIZ-OCON: My goal was always to spread health. The business came as a result of that passion. I was making juice for my husband, who’s a chiropractor. I was making it for his patients. His orders grew to the point where I needed a place to put produce and my equipment. That’s what caused the first store to open. Since then it’s just taken off.
What’s so great about juice?
It’s critical for our survival and wellness. Processed foods will kill you. There is a huge turn in education now and people are starting to become more aware of how to better feed themselves. The juice is critical, just because you get so many servings of vegetables that you would not otherwise receive—raw vegetables.
What is your juicing technique?
We use a cold-press system because there’s no heat involved in the process. This system keeps all the nutrients and enzymes alive. What you have is raw, live nutrients. Any other type of bottling system will add heat to it and kill everything. You have to be careful about where you’re consuming your juice.
Do you recommend specific juices for people with different health concerns?
Yes. We educate on the health benefits of these juices and what type of produce you can have to help certain ailments. If you’re looking for a cleansing or a detoxing juice, we’ve got Green Dream—it’s our most popular. If you’re looking for a boost of energy in the afternoon, there’s great sustainable energy in the EnerGee. If you’re pregnant, a great juice to have is the Carrot Apple Lemon. The beta-carotene it offers is good for growth of the fetus. If you have a cold, I suggest the Rad Booster. The combination of the ginger and the lemon is incredible for your sinuses and lungs and will get you through allergies and colds.
Will you sell your juice in other stores in the future?
I think for now we’re going to stick to our business model. We don’t want to grow too big—the quality is more important to me. To handle more orders, we would have to change our process and I’m not interested in sacrificing the quality to do that.
3617B Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, 331-4041.

MEET THE PRESSER Monica Berriz-Ocon has opened a Perfectly Pressed Juice in Santa Cruz, and will soon do the same in Watsonville. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER


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