Seattle Juicers Press Forward

New Year's resolutions and yoga buoy the raw-juice scene.

Seattle's enervated raw-juice scene is poised to perk up this month, thanks in part to nutrition-related New Year's resolutions and a pair of partnerships between local juice pressers and fitness facilities.

Strawberry Moon, which yoga instructor Sean Dereck last year launched from the Haute Yoga studio in Queen Anne, recently started selling its products at Urban Yoga Spa. The juices will soon also be available at Yogabliss on Mercer Island, although Dereck stresses they aren't only for yogis.

Last week, another pressing operation—Juicebox, which sells its juices at La Bête during the restaurant's off-hours—set up a permanent cooler at Capitol Hill's LAB5 Fitness. "It's kind of a natural fit," co-owner Brandin Myett explains. "Fitness and eating well—we kind of believe they go together."

Although juice sales have held steady nationally, with orange-juice consumption dropping off significantly between 2006 and 2010, trend-watchers believe juice is on the brink of stardom. In 2011, Starbucks acquired Evolution Fresh, which operates four retail juice bars—three of which are located in Seattle—and supplies its cafes with fresh, cold-pressed juices. And last year, Coca-Cola tried to wedge its way into the premium-juice market with its new Minute Maid Pure Squeezed line. 

But juice still isn't a preoccupation for health-seekers outside of select markets. "You can't turn a corner" in Los Angeles without bumping into a juice shop, says Dereck, who isn't sure why it's been much slower to catch on here: "I can't wrap my head around it, because our city is so progressive in so many things." The local yoga scene felt similarly stunted to Dereck when he moved here from L.A. in 2008. But "the yoga world has exploded" since, and he anticipates juice appreciation will follow.

Both Strawberry Moon and Juicebox offer extensive cleanse programs, which Dereck prides himself on customizing according to drinkers' tastes. "I don't like to standardize the process," he says. "If you don't want parsley, but you still want to cleanse, you can write us." Dereck also cuts dark greens with citrus—an exception he makes to his local-sourcing principle—since lemons and limes help balance the hearty flavors of Washington-grown fennel and kale."Eighty percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing," he says, adding that he hopes eventually to offer an all-local juice, which he likens to a blue-plate special.

What's more, Strawberry Moon juices are packaged in glass bottles, and Dereck envisions expanding the company's home-delivery service: "The way we used to do with milk, we'd like to do it with juice."

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