There’s no denying it … New Yorkers are obsessed with juice cleanses. Though the market is certainly filled with options to choose from, one company stands out from the rest for a multitude of reasons. Glam chatted with Neka Pasquale, the founder of Urban Remedy, about her focus, her inspiration for the line, and how she differentiates herself.
How did you begin Urban Remedy?
I had a private acupuncture practice for about 12 years, and then I started doing retreats with people where I did yoga, juicing, raw foods, massage all that stuff and just saw amazing results. In Chinese medicine we use food as medicine a lot. And I love to cook and I’m a total foodie. Everyone in the retreats wanted the juices and raw foods, so that’s how Urban Remedy was born. It went from word of mouth, and then it just got so busy I had to get a bigger kitchen and then bigger kitchen. I couldn’t believe it. In the last eight months, we’ve sold 30 years of juices when you count the number of days we’ve sold.
How did you come up with the name?
I was with a friend thinking and I wanted it to be something for the urban lifestyle. It takes so long to go shopping and juices and to clean up. Most people don’t have the time to do it themselves. I wanted it to be the elixir for urban life. Our tag line is, Food is medicine, heal yourself. Our goal is always support people so they can be as healthy as possible.
What makes Urban Remedy different?
Our juice cleanses are different because it’s all organic and local. We ship in plastic and then locally we use all glass bottles. I use a lot of super foods like turmeric, ginger, chia, acai, dandelion. We really focus on the medicinal properties of the juices. There are juices that are really good for the skin, anti-aging, the liver. I also have a line of snacks; they’re all raw and dehydrated so they’re really easy to digest, gluten free, sugar free. We use coconut sugar for a bit of sweetener. Because of my practice and the fact that I know if you eat a lot of sugar it raise the inflammatory respond in the body, I really worked on having low glycemic juices. We have a couple juices that have fruit in them but most are really low glycemic. We just had a blogger who realized that all size juices in our cleanse have less than one of Blueprints. Our signature cleanse has about 70 grams of sugar and most other ones have 120-160. Our nut milk has 3 grams of sugar and most others have 22 grams. I’m really conscious of doing low glycemic.
How do you suggest that individuals prep for a cleanse and maintain healthy eating going afterwards?
No red meat, no alcohol, no dairy. I always tell people do the best you can. In general none of the whites – sugar, flower. If people want to do a little bit of meat, I say salmon or organic chicken.
What made you decide to offer food as well?
I’ve been making snacks for years. When I had my acupuncture practice I started making these brittles and people would come in and buy every bag so I had to stop because I couldn’t keep up. I wanted to make raw snacks that didn’t taste like you were eating health food. They’re all low glycymic and have a lot of fiber. They’re all vegan. When I make them, I have to stay away because I can’t stop eating them.
Do you have plans to expand out of San Francisco?
We ship nationwide so we shop to every single state. There are a lot of juice stores in New York. We had one celebrity who said if we work together you have to open in New York. I think our next location will be on the west coast.
What are your goals for expansion?
My goal has always been just being a health care practitioner and providing education on health and wellness. My whole thing is I want Urban Remedy to be more of a lifestyle brand not just a juice brand. Surprisingly, we ship all over. We were looking at our stats like month and we shipped to Kentucky, all these places. We were shocked. I think now with the epidemic of diabetes, especially with kids, people are looking at that and trying to change their diet.
What’s your advice for individuals who are only starting to change their diet?
When you’re looking at a meal, there’s a simple question is this going to clog me or cleanse me. Foods with a high water content or in its natural state, that’s what you want to eat. People get really stressed out. People want something that’s really simple. If you try to say don’t get gluten, people call and they get really stressed out. Keep it simple for them so they don’t have to think too much.