In 2010 Hayden Slater, Hedi Gores and Carly de Castro founded Pressed Juicery, a cold-pressed juice company based in LA.
Since its launch Pressed has grown exponentially, yet the founders' commitment to quality, sustainability and the democratisation of wellness has remained the same.
In 2014, they released their first book, Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing & Living Well, a subversive move in an industry famous for fiercely guarding its ingredients, recipes and methods.
I spoke to Hayden about the benefits of integrating juice into daily life, the importance of gratitude and more...
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU FIRST START DRINKING GREEN JUICE?
I grew up in Los Angeles, so was always educated about wellness but I never really practiced it. After I graduated from NYU I was working in production, relying on a diet of fast food and generally living in a fog. Inspired by my college yoga instructor, Kris Carr, I took a trip to Southeast Asia and decided to do a juice cleanse while I was there. What was supposed to be five days turned into thirty and although it might be a bit excessive, I've never felt more alive in my entire life.
WHAT DID YOU FIND TO BE THE SHORT- AND LONG-TERM EFFECTS?
I feel differently when I'm not drinking juice. Starting the morning with a green juice helps me set a healthy intention for the day and leads me to make better choices for my body. Also, you can't argue with the benefits of drinking a bottle of juice that contains up to four pounds of fresh produce. Giving your body all of those vitamins and nutrients has incredible short- and long-term effects. Everyone is different, but I encourage others to just start adding a juice into their daily diet and see how they feel.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO CO-FOUND A JUICE COMPANY?
After I returned from Southeast Asia I wanted to recreate how I felt when I was on the juice cleanse, so I came together with two childhood friends who had also had positive experiences with juicing and we created Pressed. We started out in a 22-square-foot broom closet that we rented out and put a Dutch door on. I made the juices at night in a shared kitchen space and one of my partners sold them during the day while I slept. Our hard work was immediately worth it when we saw how good people felt when they drank the juice. Today, four-and-a-half years later, we have close to forty locations and are continuing to work towards our goal of bringing accessible, nutrient-rich products to all.
WHAT HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF RUNNING YOUR OWN COMPANY TAUGHT YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
There are so many lessons that running my company has already taught me. For me, it's about being grateful for what we have. In business it's easy to focus on problems or dilemmas, but I really make a point of stepping back and being really proud of what my team and I have accomplished. It's the same in my own personal life – realising how fortunate I am and making the most of every day. It's important that I always remind myself that the best way to have everything in life is to realise that you already do.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE PRESSED JUICERY IN FIVE YEARS' TIME?
I'm so proud of what we've already accomplished, but every part of me feels like we've barely scratched the surface of what's to come. I'd love to see Pressed continuing to lead the way in making wellness truly accessible – opening additional retail stores throughout the country, getting our products into certain wholesale and grocery channels, as well as continuing to be disruptive in the food/beverage retail space. What's more exciting than anything else is being a part of this movement, where people are thinking more about what they consume, and teaching people that healthy living can actually be fun.
YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY:
There is no right or wrong; different things work for different people. For me, it's all about finding balance – if I have a bad eating day, I try to work out harder or eat cleaner the next day.
BEST MEAL YOU EVER HAD:
I'm a big mediterranean fan – every meal I had in Greece was better than the last.
FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT IN LA:
I'm a real foodie. These change every week, but right now I'm in to Ado, Gracias Madre, Sushi Park, Gjelina and Gjusta. As an LA kid, you can never get sick of La Scala or Reddi Chick. And obviously Pressed Juicery Freeze for my dessert.
ASIDE FROM DRINKING LOTS OF GREEN JUICE, WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
I really try to find the balance between working out and eating clean. Whether it's working with a trainer, boxing or even hitting up the Santa Monica stairs or biking on the boardwalk. You've gotta keep moving.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
My dog, Finley.