These days, juice bars are popping up like froyo shops, one on every corner. Some sell made-to-order juice, while others perfect recipes and pack them up in glass bottles. Others sell all-organic juice for exorbitantly high prices, while a few choose not to use organic produce at all.
At Purely Pressed, a new juice bar that recently opened in Fort Lauderale, all these factors and more were taken into consideration to help make the focus -- and experience -- different than what most people are used to seeing. With a unique approach to making and selling their juices, smoothies, and food, co-owner Alan Potrzuski says he hopes people will see his juice bar and lunch spot as more health-focused than many of the others that have taken root in South Florida over the last few years.
Like many juice bars, Purely Pressed serves cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, as well as smoothies, locally-roasted Calusa coffee, and organic vegetarian and vegan eats.
Potrzuski insists, however, that unlike many juice bars that have a set menu of recipes that never change -- or others that make juices to-order at ridiculously high prices -- at Purely Pressed you won't find either. Instead, the short menu of high-pressure, cold-pressed juices change often (sometimes weekly, but often monthly) and are sold at different prices according to demand. The best-sellers -- like the garden harvest, a blend of romaine, cucumber, parsley, fennel, cilantro, and spirulina -- go for $8, while the less popular drinks go for $5 to $6.
There are a few things each juice has in common, however: They are all made daily using only organic produce, with ingredients that rotate according to what is plentiful, available, and often seasonal. Last, they are bottled in 12-ounce plastic bottles, with no label, and are sold that day, or not at all.
"For all these reasons, we're able to keep our prices low," said Potrzuski, who partnered with co-owner Stuart Paterson to open Purely Pressed. "I source all over the country for the best price, and the best produce. I bottle in plastic because it's less expensive, and the juice is only sitting in that bottle for a few hours before it's sold. We press our juices daily to ensure maximum freshness, while preserving crucial vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients."
Potrzuski and his team make just enough juice for the lunch crowd that has already started patronizing his shop. Most are nearby office employees, including those who work at Citrix, one of South Florida's largest IT companies. If juice doesn't sell by closing time, staff are urged to take it home, or it's used as samples. Friday is a special day at Purely Pressed: because they aren't open on the weekends, all leftover juice is sold for $5 each.
In addition to juice, the menu also offers a few breakfast options ($4), salads ($8), wraps and sandwiches ($8) -- all made using the same organic produce. Specialty dips including a homemade edamame hummus, and creamy Turkish-style eggplant caviar, give a unique touch to tuna, chicken salad, and mixed green salads.
"This is everyday juice. Think of this place like your neighborhood commune: everyone agrees to buy juice at a certain time, and then your $10 juice can drop down to $8, even $5," says Potrzuski. "People are down for it. They want it. The more we sell, the lower our prices can be -- and the better it will be for everyone. We believe pure living is the best way to shape the future the way we want it."
Purely Pressed is located at 6314 N. Powerline Road, Fort Lauderdale. Visit purelypressedjuiceco.com, or call 954-772-5000.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.