Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, February 25, 2018

Jrink offers healthy alternative to coffee in the Dav

The local juicery provides the Dav with its unique products.

Jrink offers healthy alternative to coffee in the Dav

For health-conscious students, local juicery Jrink has teamed up with the Davenport Coffee Lounge to provide a nutrient-packed alternative to everyday coffee or tea.

Most juice is made by chopping produce and spinning it at a high speed to separate out the pulp. This process of centrifugal juicing generates enough heat to break down certain nutrients and decrease the juice’s nutritional benefit. Cold-pressing, on the other hand, simply crushes the ingredients under thousands of pounds of pressure to extract the juice with its nutrients intact. Even though it requires more work than centrifugal juicing, Jrink chooses to cold-press because it produces a fresher, more nutrient dense product.

Fresh, natural ingredients can be hard to find in a in a major city like D.C., and Jrink co-founder Shizu Okusa admitted that it took serious effort to get it right.

“We found that the biggest challenge here in D.C. is that its such an urban desert,” Okusa said “We spent a lot of time [before launching Jrink] figuring out the best way to get the best produce possible.”

After launching the business in June 2013, Okusa and co-founder Jennifer Ngai began raising awareness for their product. Before opening their location in DuPont Circle, Jrink delivered its products to customers and supplied their juice to a select few redistributors – including the Davenport Coffee Lounge.

But Jrink is growing quickly and has moved on from wholesale (the Dav is one of only two redistributors) to retail. Okusa said that brick and mortar shops were never in the original vision for Jrink, but when Epic Yoga approached them to set up shop in their DuPont space things clicked instantly.

“I think there’s definitely a market for using unutilized space,” she said.

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TRENT BURNS, THE EAGLE

Coming from a Wall Street background, Okusa and Ngai sympathize with the young professionals of D.C. and their schedules.

“[We were] too busy for our own good,” Okusa said. “We were looking to stay healthy while keeping up with our lives. You can have fun, you know? Everything in moderation.”

That down to earth approach to leading a healthy life is as much a trademark of Jrink as its sleek and simple labels and its in-house recycled glass bottles.

“We’re still so thankful to the people who took the time to try the product and give us feedback about the flavors, the packaging, the pricing – everything,” Okusa said.

Okusa also said that she’d like to see Jrink expand into Maryland and Virginia, especially as the market for healthy, raw food and drink continues to develop.

“The market is still very young, but its growing quickly and we’ll have to move fast to stay ahead of the curve,” she said.

tburns@theeagleonline.com


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