BARRINGTON – Mary and Dave Chlystek of North Barrington are on a mission to start a local business with a blender full of health and a side of convenience.
Mary Chlystek first became aware of juicing about a year ago. Living with an autoimmune disease, she was impressed with the amount of research she found praising fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juice for health and wellness benefits, but she didn’t know where to start.
“There was nothing around here,” Dave Chlystek said. “We would have to order juice online and spend crazy bucks for special delivery. Barrington needed juice.”
The couple have spent the past year visiting juicery-abundant places such as San Francisco and New York to gain insight on the business. Mary Chlystek has been juicing at home – something she called a messy, time-intensive process – and consulting wellness coaches, chefs and nutritionists for recipes and trusted techniques.
The Chlysteks are set to open shop in early October at 100 Station St. in downtown Barrington. The store will offer juices, baked goods, smoothies, salads, wraps and cleansing programs.
Dave Chlystek has set his sights on a marketing segment for corporate occasions, offering to deliver to local businesses. Plus, the juicery collaborated with Juice Rx, a Chicago-based juice and cleanse distributor, to sell the distributor’s already-bottled cleanses in chilled, six-pack cases – minus the expensive shipping fees.
As far as “fast food” goes, Pure Organic orders can be placed ahead of time for pickup and pre-made entrees, and juices will be made for “grab and go” customers.
“Juices appeal to everyone of every age, and that’s why we jumped on this downtown location,” Dave Chlystek said. “People will be coming and going from the train, kids will be getting out of school, and each juice will have a target health benefit, such as enhancing memory or detoxing the liver. It’s like ala carte. What aspect of your body do you want to target today?”
Jennifer Pohlman, owner of Sip Organic Juice Bar in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been consulting with Mary Chlystek through the steps of starting a similar business.
“I told her to let her passion shine through to raise public awareness of the health benefits of juice,” said Pohlman, who has personally had customers praise her about their increased energy levels and weight loss. “It’s almost like people’s taste buds change and they start to crave real food.”
According to a Juice & Smoothie Bars Market Research Report, published by IBISWorld in February 2012, the $2 billion industry declined by 0.4 percent between 2007 and 2012, attributed to a drop in national disposable income and escalating competition from fast-food chains and frozen yogurt shops. It noted that many fast-food franchises have added smoothies and juices to their menus, displacing small juice and smoothie bars.
The Chlysteks’ plan to break this trend is due to the value of their raw ingredients. Pure Organic will offer nine juices and 11 smoothies full of organic produce staples such as romaine, kale, spinach, cucumbers, celery, beets, carrots, apples, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and occasional seasonal items such as peaches, cherries and watermelon.
Customers can opt to add a “superfood” mixed into their drink, such as chia seeds, macha, flaxseed oil, wheatgrass or hemp protein – all organic.
Mary Chlystek said Pure Organic’s goal is to serve all vegetarian, non-genetically modified, organic, gluten and dairy-free food, making sure that nothing goes to waste.
The Chlysteks plan to offer smaller, child-marketed drinks such as an “Incredible Hulk” juice or “Strawberry Shortcake,” but they are set on maintaining their menu’s integrity and said they will not alter their formulas with sugar and additives to appeal to children.
The juice bar also will offer indoor/outdoor seating, a Polaroid photo booth and will have a dogs-welcome policy. The Chlysteks have been shocked by the positive feedback they’ve already received.
“Everyone has told us they can’t wait until we open,” said Mary Chlystek, who hopes to distribute juice samples at upcoming Barrington farmers markets and wine walks.
“We would really like to help Mary kick off her new business and schedule a ribbon cutting once she has a chance to be open for a while,” said Eric Zitron, vice president of business development for the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce.