Vegans can’t live by juice alone, so one of the region’s longest-established, cold-pressed juice cleanse companies has opened an all-organic café in Encinitas.
OH! Juice Café (the OH is short for “organic health”) opened its doors in November at The Lofts mixed-use project in downtown Encinitas.
The cafe serves a variety of plant-based vegan bowls, toasts, smoothies, salads and soups and it also serves as a tasting bar and take-out shop for its $12.50-a-bottle superfood-infused juices.
OH! Juice was started in 2013 by 29-year-old Encinitas resident Hanna Gregor. She holds a degree in nutrition from Penn State, where she played on the women’s rugby team.
After graduating in 2012, the Maine native moved to San Diego where she found a job at a downtown San Diego juice detox shop. The shop later closed but Gregor used the tools she learned in managing that business to start OH! Juice in 2013.
The business started out with her and a former partner making juices in a commercial kitchen and selling them at farmers markets in Little Italy, Hillcrest, Rancho Santa Fe and Vista.
In 2016, she opened a combination kitchen, retail store and juice tasting room at 5631 Palmer Way at the Carlsbad Gateway Center, a commercial/industrial park where several artisan foodmakers, including Prager Brothers Artisan Bread, produce and sell their products onsite.
Because of her background in nutrition, Gregor said her favorite part of her job is creating the juice blends and teaching customers about the healthful benefits of cleansing with organic, cold-pressed juice drinks.
The business makes and sells 19 juice blends custom-made for energy, weight loss and detoxing. They’re made with local fruits and vegetables as well as more exotic superfood ingredients like reishi and cordycep mushrooms, maca root, moringa leaf, baobab and camu camu.
Gregor said the juices, which have a 5- to 7-day shelf life, are cold-pressed in a heat-free centrifugal press, packaged in glass bottles and sold either individually or in 1- to 5-day cleanse packages.
Free juice tasting sessions are offered at both the Carlsbad and Encinitas stores, where Gregor enjoys taking customers through the 10-minute tastings herself.
She opened the Encinitas café last year as a way to expand on her company’s brand with healthful food items sourced almost exclusively from local farms and bakeries.
Her underwriter and partner in the Encinitas café is Doug Kimmelman of Rancho Santa Fe. Kimmelman’s wife, Carol — who passed away from ovarian cancer last year — was a longtime OH! Juice customer.
A chalkboard on the wall of the café lists the local suppliers, including Prager Brothers in Carlsbad, Barry Koral’s Tropical Fruit Farm in Vista, Bee Wise Farms in Escondido, JR Organics Farm in Carlsbad, Om Organic Mushroom Nutrition in Carlsbad and Sage Mountain Farm in Anza.
The café’s all-day menu features acai, yogurt, kelp noodle, black rice and grain bowls, cold smoothies and hot drinks, toasts, salads and soups. The shop also has a grab-and-go prepared foods and juices case.
OH! Juice Café
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Where: 90 N. Coast Highway, Suite 212, Encinitas
Phone: (760) 487-1896