Wasn't that long ago, March of 2012 to be exact, that Cornichon reported Uncle Howard's gang at Starbucks had spent $50 million to buy themselves a company called Evolution Fresh, an outfit that squeezes everything from your traditional orange smoothie to your hippie-dippy wheat grass. It wasn't the first Starbucks venture to think outside the coffee cup, and it's probably not the last, but cold-pressed juice, as a beverage category, has now arrived. The enterprising NYTimes, not known for "discovering" trends, reports this today. (Parenthetically and paradoxically, the house organ of entrenched capitalism, the Wall Street Journal, seems to do a far better job of reporting on what's new and trendy in the business world.)
Anyway, the $50 million that Starbucks spent was but the down payment on a brand that now offers some two dozen flavors available in groceries around the country. The original store at Bellevue Square has been joined by locations in U Village, downtown and San Francisco.
And all of a sudden there's plenty of competition: celebrity restaurateur Danny Meyer of Shake Shack has a line called Creative Juice. A couple of young women in their 30s, Zoë Sakoutis and Erica Huss, have built a multi-million dollar juice company called BluePrint. And so on. National details in the NYT story referenced above.
Meantime, a local update. Lots of folks around town know Joe "Connector" Kennedy, a real estate agent and health enthusiast. For his Facebook followers, he posts almost daily pictures of his morning protein shake, a blender jar full of green stuff. In what looks like a prescient move, Kennedy has just announced he's selling his old car and moving to California to become a pitchman for BlendTec blenders.
My personal favorite is white peach juice at the bottom of a glass of Prosecco. It's called a Bellini. Below: making Bellinis at Harry's Bar in Venice; Bellini carafe at Quartino in Chicago; Bellini topped with thyme leaf at Suite 410 in Seattle.