Robert Connolly + Robbie Pyle of JUICEBOX
Happy Wednesday everyone!
With food trucks currently being the big trend right now in the food industry along with juicing (maybe being the biggest trend), our local business interview today is with two guys who have combined both into their own business, JUICEBOX. When we first met co-founder Robert Connolly his truck was amongst almost every food truck in Los Angeles but what stood out about his truck was that he was the only one serving fresh juice and something that was healthy! Check out our interview with these two friendly, super down to earth guys on why they started their business and what sets them apart from the rest!
Robert Connolly & Robbie Pyle
Name of business:
Have you always worked in the food industry?
Robert: “No, actually I worked in finance for almost 10 years before making the jump into the juice business. After college I began evaluating the types of food I was putting in my body and juicing was a big part of that transition.”
What gave you the initial idea to start a juice truck business?
Robert: “Robbie and I always talked about starting something together but there was never enough time, and it never seemed realistic. Finally, both reaching our breaking point in the corporate world, we decided to take the plunge. We initially thought about opening a brick & mortar juice bar, but wanted to differentiate ourselves from the competition (which is heavy in LA!). The juice truck allows us to be in multiple locations daily and build a customer base across Los Angeles, and even California.”
Robbie: "I personally got turned on to juicing after my father was diagnosed with Cancer in 2006. I’ve always loved food, but this event opened my eyes to the fact that I simply was not consuming the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables my body craved. In 2011 we started joking that we should open a juice bar. By 2012 we were both so burned out on our careers (Connolly in Finance and myself in Engineering), we decided to revive that “joke” we talked about a year prior."
Why did you decide to have a truck instead of a freestanding location?
Robbie: "We wanted to do something that no one else was doing. We also wanted to bring juice to an audience that wasn’t lucky enough to have a juice bar in their neighborhood. The truck was the perfect platform."
How long have you personally been juicing?
Robert: “I’ve been juicing for a few years now, but now that we own the truck it’s become a daily routine. It’s incredible the difference it makes just drinking one juice a day. My body feels younger and I constantly have more energy.”
Robbie: "Seven years."
Robbie Pyle (left) and Robert Connolly (right)
Why should people drink their fruits and veggies?
Robert: “Many of the juice companies these days are promoting 5, 7, or even 10 day cleanses. We really encourage a more balanced approach where you incorporate juice into your daily routine. Like a car running on oil, your body needs fruits and vegetables EVERY DAY! We all eat out a lot and find it hard to incorporate enough fruits and veggies, juice is a perfect solution. Drinking produce in liquid form allows the body to fully absorb the vitamins and nutrients without having to break down the plant fiber. Try to drink juice between meals or at least 30 minutes after eating.”
Robbie: "This is a very complex question, but our ongoing theme is balance. The majority of America’s diet is so far from balanced, its disturbing. Neither one of us is vegan or vegetarian, but we both strive to maintain a balanced diet. Juicing is the perfect tool to help so many of us achieve balance. I would never be able to consume a proper amount of raw veggies if it weren’t for juicing."
What is your most popular juice? Is that your favorite?
Robert: “KALEBOX seems to be our most popular, probably because it offers the most nutrients, but the Mojito is a close second. I’ve been drinking the Kalebox recipe daily for almost two years now, and it’s still my favorite. Try adding cayenne or jalapeño!”
Robbie: "Kalebox (apple, celery, spinach, kale, ginger, and lemon) And yes, it does happen to be my favorite. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and spicy, but not too spicy. It is also the healthiest of the bunch."
(Pictured: KALEBOX + BEACHBOX)
What sets your juices apart from other juice companies?
Robert: “Unlike other juice companies, we juice our product on the spot, made-to-order with a consistent product every time.”
Robbie: "We studied juice bars around the country and taste profiled our recipes for a good year before hitting the streets in order to perfect them every time. We believe in a simple menu and consistency, something we had a hard time finding in our research of other juice companies. I believe that is what sets us apart."Is your produce locally sourced?
Robert: “Almost all of the produce for our juice is locally grown right here in California. Having grown up in Northern California I was spoiled with the abundance of fresh produce I had access to. We really are lucky to live here!”
Are the juices made to order on your truck?
Robert: “Yes, all of our juice is made to order, and our greens are actually cold-pressed on the spot. No other company offers this hybrid approach. It simply is the best way to maintain the highest level of nutrients when consuming a juice. We treat the JUICEBOX like a high-end bar, every juice is hand crafted to perfection.”
Do you juice a lot at home or are you “juiced” out after being around it all day?
Robert: “I typically juice every day on the truck (why clean another juicer at home :)) Although, after going to the farmers market on Sundays I will usually experiment at home.”
Robbie: "We both spend so much time on the truck that it is almost our home away from home, but anytime I’m away from the truck from more than 24 hours, I find myself pulling the juicer from the cabinet."
Where can people find your truck? Are there certain events/locations you are always at?
“You can follow the JUICEBOX online at www.juiceboxlosangeles.com/locationsand we post our locations via Instgram, Twitter & Facebook @juicebox. We also serve events like Coachella, Stagecoach, FYF Fest, and Reebok Crossfit Games. When we don’t have a scheduled event we are typically on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, or roaming the streets in search of thirsty Angelenos.”