Love. Grace. When you put one in, you get the other out, I find, as the cool, crisp flavors of carrots and ginger, tempered with a hint of apple, wash over my tongue. This is the Super Cider blend, the “juice for non-juicers,” says Jake Mabanta, CEO and head of product development for Love Grace Foods. He smiles a sweetly wry smile that teases across his luminescent skin under a mop of gleaming curls.
It immediately crosses my mind that if drinking shockingly delicious vegetables leads to such tangibly healthy results, in addition to boosted mental clarity and energy, sign me up. Juices with names that are also gentle promises—like Purify, Restore and Beauty Elixir—deliver powerful flavor and a nutrient one-two punch. Not only do the juices fill your mouth with a signature velvety richness, they give you an instantaneous sense that you’re doing something really, really good for your body.
Mabanta has been a vegan for eight years, a lifestyle that requires a lot of imagination in order to create beautiful edible synergies. Luckily, it’s easy for him to mine from his experience as a chef working with vegan and raw foods.
Not only do the juices fill your mouth with a signature velvety richness, they give you an instantaneous sense that you’re doing something really, really good for your body.
At Love Grace, he and his founding partner and chief marketing officer Carissa-Ann Santos have strict guidelines: only whole, 100 percent certified organic produce for an amazingly 100 percent not-from-concentrate product; state-of-the-art cold-press machinery that creates minimal oxidation for longer shelf life and higher nutrient yield; and adherence to the guidelines of gluten-free, vegan and kosher diets.
Square one is simple for them. “I start with a function that I want to achieve,” Mabanta says, tapping into what he and Santos learned while pursuing certification as health counselors at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. “For instance, certain minerals or a level of alkalinity, or low sugar, high protein. From there, I choose whole foods and ingredients that are unique, nutritionally dense and badass that go well together and balance from there. And I look at the history of a food—what has worked for ancient peoples—and work to deliver those benefits in creative ways.”
This formula and deep-seated passion about nutrition and quality foods certainly works; three years of steady media buzz and testimonials prove it. Today, Love Grace’s Green Sunshine juice makes trendy kale and chard not only palatable but refreshingly enjoyable with celery, cucumber, apple and lemon lending their light notes. Ginger Bomb fires up energy without chemicals and doesn’t lead to crashes. Their cleanse regimens become enlightening experiences under the encouragement of the Love Grace team, satisfying with smoothies that deliver probiotics, plenty of plant-based protein and superfoods made even more so with the rich chocolaty notes of cacao. However, of all the interesting ingredients found in each vitamin-packed bottle, only two are left off the jam-packed labels—the essences of love and grace that add sweetness to every gulp.