We’re so excited to introduce Danielle Sobel of Juice Society, a hand-crafted, cold-pressed, organic juice company here in Austin, Texas. The Branch Basics love for Juice Society began with Kelly and Allison displayed next to Danielle at a local health fair in the Fall. We shared a similar story of using food as medicine to overcome health obstacles, which ignited a passion to help others in their pursuit of living a pure lifestyle. Now the BB team is hooked and we’ve easily justified a twice-weekly delivery of Juice Society’s fresh-pressed goodness to our office! (Oh and guess who delivers? Yep, Danielle herself!)
Danielle loves using Branch Basics to keep her juicing kitchen clean and says its the only cleaner that works on her beet juice splatters. She is extremely motivated and has a big vision for not just selling juice, but transforming lives through better health. Here’s what Danielle has to say about juggling a growing business and dreaming big.
PS – keep reading for Danielle’s scrumptious chia pudding recipe at the end!
Danielle’s Journey to Health
I moved to Houston, Texas after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. With the stress of the move and finding my footing, I started feeling really poorly both emotionally and physically. After taking over the counter meds for a long time, I decided to turn my energy inwards to begin finding solutions to chronic conditions I had been suffering from for years.
Since the age of eight, I suffered from eczema, a chronic skin inflammation which results in intense itching and ultimately seeping wounds (not fun!). At 16, I began suffering from migraines which progressed from once a month to a few times a week. These conditions continued into my early twenties and I finally found relief in no place other than right on my plate. I started experimenting with different diets – paleo, vegan, raw vegan, macrobiotic – all the while juicing every single day.
As I continued my journey into food and finding what works best for me, it was juicing that continued to keep me feeling energized and inspired. It was this time of learning and inspiration in my life that became what would ultimately transform into Juice Society. I was so moved by how much food was able to heal me that I decided to go back to school at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, receive a health coaching certificate, and begin sharing the tools I used to take my health back into my hands. As Juice Society grows and develops, I hope to continue to inspire others to take a look at what is on their plate before opening the medicine cabinet, to realize that being healthy doesn’t have to be hard and to find the tools they need to ultimately feel their best.
I had always been the type of juicer who just threw a bunch of stuff in that I either a) already had or b) that I knew would help with how I was feeling (i.e tired, digestion issues etc.). It wasn’t until I decided to launch Juice Society that I started recipe testing. For about six months I tested and retested recipes making sure they were all balanced, flavorful, and, more importantly, functional. It was always fun but a sometimes frustrating process as I would dream up ideas that didn’t always work that well when executed. I used my boyfriend and his entire office as my recipe testers and would send him in with bottles upon bottles of juices for everyone to try. Im sure they all enjoyed all the free juice! Currently, we are now in the process of our second round of new & seasonal menu items!
I can honestly say that every time I am in the kitchen, delivering or out sharing Juice Society with the community is when I am happiest. Starting this business has been a crazy roller coaster, but every day that I get to share my passion and vision is a success in my eyes.
Staying Healthy While Running A Business
Maintaining a healthy routine while starting a company by myself has definitely been a big struggle. My days are now packed from 5:00 AM until midnight with being in the kitchen, deliveries, meetings and more, so finding time for myself has been something I now have to work at. I try to drink as many of Juice Society juices per week as possible! I also test every batch that goes out so I drink juice throughout the entire time I’m in the kitchen. Keeping hydrated and remembering to drink enough water is something I am continuously working at.
I make sure to pack small, healthy snacks throughout the day so that if i get caught up, I always have something on hand. I am currently obsessed with tangelos, bananas with almond butter and really like Thunderbird bars. I also get a ton of stuff from the bulk department at the grocery store to keep on hand: nuts, dried fruit, seeds. I drink tea every single morning and a cup of chamomile or lavender tea at night to wind down. Running Juice Society keeps me pretty physically active, but I try to squeeze in a yoga session whenever I can! It really grounds me and keeps me focused.
I honestly didn’t really prepare myself to transition from juicing for personal health to running a business to help others do the same! I had the idea for Juice Society about a year before I started it, but the timing and city weren’t right and I knew I had to wait. Once I moved to Austin, I instantly knew this was exactly where Juice Society should be. I graduated with a degree in Marketing & Public Relations, so I was able to hone in on some of those skills while starting Juice Society. My boyfriend is in finance and he was very helpful with that aspect. I also spoke with almost everyone I knew and picked their brains. I really think that was key – making connections and using your relationships to help propel your ideas.
What’s Next For Juice Society?
We are currently working on our first storefront for Juice Society, hopefully opening in the Fall of 2015. I am looking to create more of a community based around health and wellness, rather than just a run-of-the-mill juice shop. I created Juice Society because of the incredible change I saw within my own body using whole, organic food and juices and I want the space to inspire others to create a place for healthy living and wellness in their lives. In the new Juice Society shop, our cold-pressed juices will be accompanied by a bunch of new menu items (both juice & non-juice) and will be a beautiful place to come enjoy what true raw, living food and juices can do for your body, mind, and spirit. Beyond our storefront(s), my vision for Juice Society 2.0 is to create a non-profit farm here in Austin. I’d like to develop a place where children and adults can come learn and volunteer with planting food and herbs. I am very passionate about teaching children about health, as there is a massive disconnect in our society today with our food. I’m hoping this farm space can be the beginning of teaching our community and bridging the gap between us and what is on our plate.
I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes for a sweet snack or even a full breakfast: Superfood Chia Pudding. It’s full of chia, baobab, maca, and lucuma. You may be unfamiliar with some of these ingredients, but they’re powerhouses of nutrients and flavor that make this pudding taste so great! Chia seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Baobab powder provides a fruity flavor containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, Vitamin C, and fiber. Maca is rich in B, C, and E vitamins as well as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Taking maca is also supposed to be great for menstrual issues and mood swings and even for providing an energy boost! Lucuma is a South American fruit with an earthy sweet flavor like maple or sweet potato. It’s also nutrient dense, containing carotene and Vitamin B. You’ll love this recipe!
Juice Society Superfood Chia Pudding
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon baobab powder
- 1/2 teaspoon maca powder
- 1 teaspoon lucuma powder
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon raw honey or agave (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Whisk milk and chia seeds in a bowl for one minute until chia seeds are evenly submerged throughout the milk. This is important because chia seeds can tend to clump together making for a not-so-smooth pudding in the morning.
- Add in maca, lucuma, baobab, cinnamon, vanilla and honey. Whisk again for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight. You will know it is ready once the milk sways if you tip the bowl to the side.
- Top with anything! This time we used banana, goji berries, coconut flakes and blueberries. Fresh fruit and nuts are great additions.