Bern's First Juice Bar: I Love Juice

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When you walk around London or New York, you find a juice bar around every corner. According to Well To Do (one of my favourite online magazines for everything health - related) , there are now at least 25 dedicated cold-pressed juice bars across London. This doesn't even include boutique stockists, retail giants like Waitress and all the online ordering and delivery companies. Can I move back to London already? That's what I thought until recently.

But then I Love Juice Bern came for the rescue.

In Switzerland so far, surprise surprise, juice bars are a rare sight. For the most part, people here still believe that the "100 % natural" fruit juices sold at Micros and Coop are healthy. But with the opening of Bern's first cold-pressed juice bar in Herrengasse 10, a new era has began. Kudos to Tina and Tom, the founders of I Love Juice, for doing something that seems almost revolutionary for this Swiss city.

Not only do they serve organic cold - pressed juices and yummy smoothies, but they also offer a weekly changing lunch menu including fresh salads, wraps, chia pudding and acai bowls. All products are gluten and lactose free, without any additives and prepared fresh. Veggies and fruits are sourced locally in an effort to support the local farmers.

Organic? Check. Local? Check. Tasty? Double check.

And because I love I 'Love Juice' so much, I got together with Tina and Tom to create  a "Wholesome Stef Smoothie"  that will be available from Monday the 19th onwards. With spinach, bananas, almond milk, dates and the superfood maca, this smoothie is my favourite combo that I make at home all the time when I need a filling and energising smoothie. When stopping by at Herrengasse, make sure to mention Wholesome Stef and you'll receive a sneaky discount.

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Let's quickly talk about the price, something that is reason for many to steer away from juice bars. It's a topic I deal with on a regular basis  due to my job at Fit 'n' Tasty and I routinely have to deal with shocked faces when we sell our juices during events. Fair enough, CHF 9.- is a fair chunk of charge for 300 dl of revitalization. Just why are these drinks so expensive? Is it just good marketing?

First of all, you have to understand that a freshly made, organic & cold - pressed juice is about as close to the ready made supermarket alternative as I am to becoming America's next president. Read: They are completely different in terms of nutritional profile. Instead, think of these juices as liquid food made with perishable, expensive ingredients - and we all know how pricy fresh organic produce is in Switzerland.

Next: volume. Most people underestimate just how much fruits and veggies go into one juice serving. Did you know that you need up to nine medium-sized carrots to produce 1 cup of juice (depending on the type of juicer)? That's a heap load. And then there is the labor cost...If you've ever made fresh juice at home, you know how messy things can get and the time it takes to clean that damn machine afterwards. Not to mention prepping the produce for the actual juicing.

I know it may seem like a hefty price for a bottle of greens, but I'd swap out my CHF 4.- morning coffee for a more expensive juice every time. And when your order is met with the lovely smiles of Tina and Tom, then it brightens up your day so much more. I interviewed the two of them last week to learn about their reasons behind I Love Juice, and it became clear that the two really care about living a healthy lifestyle. By the way: The just got engaged last week, so don't forget to congratulate them when you stop by!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

We are a couple that shares many passions. Some of them are juices and food. When we fell in love, Tina still lived in Amsterdam (Holland) where she worked as an event & marketing manager for different brands. Her passion is cooking, creating recipes, feeding Tom with her creations and writing columns. Tom used to play college basketball in the States before attending the Hotel Management School in Lausanne. After he graduated he opened a restaurant and a creperie in Bern. When we decided that we didn’t want to spend a day without each other ever again, Tina moved to Bern. It was time for a new chapter and together we created I Love Juice.

How did I Love Juice Bern come about?

We really missed a juice bar in Bern where you could find fresh, tasty juices. In Amsterdam, where Tina was born and raised, there are juice bars everywhere and grabbing a healthy juice to go is easy. We juiced ourselves at home but missed a place in the city where you can grab a cold pressed juice and something healthy to eat on the go. That’s why we decided to open ‘I Love Juice’ together.

Were you always so healthy?

Tina: I always loved to cook and I’ve been a fan of vegetables since I was little. I’ve never really been a fast food fan, but I had a giant chocolate addiction when I was a teenager! In the past 10 years my interest for creating healthy recipes grew. Then Tom gave me my first slow juicer. I always believed that a combination of healthy eating, exercise and relaxation is the key to a balanced, happy and healthy life. But hey, I also believe in the 80/20 rule: 80% healthy and 20% less healthy. So when your body is craving for a slice of pizza, you should not ignore that and just enjoy it! Again, it’s about the balance. Tom: As a kid our parents fed us fairly healthy. Mom made sure her kids exercised often and ate plenty of greens. Maybe that’s why I turned out so tall ☺. Due to the amount of sports I played my body was always in shape, which helped compensate for some of the not so healthy food I used to eat when I was a teenager. I love to eat (ask Tina) and usually do so pretty healthy and balanced nowadays. I juice a lot and make sure that my diet is varied. After all I think it’s all about the balance, as with everything in life.

Tina, what’s your favourite juice?

Definitely the Flying Dutchie! This was the first creation I made with my slow juicer when I still lived in Amsterdam. It reminds me of home. It includes carrot, celery, apple and ginger. It’s sweet with a fresh bite and a warming after taste (because of the ginger). It’s my number one favorite.

Tom, what’s your favourite smoothie combo?

I’m bananas for bananas! I usually use coconut water as a base and love to add dates as sweetener. My favourite superfood is bee pollen or acai. The combo I drink the most theses days is our screwdriver smoothie containing banana, coco water, spinach, apple and dates

Will you be stopping by I Love Juice? Let me know & we can catch up over some green juice.