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Local Juice Co. ready to blend in with new elixir bar in Flower Hill in Del Mar

Justin Gittelman opened Local Juice Co. on June 13 in Café Cantata in Flower Hill Promenade.
(Karen Billing)

With his new Local Juice Co. elixir bar, owner Justin Gittelman wants to spread the joy of juicing to North County San Diego. Once available only at La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe farmers markets and private orders since May of last year, Local is now serving up its ultra-premium cold-pressed juices, tonics and elixirs in a corner of Café Cantata in Flower Hill Promenade.

“We know we have the best juice on the planet because we focus on quality and consistency,” Gittelman said. “We don’t take short cuts.”

In starting Local Juice, Gittelman combined his passion for juicing with his entrepreneurial spirit. He was raised a vegetarian by his mother, building a great foundation for eating natural healthy foods. He grew frustrated spending $20 to $30 a day on juices but not finding the level of quality he desired.

The reception for his concoctions has been “phenomenal,” he said, as he uses unique ingredients in innovative ways and finds just the right flavor profiles.

“Our mission is to evolve the traditional juice and smoothie industry into tonics and elixirs,” Gittelman said.

Elixirs are a combination of healthy ingredients that work to enhance energy and longevity, he said, and tonics are like liquid supplements, an infusion of ingredients meant to cause a reaction in the body.

Gittelman’s favorite tonic on the menu is Change Agent, which combines turmeric, ginger, lemon, pineapple and sea buckthorn, a super-fruit with a dense citrus flavor that is rich in essential fats.

He calls the powerful taste “nature’s tequila” and the four-alarm formula promises multiple health benefits.

While high-pressure processing eliminates essential enzymes and vital nutrients in juice, the cold-pressed method used by Local is the optimal level of juicing, leaving a higher level of nutrients and enzymes and a more refined taste, Gittelman said.

Renew, Local’s first green drink, has spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, aloe vera, turmeric and pineapple.

“We wanted to get good greens in and a pleasing aftertaste that is more enjoyable for the average person,” Gittelman said.

Their most popular drink is Sustain, which combines watermelon, aloe, cucumber, mint and drops of goji and schizandra herb. Schizandra increases stamina, cleanses the liver and provides a boost to the immune system, as well as many other healthful benefits.

“The yogis come out of class like they’re walking out of the Sahara and Sustain is the perfect recovery juice,” Gittelman said, referring to neighboring CorePower yoga studio.

Two unique items on the menu are the Turmeric Latte elixir and the Green Soda. The Turmeric Latte has no espresso and no caffeine, but a rich antioxidant and cold-pressed organic turmeric and herbs. The Green Soda is an effervescent green elixir served cold over ice.

“Having established the line of cold-pressed juices and tonics, the new elixir bar has allowed us to become even more creative, with an expanded menu offering more drink and snack items,” Gittelman said.

The bar serves up faux ice cream and acai bowls like the Positive Vibes bowl, made of frozen acai, kale, spirulina, raw honey, almond milk and seasonal fruit and topped with banana, coconut flakes and cacao-kale granola.

Local Juice Co. is also the first to bottle cold “bulletproof” coffee. Local’s Cold Proof pairs Bird Rock Roasters coffee with organic ghee, MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil, organic almond milk and toffee-flavored stevia.

While Local doesn’t have a website, they do have a presence on Instagram and Facebook and have become known for their glass bottles.

“No plastic is used. There’s a sea of plastic already floating in the Pacific, and Local Juice will not contribute to plastic waste,” Gittelman said, noting the bar will buy back bottles from customers to re-use.

Gittelman, a San Diego native who lives in La Jolla, spent the past 15 years working in organizational development and management consulting.

As an executive coach, he worked with CEOs on how to put their visions to work and consulted on ways to increase productivity of staff and increase revenue. He brings those elements of his former business life in to Local Juice’s core goals and mission.

“We want to empower, inspire and make a positive impact on the community,” Gittelman said.

It is his hope that he has concocted the perfect blend to find success, create happy and healthy customers and to “lift the vibe” of his corner of Flower Hill.


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