By Susannah Black
“After a couple of years of wanting all of my lunch dates to be at Whole Foods, I started thinking seriously about starting my own organic business,” says Annette Antonelli, who is opening the area’s first Greenleaf Juicing Company. An Alexandria resident, and the owner of Izalia Laser Hair Removal and Rejuvenation Spa, Antonelli hopes for a mid-January opening of the juicery.
Beginning the second week in December, New Years’ juice cleanses will be available for order online with delivery or pick up from Antonelli’s spa.
Antonelli’s passion for clean eating began after she remedied some of her own health issues by switching to a natural, organic diet: “My issue was 100 percent caused by diet.” Antonelli maintains that one’s health reflects what kind of food is introduced to the body.
Intending to get involved in the juicing business, Antonelli traveled to Portland to visit her best friend who through his connections, arranged for Antonelli to meet with the Portland-based Greenleaf.
“It wasn’t long after meeting the Greenleaf team that we knew we were a great business match … and they offered me a part in their business,” says Antonelli. “They [Greenleaf] are really on top of their game, and I think our city is ready for juicing,” says Antonelli.
Antonelli intends to maintain Greenleaf’s dedication to using raw, organic food in the juices and other products like smoothies, granola cups and steamed soups. Soups are to be steamed only 20-30 seconds until warm as to not breakdown the nutrients most effective in raw vegetables. For those on a strict raw-foods diet, says Antonelli, “if requested, we can use a thermometer to ensure a precise temperature.”
Her favorite juice is appropriately named after the franchise—the Greenleaf Juice, which contains freshly pressed apple, lime, ginger, spinach, kale, parsley, cucumber and celery. She is also partial to the 100 percent wheatgrass craft shot that promotes good digestion and circulation. Packages of specific juices are also available for those wishing to do a 3- or 6-day cleanse.
While the company hopes to eventually open multiple Greenleaf locations in the area, Antonelli’s shop will sell Misha’s Coffeehouse and will serve coffee with organic cashew and almond milk, and no sugar or sugar substitutes will be available on the premises. She also intends to bring a rustic look to the interior of her King Street store by decorating with salvaged and restored materials from Carbon Industrial Design in Alexandria.
Greenleaf’s mission to serve healthy, clean and natural products coincides with Antonelli’s own goal: “I want people to be able to say they that didn’t put anything harmful in their body that day. I want to teach my neighbors to say to themselves ‘is what I’m putting in my body healthy for my body?’ We really need to get people educated.” / Greenleaf Juicing Company, 1309 King St., Alexandria