Sun & Soil Juice Company
1912 P Street • Sacramento
Brought together by a common love for blown glass, metal sculptures and film, friends turned business partners Molly Brown and Tatiana Kaiser discovered yet another area to bond over: health as a lifestyle, not a trend.
The two women opened the Sun and Soil Juice Company in early June with only six part-time employees and a colorful menu of raw and organic juice and smoothie choices to offer Midtown Sacramento. In just one month, the Sun and Soil staff doubled and the demand for healthy and creative liquid nourishment is apparent in the company’s daily glass bottle returns, hundreds of pounds in weekly pulp weight, and its growing number of regular customers.
“We had 75 bottles returned yesterday,” says Brown with a smile. “People are on board for recycling, reusing and cutting down on waste, which is good.”
Sun and Soil operates as a zero-waste business. For every glass bottle returned, customers receive either $2 cash or two bucks off their next visit. Brown, Kaiser and their staff also use a limited number of plastic products, recycle all cardboard and even built a relationship with ReSoil Sacramento, a company that distributes Sun and Soil pulp to community gardens.
Despite diet trends like the Paleo “caveman” challenge, the Atkins “no-to-low-carb” regimen, or even something called the “Beyoncé cleanse” with its strict conditions of cayenne, honey and water (seriously) recipe, Brown and Kaiser simply aim to provide customers with choices, rather than restrictions.
“Health is not a fad. It’s your health,” says Kaiser. “Everybody is dealing with different situations all the time. You should do your own diet, as in the food that you eat, and listen to your body.”
For Kaiser, organic juice is an essential part of her daily diet because it directly improved her overall health and quality of life. She lives with colitis, a digestive disease that makes it difficult to eat a variety of solid foods and absorb essential nutrients. Brown, with her longtime taste for raw and organic sustenance, met her new friend and future business partner in a glass-blowing class. It wasn’t long before she gifted Kaiser a juicer and the seed was planted.
“At first, I was just making green sludge,” jokes Kaiser. “It was just to get nutrients down. With colitis, it makes it almost impossible to eat anything or even digest it because it’s incredibly painful. Juicing really helped.”
In 2012, she found this liquid daily routine helped her condition tremendously. She not only started to feel better and heal, but at the time of the interview, was slowly weaning herself off of Prednisone.
For customers interested in giving their own digestive systems a little breather, Sun and Soil offers a juice cleanse. Still, Brown and Kaiser encourage each customer to decide what their body craves, whether it be juice, smoothie or a one-day cleanse.
“We didn’t want to start out with a cleanse because it did become a fad, but that’s not what it’s about for us,” explains Kaiser. “It gives your digestive system a break because we understand it’s not always convenient to eat healthy.”
Sun and Soil offers its customers organic, cold-pressed, raw fruits and veggies blended, spiced and sweetened naturally without processed sugars. The store is located a few doors down from the corner dive bar, Zebra Club (an almost satirical comparison), but once inside, it’s easy to forget. High ceilings, lively succulents and earthy colors decorate the space. A low volume of music paired with a steady rhythm of blenders gives the room its café-like vibe. Customers order at the counter, where a chunky, antique register painted gold conceals a much more modern system.
A glass case displays dozens of multicolored bottles that read, “pure, organic, love” in white. Each container holds a variety of juice recipes that naturally emit light shades of yellow, pink and green. Recommended from the menu by Brown, The Iron Giant is a $7 smoothie blended with spinach, almond milk, banana, mango, almond butter, honey, cinnamon and ice. Its green color, sweet taste and creamy texture, not to mention protein content from the almond milk, make this a great breakfast choice.
Beet Lemonade, a 16-ounce juice fusion priced at $8, includes apple, beet, filtered water and lemon. Deep purple in color with a bold beet flavor, this drink is immediately tempered by the tart lemon notes and provides a full-bodied mouthful.
Both the recipes and drink titles reflect Brown and Kaiser’s personalities and interests. For example, Kaiser’s background in film and animation inspired The Royal Turmeric Bomb and V for Vanilla.
“Molly loves spice, and I love tangy and tart,” says Kaiser. Brown agrees.
“We thrive in creating all the new flavors,” says Brown. “We’re trying to take ingredients that have health benefits so people don’t mind drinking a cinnamon, spinach and honey-flavored drink.”
It all begins with the ingredients. Brown and Kaiser buy seasonal, organic fruits and veggies from local companies like Full Belly, Watanabe and Riverdog farms. They then use the cold-press method to juice the produce and also hydraulically press its pulp to gain up to 30 percent more juice. Zero waste.
“The cold-press method is awesome because it uses a slower rpm blade. So, it doesn’t heat up the produce as much as a regular juicer would,” explains Kaiser. “It also reduces oxidation, which means you retain more of the nutrients in the process. That allows us to be able to bottle [the juice] for three to five days.”
Sun and Soil also provides its customers with access to the store’s “Ingredient Profile” that conveniently sits at the juice bar, which lists the reasons and health benefits behind each fruit, vegetable and spice blended into a juice or smoothie combination.
“We just want to help people feel good, and show that it’s not unattainable. It’s not a crazy, drastic process,” says Kaiser. “We’re not a program. We’re just a different option for your daily routine. Just know we’ll be here for you.”
Sun & Soil is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday—Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday. For more info, visit Sunandsoiljuice.com or call 916-341-0327.