Greenroots Organics is based on a commitment to providing health conscious people with the freshest, purest and most nutritious juices possible. “From the first sip, people say they can notice the difference,” says Katie Heenan, business co-owner and full-time manager.
Katie and partner Will Ross source their ingredients from organically-certified growers, mostly in Canterbury. The main exception is turmeric and ginger roots grown spray-free and imported from Fiji. Three times a week, just-arrived raw vegetables and fruit go into a large press at the Greenroots Organics commercial kitchen in Wigram. By 6pm that evening, new batches of carefully-bottled and labelled juices, smoothies and digestive system cleansers are ready for courier dispatch to cafes and stores, or to customers who have direct ordered online.
So far, Greenroots Organics has six products on sale through retail outlets in Christchurch, and a handful of other shops in Auckland, Nelson and Central Otago. The business now adds GS1 numbers and barcodes to each sparkling bottle of product, to facilitate this growing wholesale trade.
Katie says biggest seller of the six is currently “Garden City” – her recipe of blended kale, spinach, silverbeet, apple and lemon juices (and nothing more than what is extracted from the produce).
She is first to admit that the logistics are demanding. The 250 ml bottles of product are kept cool with ice parks during overnight courier delivery and each has a shelf life of no more than seven days. That used to be five before Greenroots Organics started using filtered and ionised water to wash the fresh produce in preparation for pressing (the highly acidity in the water deals with any pathogens lingering on them post-harvest). With this business cycle, the raw ingredients can arrive at Wigram one morning and be bottled in the consumers’ hand the next!
Katie and Will began the business in 2014, initially using a smaller, hand-operated press and selling through a stall at the Opawa farmers’ market. They have since moved to the bigger Christchurch market (in Riccarton) each Saturday. They invested in their current American-built hydraulic press in late 2015 and have growth, in production and sales channels, firmly in mind.
“We’re passionate about plant-based organic foods, having experienced the huge health and wellness benefits ourselves,” says Katie who changed her own diet radically after suffering from food related auto-immune diseases. Katie, a marketing graduate, studied at Auckland’s Wellpark College of Natural Therapies before co-founding the business. Will is a chartered accountant, who still works three days a week outside Greenroots Organics.
And who are their customers? “It’s a very broad range of people who are turning to more conscious eating,” says Katie. “Young people and students for whom this has become an important trend, as well as middle-aged and older people who want wellness or are looking for new ways to manage or reverse ill-health.”
Green Roots Ltd NZBN 9429036536030