Crop Juice: Cold, Raw, Organic
With a nursing degree and decades of health-based teaching experience under her belt, Karen Odierna has been—by most standards—a nutrition expert for most of her life. But she didn’t fully feel like one until a couple of years ago, when she bought a Norwalk cold-press juicer—a tool that would turn everything she thought she knew about wellness upside-down.
This shift began in the spring of 2013, after one of Odierna’s friends (a breast cancer survivor) introduced her to raw, organic juicing, and suggested she invest in a $2,500 hydraulic machine. Odierna was mind-blown by how the new dietary method upped her energy and decreased her sugar cravings. She became a juicing zealot. She was compelled to share her epiphany with the world.
Thus began her business, CROPJuice (an acronym for Cold, Raw, Organic, Pressed Juice), which now boasts a 1-year-old storefront in Sarasota’s Gulf Gate neighborhood.
“I’ve always been into health and fitness, but since I used to spend so much time at the gym, I didn’t really give my diet much thought,” Odierna says. “I now know that feeling good is not just about exercising. We feel the best and function at optimal levels when we complement an already healthy lifestyle with the consumption of raw juice.”
Odierna also feels best when she juices with produce from area sources such as Sweetgrass Farms, Aloe Organics, and Jessica’s Organic Farmstand.
“We either purchase directly from the farm and pick it up, or they deliver to our store on a weekly or bi-weekly basis,” Odierna says. “We are also blessed when Rhona from the Yellow Submarine Co-Op brings us leafy greens from Jessica’s every Wednesday to set up produce baskets.”
Sarasota’s Global Organic Specialty Source consistently supplies the goodies Odierna needs to make her exclusive recipes. Odierna not only makes vegetable and fruit blends like the popular Funky Beet, Ginger Snap, and Green with Envy, but she also whips up seasonal mixes, immune-boosting juice shots and homemade, organic nut “mylks.”
“Many customers who try our juice for the first time express a feeling of an almost instantaneous improvement in their energy level and health. We constantly hear stories from our loyal fans about how they switched to a raw, plant-based diet and now no longer suffer from a particular ailment,” Odierna says.
“There is no greater sense of pride than hearing someone say we helped them on their way toward a healthier lifestyle. We are what we eat, and we hear the proof of that almost daily.”