Green & Tonic, a thriving pressed organic juice company based in Connecticut, has one of the most impressive business plans that I have seen so far.
Like many others, Founder Jeffrey Pandolfino was able to observe and learn from everything that was happening in the NYC pressed juice scene. Yet, instead of opening shop in the competitive market of Manhattan, he decided to launch his first location in the very affluent town of Darien, about an hour north of New York City.
Aside from the fact that this location offered zero competition and is surrounded by very extreme wealth, this part of Connecticut had something else of real value – an awareness of pressed organic juice. The proximity to New York City and the fact that many residents of this area commute to Manhattan every single day meant that pressed organic juice would be something with which they had familiarity.
Not surprisingly, the Darien store did so well that it led to a second location in nearby Cos Cob and the very recent opening of a third Green & Tonic in Greenwich. The company is now hoping to sign a lease for store number four by the end of the summer, so that it can “own the territory” said Pandolfino.
Despite the fact that this Johnson & Wales graduate has vast experience in the restaurant business, running his own operation for many years and also having spent time at Pret A Manger, Jeffrey Pandolfino was motivated to serve healthy, organic food for another reason – he knew the healing power of food.
In 2008, he faced the grim reality of weighing 215 pounds, was on Lipitor, and was also pre-diabetic. Aware that he needed to make a change, Pandolfino started studying the industry and incorporated juicing, cleansing, and raw foods into his lifestyle.
As a result, he lost 40-50 pounds, quit Lipitor, and became passionate about organics, so much so that he became convinced this was how he should be spending his time.
Along with his wife/business partner Cai, Green & Tonic is now helping to get other people in this tony area of Connecticut healthy as well, via its pressed organic juice and 100% plant-based menu.
While Organic Avenue and Juice Press continue to duke it out in New York City, Green & Tonic is doing a fantastic job of building a serious base of loyal customers just an hour way.