Growing up as a gymnast and later becoming a certified yoga and health instructor, Melissa McKenna has always been active in fitness and health. But when she moved to Beijing, China in 2012, her healthy lifestyle began to suffer greatly.
With plenty of toxicity in the city’s air and grocery stores not selling organic products or cold pressed juices, Melissa knew exactly what she needed to do: create the city’s very first organic juice cleanse company.
“I decided to take matters into my own hands and started what was then a small distribution of homemade organic and cold pressed juices to my yoga friends. It eventually turned into Juice by Melissa, Beijing’s first pressed organic juice company and café, which provides delivery across the entire city.”
Finding organic produce in Beijing has been and continues to be difficult for Melissa, but it’s a challenge she has happily accepted. Instead of trying to find produce locally, Melissa outsources it from all over the world, giving her international customers – including some Americans – organic produce that is clean and fresh.
“We have to be extremely careful with every little detail in each step of the process to ensure quality,” she says. “We even have a water filtration system set up throughout our entire store and kitchen, so not only is our produce washed with filtered water, but our hands and juicers get cleaned with purified water as well.”
And while cold pressed juicing is still relatively new to China, Melissa says it’s beginning to catch on. Since launching the business, Juice by Melissa has witnessed six other juice cleansing companies open during that time span.
Yet, juice cleanse craze is only at its beginning stages.
“As juicing is very new here and not completely understood, it is still considered a luxury product in China,” Melissa says. “However, with the Chinese becoming more health conscious, we see more and more locals turning to juice and definitely loving it.”
So what’s next on Melissa’s agenda?
With the success of her first retail location, she plans to open a second Beijing branch in the near future, along with expanding throughout the city and to other countries in Asia.
“Juice by Melissa will always have been born in Beijing, but we want to share the juice love across the globe!”