The Big Squeezy proves all juices not created equal

She gave her company a light-hearted name, but there’s nothing frivolous about its goal. In the midst of the junk-food culture of one of the most obese states in the country, Kimberly Matsko is determined “to promote health and wellness in a convenient way,” and she is absolutely convinced that cold-pressed juice is the way to do it.juice1

A yoga teacher for 12 years, Matsko recently sold her two Baton Rouge studios called Yoga Bliss to focus on the juice company she named The Big Squeezy.

“The juices were originally going to be offered just at the studio,” she said, “but it became clear it had to be its own business and have a life of its own.”

And so The Big Squeezy was born two years ago “out of our passion for sharing the wonderful benefits of juicing with others,” said Matsko, adding that not all juices are created equal.

Ashley Garrard, above right, manager of The Big Squeezy, shows several cold-pressed juice choices available to customers for taste testing.

Ashley Garrard, above right, manager of The Big Squeezy, shows several cold-pressed juice choices available to customers for taste testing.

Only cold-pressed juice keeps the all-important enzymes intact, she explained, and she emphasizes that “it’s all about the enzymes.” Cold-pressed juicers differ in the small amount of oxygen and zero heat to which the fruits and vegetables are exposed while juicing. The process used at The Big Squeezy ensures that the most phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes possible are maintained, as the juicer crushes the fruits and vegetables and then squeezes every last drop out, giving the most bang for your buck. Fresh juices are made on site daily with only the highest quality organic ingredients.

The cold-pressed method was introduced in the 1930s by Norman Walker. Matsko stated, “He lived to be 99 years old, so something was working for him, and we’re betting on the juice!”

A single bottle of juice contains up to three pounds of produce, so juices can be used as meal replacements, according to Matsko. There are also smoothies and cleanses packing a powerful punch of superfoods containing essential vitamins and nutrients that help your body work at peak performance, plus improving eyesight, keeping your heart healthy, fighting cancer, maybe even maintaining a healthy weight. Juice consultants at their shop in Baton Rouge recommend individually specific cleanses to detox body and mind.

Couldn’t you just eat a bunch of fruits and vegetables? Sure, but it’s almost impossible to match the nutritional punch you get from drinking cold-pressed juice. As Matsko said, “It’s unlikely you will be able to eat all the fruits and veggies in a day unless you are an orangutan.”

She continued, “We live in a junk-food culture, and it is more important than ever to bring awareness to what we are putting into our bodies. With all the tempting food options out there, we know it can be hard to make the right dietary choices. The Big Squeezy makes it easy for you; if it’s not good for you, it’s not on the menu!”

On the menu currently: Brickhouse Salad, Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Cheezy Chipotle Kale Chips, Chocolate Geaux Bites, various waters, smoothies, almond mylks and coffees, signature juices, plus shipping or delivery to certain locations, lots of specials and discounts, recycling of plastic and glass bottles, memberships and a Juice Club (customers specify which juices are to be delivered weekly). In-store consultations guide new customers, and samples are available of all juices and mylks (“sort of like a wine-tasting, but it’s juice!”).

Store manager, Ashley Garrard, pours freshly-squeezed juice into bottles at the Big Squeezy.

Store manager, Ashley Garrard, pours freshly-squeezed juice into bottles at the Big Squeezy.

This holiday season, The Big Squeezy launches a new online store, and their new wholesale license means the juices will be available in grocery stores, spas and other places nationwide. In addition to the countrywide shipping online store, licensing deals are being offered for anyone interested in having their own Big Squeezy store; Lafayette, for example, is currently in the pipeline. With an organic farmer as business partner, The Big Squeezy will soon become one of the only “farm to bottle” juice companies in the country.

As Kimberly Matsko said, “Most disease/health issues stem from inflammation in the digestive system, so juicing gives it a chance to rest and reboot while the nutrients go directly into the blood stream. We have many testimonials on how juicing has changed people’s lives, and it’s awesome to see the range of ages that come through our door. We have products to help if you are sick, hungover, tired, lacking in vitamins, power for athletes, and even coffee and homemade almond mylks as dairy alternatives.” And it’s quick and convenient; think healthy fast food, she said.

Details:

The Big Squeezy, 3043 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808. Open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 225-930-4466 or visit online at www.TheBigSqueezy.com.

Gift certificates in amounts beginning at $25 “give the gift of health” and can be purchased in the store or via mail to The Big Squeezy. Drink up!

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