We caught up with Tim Spence, owner and founder of the oasis that is Orchard on Long to find out more about his revolutionary juice bar.
What inspired you to start Orchard on Long?
The store opened in June 2013. I think the idea of providing incredibly high nutrition in the form of creative combinations of juices and smoothies inspired me. At the time, there was no reference point to base what we were doing in South Africa on, so the Orchard concept was completely new to the scene which was both exciting and daunting.
How has Orchard’s offering progressed since first opening?
It’s certainly grown and developed. We now offer cold-pressed juice and cleanse programs which we didn’t do when we first opened. We’ve introduced new innovative combinations to the menu and have started focusing on our health product range of food and snacks.
What has the response from the public been like?
It’s been wonderful. We have developed a fabulous client base, many of which visit us daily for their fix. The whole Orchard team has developed a personal relationship with the public, which has been a rewarding process and makes work a lot more fun. We always enjoy welcoming back new and familiar faces.
What are the benefits of juicing?
Briefly, it allows rapid nutrition intake. There is no digestion involved in the process so you can absorb a vast array of vitamins and minerals with their companion active enzymes. Juice is the best transport mechanism for the body to process, assimilate and utilise the life force found in vegetables and fruit.
What types of juicers do you use?
We use both centrifugal and masticating juicers. Centrifugal juicers offer the benefit of being faster but don’t provide juice with the same nutritional retention. The juice has a much shorter shelf life and should be drunk within 30 minutes of preparation. These juices are for people who want a quick grab-and-go juice and don’t want to store it for later.
Masticating juicers are best for fibrous leafy greens and in particular, wheatgrass. These juicers provide a better yield and don’t compromise the nutritional value as much.
The Norwalk juicer utilises a hydraulic press. It extracts the juice by forcing the produce between two flat plates to squeeze the juice out. This process is the least compromising to the life force in juice as it limits the exposure to heat and oxygen, so you create juice with a higher nutritional value with a longer shelf life. This process is used for our cold-pressed juices to create a premium juice.
How did you discover the Norwalk juicer?
I did a lot of research on juice extraction and juice quality and a lot of it pointed to the Norwalk which has always been romantically intertwined with the juicing movement. It was a bit of a process getting the juicers into SA, so in 2014, I flew to the States to hunt them down. I also visited 72 juice bars and met with some of the leading authorities on juicing, many of whom advised using the Norwalk. Although the process is slow and labour intensive, it creates a juice that is difficult to match in taste, quality and value. My machines were sent from Norwalk in Ohio to New York and then flew back with me to SA.
What sort of effort is involved in using the Norwalk?
The Norwalk is incredibly labour intensive – we can only produce a small volume of units per hour, but the quality is worth every squeeze. We start juicing at 10 pm and press until 8 am to ensure the juices are as fresh as possible when we open the store in the morning.
What’s next for Orchard?
There’s some exciting stuff in the pipeline. Orchard on Long will soon have its own beautiful courtyard as we will be expanding into the store next door. We’ve also dreamed up and created a new product range that will soon be launched.