Not All Juices are Created Equal
While Bangkok is a city bursting with all sorts of blended, pulped, squeezed, smoothed, or liquefied fruit (sometimes with veggies added, too), some don’t exactly meet the full promise of health, vitamins, immunity, detoxification, or fibre in drinkable form. Some are three-quarters commercial ice and dosed with plenty of sugary syrupy. Others are pasteurized or made from unknown stocks of frozen berries. And plenty more are just plain canned or of unknown and uncharted origins. That’s where Me Juice comes in.
Was the name created perhaps as the perfect new-age update of “Me Tarzan, You Jane”? I never got the answer to this, but I did get plenty of other tidbits of advanced juice-ology from the small-time Internet-based company’s “co-founder/juice lover”—as the title on her card reads—and full-time health nut Fhy Kongniwatsiri.
“I used to have a café and saw how excited my customers got from a vitamin booster I made,” the dedicated 29-year-old explains. “I began reading and researching, and then the company was started two years ago.”
Back then, she explains, there were only a couple of juice makers in Thailand, where now there are more than thirty. But she still believes Me Juice is quite different from most of the competition. The juices are made daily by a staff of “four or five” at an old rented house in Bang Na, that she terms “The Juice Hub.” Sourced from local farmers, the fruits and vegetables used are always fresh and “almost all organic.” They are processed by cold-pressing only, on special machines that had to be imported from the US.
“The heat of most juicers destroys a lot of enzymes, and so does pasteurization,” she explains. As a result, however, she says it would be difficult to get full government certification in Thailand. It also means the juices only last 3-5 days. But that hasn’t stopped her from spreading the gospel, and distributing between 200-250 bottles a day delivered at home to a regular clientele motivated to “Drink Fresh, Look Fierce,” as the company slogan goes.
Serious juice-seekers can place orders by phone or online at her website, mejuicepress.com. She even ships to Chiang Mai and Hat Yai once a month. Her concoctions are also available at Bai Miang health food stores and the New Move gym in the Maneeya Building. She also pushes gift boxes and gift coupons. But Fhy has no great plans to expand or open her own shops. “The shelf life is just too short,” she explains. And besides, she isn’t the type who seems to be in it for the business. “Do what you are into and the money will come later” is her creed.
Like most of her clients, she uses the juices for regular “cleanses” and says she has gone from 11 basic mixes to a current 21 flavours of juice because she didn’t want to “get bored” drinking her own product. Among the top-sellers and cleansers are what she terms “hard-core” blends that are mostly vegetables, like an energy-boosting mix of spirulina, lettuce, green apple, celery, parsley, and ginger. Another super-green monster features kale and wheatgrass.
“It isn’t meant to be easy,” she says of swallowing such flavours, but she also sells lighter, tastier mixes of beet and pineapple, apple and mint, and coconut with chia seeds.
She swears that chugging down her elixirs instead of solid food for two days straight is sure to make you feel lighter, peppier, and less sick. But she thinks the main benefit is just getting people to focus on the rest of their lifestyle. “A cleanse is like cleaning your room—after you are done, you are more careful not to mess things up afterwards.”
Amazingly, Bangkok’s self-anointed queen of juice is no self-righteous purist herself. “I actually got inspired at first because I love craft beers. Any kind of craft stuff—that’s always better than the mass-brewed beers.” She even has a taste for fine meat. “I enjoy Joe Sloane’s products, too. The point is to have real food, not junk food. Your body deserves that.”
And Bangkok deserves more healing entrepreneurs like Fhy.
By John Krich