Today’s the day when pubs and taverns across NYC serve frothy green beer to crowds rolling off of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. But we prefer a green drink that’s frothy with freshness—one that’s available year-round and doesn’t contain a drop of food coloring. Or hops. Or alcohol. Organic Avenue’s Green Love.
A best-selling raw-food beverage (and part of the five-day juice cleanses that are the core of Organic Ave’s business), Green Love is the gateway drink to a vegan lifestyle that’s growing faster than zucchini, says Organic Avenue founder Denise Mari.
Her proof? The just-opened 4,000-square-foot Space of LOVE (Mari’s acronym for Live, Organic, Vegan, Experience) on Suffolk Street. It’s a serious upgrade from her tiny spot around the corner, and the LOVE has already hosted health events and classes. Mari’s digs might be downtown, but the Organic Avenue stretches to the city’s tonier ‘hoods. She caters to a West Village clientele (read: Gwyneth Paltrow) with a store on Hudson Street. The ladies of Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa, on the Upper East Side, were granted their own outpost after jonesing for the juice. And Norma Kamali, a raw-food advocate, offered up the lackluster café in her West 56th Street shop as Organic Ave’s midtown HQ. (Plus there’s Manhattan delivery service.)
An impressive path for a chlorophyll-colored pint that was once homemade in Mari’s Lower East Side loft. That’s where Mari ran her vegan lifestyle business, until just four years ago. “We were running raw food classes, juicing, and selling organic boutique items,” says Mari. “It worked, but my neighbors started to complain about noise at dawn from the juicers.”
Four years later, Mari has 40 employees and a 3,000 sq.-ft. refrigerated space and kitchen in Long Island City, where she cold-presses the juices. “It’s better than the centrifugal force method of standard juicers, which introduce a lot of oxygen. Cold-pressing keeps the nutritional profile and potency of juices for up to 72 hours. We also fill the juice bottles to the top, so there’s no air in them,” Mari explains.
Green Love is not your parent’s sodium-filled V8. It’s made with Swiss chard, spinach, kale, cucumbers, celery romaine, lemon, and green apple (it’s $10, and another $2 for the bottle; drink it there to save money). “It’s pure assimilable nutrition in liquid form. Chlorophyll from plants is very alkalizing and hydrating, and plants are full of phyto-nutrients, of course.” Drinking just one gave me a virtuous and energized feeling. It inspired me consider what five days on the juices could do.
The cleanses are especially popular after Christmas and New Year’s, but Green Love sells out every Monday morning. “People who really indulge over the weekend come by to redeem themselves on their way to work. Plant nutrients are great for hangovers.” Take note, imbibing leprechauns: Green Love might be the perfect chaser after too much green beer. Or the perfect substitute entirely.
Organic Avenue Space of LOVE, 116 Suffolk St., 212-334-4593, organicavenue.com
Have you tried Green Love or an Organic Avenue cleanse? Tell us, here!