On the Line: Cole Carson Of Thrive Juice Lab, Part One

Green is good
Green is good
Photo courtesy Thrive Juice Lab

Business owners run all types of foodservice establishments. This quarter alone, I've interviewed a chocolatier, butcher and BBQ champ. So when Cole Carson reached out for an interview, I was happy to learn more about Thrive.

What differentiates Thrive from other juice concepts? Thrive is different from other juice concepts out there for a number of reasons. We cold-press on location every day. Many juice bars cold-press in a commercial kitchen sometimes hundreds of miles away and ship their juices. Our juice is raw and unpasteurized. Everything we carry is vegan, non-GMO, organic and gluten-free. Thrive sources all organic ingredients for all of our products, top to bottom.

We have an extensive list of detoxifying 'Superfoods' that we include in our smoothies and our specialty cleanse program, that was created with the help of certified nutritionists. For a healthy fix, we offer various wellness shots, including our 'Carbon Cleanser' (activated charcoal, cold-pressed lemon, alkaline water, maple syrup). 'E3Live' (blue-green algae), and cold--pressed lemon, ginger and cayenne.

Our menu has an extensive offering of everything from organic superfood smoothies to our Thrive acai bowl, pitaya boal, freshly made organic soups and salads, and all organic coffee and loose leaf teas. Last, but not least, we have a beautiful open-air ceiling space with both indoor and outdoor seating where we offer free wifi and great tunes playing at all times.

One food you can't live without. I couldn't live without avocado. It's the most versatile fruit. You can have it with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes, I actually do eat avocado for all three meals! It's just so darn delicious.

There are many reasons to go organic with one's food purchases. What do you think is the most important? I think the most important reason to choose organic is to avoid consuming any of the 600+ active chemicals that are registered for agricultural use in the US.

One stereotype about your industry, and whether it's true. There is a stereotype, at least for people who are opposed to juicing/organic that people who juice tend to be elitist. I certainly haven't found that to be true, especially not in Laguna Niguel. Our clientele consists of hard-working, honest and humble community members.

Favorite places to eat. My favorite places to eat in Orange County are Seabirds Kitchen in Costa Mesa, The Stand in Laguna Beach, and La Sirena in Laguna Beach. All three have some phenomenal dishes.

Most frequently asked question by guests. How old are you? I guess they don't think I look old enough to own a business.

What are your most popular juices? Our most popular juices are the Hardcore (Romaine, kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon), Ruby (grapefruit, red apple, red beets) and Greenade (lime, kale, green apple, pear).

What are the differences between your basic and signature cleanses? The Thrive basic cleanse is slightly less involved than the Thrive signature cleanse. For each day on the basic cleanse, you get four cold-pressed juices, a choice of an organic soup or salad and a Carbon Cleanser shot to end each day. It is great for someone looking to slim down, cut back on calories and give their digestive system a break.

Compared to the Thrive signature cleanse, which includes an AM detox smoothie, two cold-pressed juices, a choice of organic soup or salad, an E3 Live blue-green algae shot, a lemon and ginger shot, choice of dessert option, and a PM cleanse smoothie for each day. The Thrive signature cleanse is great for a deep, full body detox and renewal without compromising your energy and stamina. It is the most practical cleanse you are likely to find. Our customers rave about their experience on our cleanse programs, and many of them come back as much as once a month for a 3-day cleanse.

Why is cold-pressed juice superior to other juicing methods? Cold-pressed juice is superior to centrifugal juice for two main reasons. Number one, it does not oxidize the juice as much. And number two, the thousands of pounds of pressure that is applied not only yields more juice, but ultimately extracts a greater amount of the essential vitamins, nutrients, minerals and precious enzymes.

You're making breakfast; what are you having? Egg scramble with diced tomato, onion, cilantro, bell pepper and avocado.

What's the one thing people didn't tell you about working in the restaurant industry? You can actually have fun while you're working. We have a blast at Thrive!

What would be your last meal on Earth? Seems a little morbid to answer this question! Since you asked, I suppose I'd splurge a little and go with a really nice big sushi dinner.

Thrive Juice Lab is located at 30301 Golden Lantern St, Ste A, Laguna Niguel, (949) 495-2200; www.thrivejuicelab.com.

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