Written by Sommer Figone, I Heart Intern
As you may have noticed, there have been some new additions to our beloved Orange Plaza, including a new healthy option, Growl Juice Pub. I had the pleasure of stealing a bit of the owner’s time to get the juicy details on this new juice pub and the people who run it.
The vibe is already pretty cool when you walk into the new shop located near Jalapenos. There’s lots of dark wood, growing green
plants, and of course, the pop of bright colors due to the delicious juice behind the counter. But when I continued on to meet the people responsible for this health-conscious addition to the neighborhood, I realized it wasn’t just a cool new shop, but one run by friendly, passionate people who just want to share their love for juice. I got to sit down with Josh Nichols, the owner of Growl, and pick his brain about opening a juice bar in Old Towne Orange.
Josh was born and raised right here in Orange, so his relationship with and love for the city definitely sparked his desire to set up shop in it. He attended Chapman University a few years ago, graduating with a Business Administration and Entrepreneurship major. He originally went into marketing for a lighting manufacturer, but soon realized it just wasn’t his thing. At home, he had grown passionate about juicing, moving gradually to bigger and better juicers. When he learned about cold-pressing, he decided it would be a cool way to create something healthy in Old Towne, which I, a college student searching for healthier options, appreciate a lot!
So where did the name Growl come from? Well, pretty simply, from a growler. Josh decided to offer a 64 oz. Growler at the new shop because he wanted people to implement juice into their lifestyle, versus it being a once-every-few-weeks thing. The idea behind Growl is promoting and emphasizing the lifestyle and the program of juicing.
During my visit to Growl, I got to taste all nine of the juices, the two almond milk options, and a Mango Turmeric smoothie that isn’t even on the menu yet! I honestly enjoyed everything I tried, but there were definitely some standouts for me. My taste buds aren’t quite acquainted with the vegetable-only juices yet, so I tended to favor the sweeter flavors, like Old Towne Crush or Beet Brew. The “healthier” tasting juices are definitely Viva Verde or Viva No. 2, so if you’re good with veggie juice, those are the ones for you! The P.S. Habanero adds a bit of a kick to the flavor, and the almond milks were simple and refreshing. And my smoothie! YUM! I hope they add it to the menu soon, because I finished that big, orange smoothie within five minutes of leaving Growl. I could taste all of the healthy ingredients that went into each item. Though Josh claims that “variety is the spice of life” and it’s hard to pick favorites, a few of his top menu picks include the Vanilla Almond Milk and the Viva Verde juice. He also does an immunifier shot every morning. The menu also includes shots, elixirs, waters and cleanses, so you have a variety of
Now, I’ve heard some comments from people saying, “Growl is expensive,” or “Why does the juice come in glass bottles rather than being made-to-order?” so I asked Josh these questions. In regards to the pricing, there are a few reasons. Most juice bars aren’t completely organic, but Growl is. 100%. Prices rise when you’re paying for an all-natural product. The process of making the juice with the cold press is also meticulous and time consuming. Josh and his employees arrive between 2 and 3 am every morning to start making the day’s juice, so they really do put in a lot of time and effort in getting the product out there. There is a diagram on the wall Growl describing how the cold press works if you’re curious, and Josh and the employees are happy to talk about it. And finally, about 3-4 pounds of fresh produce goes into EACH BOTTLE of juice due to the limited amount of juice you can get from each fruit or veggie. That’s a lot of produce that they have to buy! So yes, the price might be a bit higher than desired, but I personally think it’s worth it.
And as for the glass bottles, Josh had a pretty simple answer: “You can’t put the best stuff on earth in plastic.” So all of the juice is pre-bottled, but it is still made fresh every day, and the bottles are always filled to the very top.
Since its grand opening on July 2, Growl has had pretty good traffic throughout the day. They are looking into adjusting the hours accordingly, so wait for those updates! If you haven’t visited the shop yet, it’s time to check it out! Josh works with his girlfriend, sister and a few other employees who are easy to talk to and welcome any questions you might still have.
To look at the full menu and see updates, visit the Growl Juice Pub Facebook page.