DROP juices & smoothies: launch day
Amid the striped awnings of the petit French market at Pine Harbour marina on the south-east coast of Auckland City, on a crisp autumn Saturday that promised sunshine despite a nip in the air, DROP juices & smoothies bustled its way into being. Brewing for over a year, the idea of a mobile juice & smoothies operation has at last broken free from the constraints of our endless conversations, doodles and to-do lists. Indeed, it exists.
We set up our stall between the French baguettes and pastries to the left, and some beautiful locally smoked fish to the right, just around the corner from the French crepe cart- where the genuinely French Claudine womanfully spun crepe after delicious crepe on her genuinely French hot plate, sending the most tantalising aromas wafting on the harbour breeze down through the wide lane that marks out Saturday’s market.
Lazy, crooning French tunes drift on the air, and if people were to turn up on vintage bicycles, sporting berets and popping baguettes in their bike baskets, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. All this as the boats in the marina bob gently on a calm salty sea… I could have found myself quite caught up in the idyllic scene if I didn’t have work to do.
So our little operation began… and we swung into action: blitzing, juicing and blending for a steady trickle of keen fresh market-goers. Our free samples proved immensely popular, as my garrulous and extremely tall Dutch husband made the rounds with our three year old in tow, making introductions and plying stallholders and visitors with shots of healthy deliciousness.
The most popular beverage of the day- by a country mile- was the green smoothie. Whether this is a reflection of the well-heeled demographic in Auckland’s affluent semi-rural fringe, or if it speaks to the nature of the early Saturday morning market-attending riser… or if it proves to be true for everyone selecting from the DROP juices & smoothies menu will remain to be seen. But who can argue with such a concoction? A handful of healthy greens, sweet coconut water, tropical pineapple, smooth avocado and a slug of ‘superfood’ chia seeds… good-for-you never tasted so delicious.
DROP juices & smoothies aim to offer fantastic alternatives to less-healthy snacks and beverages at markets and events, providing yummy, undiluted, healthy and nutritious drinks. We do this by:
- Paying close attention to flavour, with extensive testing of all our beverages before we offer them to market (yeah, that’s the rough part…)
- Using a minimum amount of ice, preferring to cool beverages where appropriate with frozen produce and refrigerated liquids
- Packing each beverage with a maximum concentration of delicious ingredients (no diluting or ‘stretching out’ the juice with tons of cheap, inferior produce)
- Using organic and locally grown produce whenever possible
- Soaking non-organic produce (whose skins will be used in the beverage, e.g apples, carrots, celery) in a water & vinegar solution ahead of time, a process which thoroughly cleans the produce and mimics organic
- Using organic and/or raw versions of additive powders, nuts, dried fruit and spices
- Keeping up-to-date with nutritional trends to offer our customers the healthiest, most unique and interesting beverages possible
- Minimising sugar; using no refined sugars and limiting the amount of natural sugars required without compromising tastiness
- Providing fun, quirky special beverages to capture the imagination and please the crowd… look out for our ‘Hot Cross Bun’ Smoothie coming up this Easter weekend!
So after much planning, DROP has finally lifted off. The excitement built, the lists got ticked off, the support swelled, the well-wishers, well… well-wished, and even the little ones behaved themselves despite a 5.30am start on the day itself.
There’ll be many more 5.30am starts in our immediate future. And there’ll be many, many more delighted customers, happy faces and positive feedback in our future too. And that’s the very least we can ask for.