The juice trend has been in for a while now. Chic juice bars and buying specialty juices has become a mode that even gives Montreal’s third-wave coffee culture a run for its money. So it’s really no surprise that Montreal businessman Corey Shapiro (owner of Vintage Frames) and P-Thugg of Chromeo have partnered to create Juicyyy Lab, a fresh juice bar, which will open its doors to the public on Saturday, May 23rd.
“Both having very hectic schedules, we needed to find a way to keep our bodies as alive as our companies,” says Shapiro. Both Shapiro and P-Thugg note their jet-setting lives as one of the reasons they started Juicyyy Lab; they often rely on juice bars for their daily nutrients while on the go and, noticing a dearth of specialty juice shops in the Montreal area, pounced on a fresh business idea.
So what’s going to make Juicyyy Lab different? According to its founders, it prides itself on transparency. The customer will be able to see everything that goes into his or her juice while they wait for the ingredients to be created by the best juicing technology on the market. Also, apart from juices, customers can look forward to ordering acai bowls, salads, power bowls, energy balls, granola and a vast selection of healthy snacks. Plus, when you combine Shapiro’s stylistic flare and P-Thugg’s “classic funk”, you know you’re entering a world where aesthetic is just as important as quality. There’s a reason Juicyyy Lab is described as a “futuristic laboratory.”
For people familiar with Shapiro, it makes sense that Juicyyy Lab will call Montreal’s sud ouest its home. St. Henri is where Shapiro’s other highly successful businesses are located; Notorious Barbershop and Vintage Frames have become part of the cultural fabric of St. Henri. And with Corey Shapiro’s track record and P-Thugg’s artistic accolades, there’s no doubt Juicyyy Lab will build the same notoriety as well.
Q: How did the two of you (Shapiro and P-Thugg) make a connection and develop a business relationship with one another?
A: P-thugg and I were brought together originally by our love for eccentric things and hip hop. The two of us always traveled around the world for business, constantly trying to acquire the missing pieces of our collections. It started off that we would meet on the road at barbershops. The lack of those caliber barbershops are what birthed the idea of Notorious Barbershop. P and I had decided to take a proactive stance to what we thought was needed for our hometown instead of just complaining about it. As the two of our careers blossomed in our own respective industries, the need for a healthy regiment was required to be put into the routine. After searching for the type of cold pressing juice facilities we were accustomed to abroad, we found that, yet again, Montreal was missing this type of establishment. It’s rare to find a partner that you can trust to not only handle the business in a way that you would, but that you can trust with money. P and I have a great trust for each other which makes it very easy to operate enterprises from two different rooms.
Q: How long has this project been in development and, specifically, why did both of you decide on the juice business?
A: This project has been in the works for over a year now. The construction was very specialized, and I wasn’t willing to compromise the vision that I had for time. Everything was specialty built and customized, making it much longer than a pre-fab type of establishment. The idea first sparked in Miami when we were at our homie’s juice bar Jugo Fresh. Our dude Matt Sherman is the juice guru and really enlightened us to all the benefits of this type of living. Juicing has been an essential part of P’s travel schedule, and has kept my diabetic regime under wraps.
Q: What’s the competition like in Montreal? How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?
A: With our unique philosophy and state-of-the-art facility, there is nobody in our lane. Our mission is to be 100% transparent with the consumers by showcasing our juicing facility in a glass refrigerator right in front of their eyes. Our menus are based on combining health benefits with a memorable taste. Every juice we produce leaves you with a memorable note all wrapped up in a unique bottling, with a rather cool name. Not only will we appeal to health enthusiasts, but to foodies who thrive on experimental flavours and exceptional quality.
Q: What is your favourite product on the menu? What can customers look forward to?
A: My personal favourite juice is the “Every Day Struggle” green juice. The note it leaves you with at the end is by far my favourite. On the Acai Bowl front my favourite is the “Brucey B” or maybe even “Kid Capri”. From our salad bar, I am partial to anything with the dressing that we made as an homage to many of our favourite restaurant from the past: Katsura.
Q: What does the future hold for Juicyyy Lab?
A: Juicyyy Lab is going to be a cross-Canada franchise that will represent Montreal in the green Canadian market. We are already in talks with many different locations and venues to be part of our exciting movement. This is one of the reasons that the first one took us so long; we wanted the concept to be able to be reproduced in a step-and-repeat format.
Q: What kind of customers would Juicyyy Lab appeal to?
A: As much as Juicyyy Lab will be an exciting destination for any Montrealer, we’re equally concerned with making it an important part of keeping St. Henri and surrounding areas healthy. It’s really exciting to be able to bring a new concept to the neighbourhood we populate with the rest of our endeavours. We love this neighbourhood and really enjoy being part of the business community. Shout out to Camapnelli’s, Rustique, Cho, Tequila Bar, Tejano, and Grummans!