By Jeffrey Klineman January 6, 2014 (Bevnet.com)
Taking a gamble that the future of beverage – specifically, juice — is going to include snatching meal occasions from quick-serve restaurants and soda companies alike, First Beverage Ventures, the private equity fund run by California investor Bill Anderson and Nantucket Nectars founder Tom First, has invested in Project Juice, a combination storefront and packaged fresh juice operation from the San Francisco Bay area.
From a central juicing facility in South San Francisco, Project Juice currently sends its juices out to about 40 locations, including its two storefronts (one is shared with a Berkeley coffee shop), a few retailers, and other businesses, as well as to a growing group of consumers via direct shipping.
The minority stake taken by First Beverage will allow the fledgling Project Juice, which deploys High Pressure Processing (HPP) for increased freshness and improved shelf life over heat pasteurization, to expand beyond its current storefront locations. Two more retail stores are currently planned, one in S.F. and another in nearby Palo Alto, and eventually its founders would like to have as many as five by the end of the year, according to Greg Malsin, who started the company with wife Rachel Malsin and partner Devon Briger.
Jeffrey Klineman is an Award-winning journalist who has written for numerous publications, including Boston Magazine, Self, George, the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. He is a contributing writer to Commonwealth and Razor magazines and worked previously as a courts and general assignment reporter for the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Jeffrey is also a partner in the Internet media company Snoutsinyourtown.com.