Organic Avenue explores new frontier

Bill San Antonio

For Organic Avenue officials, the state-of-the-art fitness mall in Roslyn Heights was the perfect place to open its first suburban boutique.

“We wanted our first suburban location at a place that had a demographic that matched our core customers in Manhattan and, from an operational standpoint, worked with how we service our stores today,” Jessie Gould, the company’s vice president of marketing, said in a phone interview with Blank Slate Media.

The Roslyn Heights store, which opened April 9, is the company’s 10th location and is situated at 250 South Service Road in a mall also occupied by fitness centers Soul Cycle and The Bar Method, as well as Truth and Beauty Spa.

The  Manhattan-based health food franchise specializes in 100 percent organic cold-pressed juices made primarily from green vegetables like kale, spinach and cucumber. The juices are bottled daily in Long Island City and distributed to the boutiques.

When scouting for potential locations, Gould said, Organic Avenue seeks out communities with thriving health-oriented retailers as well as areas in close proximity to its bottling facilities, and Roslyn Heights matched that criteria.

“Typically, the easiest way to spot a potential community for us is if that community places an importance on wellness,” she said. “Newer fitness places, like Soul Cycle, are usually an indication of a growing demand for it. We also survey what kind of healthy eating options and whether we’d be a good compliment, and there was nothing in that mall that provided healthy pressed juices and healthy foods.”

Organic Avenue’s menu also includes salads, wraps and other healthy snacks, as well as a variety of fruit juices and vegan milks.

The company’s ‘cold-pressed’ juicing technique means that no heat is extracted from the vegetables, which Gould said maintains more vitamins and nutrients in the finished product.

The Roslyn opening is part of Organic Avenue’s expansion plan that will add three more Manhattan locations in the next few months in an attempt to double the company’s footprint by the end of the year, a company release said.

The plan is under the direction of the investment firm Weld North LLC, which bought a controlling stake in Organic Avenue back in January.

“It’s certainly our first chance to learn what would differentiate from the city to a suburban area, between the customers in the city and outside Manhattan,” Gould said. “I think it is also a chance to learn how our business works in a setting like a mall.”

Gould said that based on the success of Organic Avenue’s Manhattan locations, the idea is for the boutique to attract customers from the fitness centers, who would replace their morning coffee with a juice, or pick up a salad or wrap for lunch. 

“We obviously get our rushes during meal times,” she said, “but we expect the rushes to be more intense and the ebbs to be potentially quieter.”

Gould said Organic Avenue does not necessarily see Roslyn Heights as a litmus test for a potential suburban market, but is monitoring its success as it develops its presence outside New York City.

“We’ve got a very robust-type line of suburban locations that are all under consideration right now,” she said.

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