Katie Flanigan is helping Valley residents achieve their daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables with Juice Core, a cold-pressed juice business she co-owns with her mom, Patty Flanigan, that serves up delicious liquid concoctions, cleanses and raw vegan foods packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. The 25-year-old Phoenix resident’s fondness for fresh juice coincides with her love of yoga and a healthy lifestyle, and Juice Core offers juice both at its Old Town Scottsdale location, where it’s been open for the past two years, and via deliveries. Juice Core juices can also be found at the Scottsdale Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market and Gilbert Farmers Market every Saturday.
Besides her work at Juice Core, Flanigan also models and teaches yoga at Humble Monkey and at companies throughout the Valley. She talked about passion for juicing and how she started her business, and you can hear her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.
What brought you to Arizona?
I was born here. I went to Horizon High School and ASU for two years.
What has your career evolution been like before starting Juice Core?
After ASU, I moved to L.A. to pursue my modeling career. I ended up getting signed with an agency in Milan and moved there. I spent about three years moving back and forth. Currently I still model, but just here in the Valley with The Agency Arizona.
After coming back to Arizona, I went to the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, where I completed an 800-hour teacher training for yoga. I’ve always been really intrigued by yoga and was kind of soul searching. I had read yogic books and felt like I needed to go and learn more about myself. I love it, and it nourishes my soul. I teach at Humble Monkey and at companies around the Valley.
How did Juice Core get started?
It all kind of started with yoga. My mom and I were looking for ways to nourish ourselves and our bodies, and juicing is one of those ways to keep yourself healthy. When I was living in L.A., cold-pressed juice was everywhere, and there was no cold-pressed juice here. We wanted to jump on it while it was new and fresh. We bought our first juicer and started in my mom’s garage, making juice for ourselves.
We were looking for something to invest in and a business we could do that had integrity. We started the business about four years ago, with the help of my best friend and her mom. We started renting a kitchen, making juice, and selling at the farmers markets and delivering. Then, someone called me about our storefront location and said they thought we’d be really good there. It was fate this fell into our lap, and we’re so grateful it did because it’s so nice to have your doors open all the time and constantly be able to sell juice. We’ve been in this location for about two years.
We’re now expanding to offering raw food, and it’s been fun to grow. It really has a mind of its own. It’s really rewarding selling something you stand behind 100 percent and totally believe in. I drink this juice every day, and I would recommend it to anyone, not because I want to make money off it, but because I think it’s 100 percent healthy.
What’s your typical week like here?
We juice every day except for Sunday’s. We open at 7 in the morning, and the juicers are going until noon to 2 o’clock.
We just started making food. I never knew I’d be a chef, but it’s something I started teaching myself and is really relaxing. All the food is raw and organic, which is something we stand behind and would never abandon. It’s hard to find a healthy food option where you can trust that all the ingredients are organic and made with integrity.
How do you conceive your recipes?
It’s what I crave. It’s a lot of experimenting, and with raw food, once you know the basis of something, it’s really easy to make anything. You just kind of add different ingredients. We have salads, granola balls, brownie bites. We constantly change, too, and sometimes do things like raw zucchini pasta.
What are your goals?
Since we’re not allowed to sell in stores because we’re an unpasteurized product, we’d love to open up another shop of our own some day. It’s just a matter of finding the right space. I think it will happen naturally.
I would love to expand on the food a little more and bring yoga into the business, where I can hold yoga classes and bring the whole mind, body, wellness into one space.
What’s your favorite juice recipe?
They change all the time, but I really like the Tropi-Collard right now, which is collard greens, spinach, orange, lemon, pineapple, cucumber and broccoli sprouts. It’s light green juice and really refreshing for the summer.
Why is consuming raw foods and juices so beneficial?
With juicing, your body doesn’t have to do any of the work to get the nutrients, so you feel the benefits right away. It’s my daily vitamins. I don’t take any other supplements. I get everything from the earth, and it’s nice you don’t have to digest it, since it’s all going into your bloodstream right away.
What are the benefits of the cleanses you offer?
Cleanses have both mental and physical benefits and completely reset your system. You’re not putting any solid food in your body for at least three days, so your digestive system shuts off. Your digestive system takes about 70 percent of your energy on a daily basis to digest your food, so when that’s freed up, that energy gets sent elsewhere, to places that need healing. A lot of cancer clinics are now offering juice cleanses to help patients heal more efficiently.
For me, cleansing is so mental. It’s good if you’re looking to reset your relationship with food. Not chewing for three days is really challenging, but once you get past that, you’re like, “Wow, maybe I can choose more carefully when I’m off the cleanse what I’m going to put into my body.” It’s just overall a very mindful experience.
What advice do you have for people who are cleansing?
Set your goal, and stick to it. Don’t even entertain the thought of cheating. Know that it’s going to be an empowering experience. Care for yourself. Listen to your body. Rest if you need to rest. Read books to keep your mind busy.
How has juicing affected your own life?
Since I started about five years ago, I’ve become more aware about what my body doesn’t like. I think your body becomes more sensitive once it has all the nutrients it needs, and when I would drink caffeine, my body was like, “No way, you can’t do it anymore.” Once I dropped that, I realized how much better I felt all of the time. What helped me get off it was green juice.
Overall, I have healthy skin, I don’t get sick that much, and I always have high energy. I wake up in the morning, and I’m not groggy. I’m just aware and alert, and it feels good.
How would you recommend someone get into a juicing routine?
I’d say one juice in the morning is probably more affordable, and it’s great because with no food in your body, your body will absorb more of the nutrients right away.
What is Juice Core’s delivery process like?
We deliver Monday through Saturday, right after we’re done juicing, around noon to 2 o’clock. We deliver to some businesses and to people who are online and don’t feel like picking it up, all around the greater Phoenix area.
What would you say are the biggest benefits and challenges to being a business owner?
It never stops. It’s almost like having a baby. It’s nice to get a break, and sometimes you don’t always get that, which can be challenging.
It’s really rewarding to see your manifestation grow, though. Having happy customers is really the payoff. I love to see customers who love what we offer and come back to support us.
How would you characterize how health-conscious the Phoenix community is?
I would say most people who are coming in to Juice Core are trying to make healthy choices. I think overall, society in general is becoming more health-conscious and realizing how much nutrition, physical activity and stress management influences our health.
What advice would you have for an aspiring business owner?
If you really want to have a successful business, for the first few years, it’s going to be really challenging, and you just have to put it first. Sometimes, it feels really hard, and you want to give up, but if you keep pushing through with perseverance, it really does pay off. Make sure it’s something you really care about and want to give to the world, because it’s going to be your life.
What are some of your favorite ingredients?
I love ginger so much because of the spiciness, and it’s good for digestion. I’m also a big fan of beets, which are great for healthy liver and kidney function.
One healthy ingredient that is easy for people to use at home is lemon. Lemon is incredibly alkaline for your body, so even if you just take some water and put lemon in it, that can be transformational. It’s important to keep an alkaline body, and a lot of people, from what we eat and drink, are more acidic. When your body is more acidic, it becomes more toxic and is more susceptible to diseases.
Why would you encourage someone to get a juice from Juice Core?
Some of our 16-ounce juices have up to 5 pounds of produce in them. Most of us couldn’t even imagine eating that amount in one day. When I started drinking juice, the less healthier things started falling away without having to do any work. I stopped needing to have the empty food I was naturally craving. It is amazing how energetic it makes you feel.