Juice just the thing for a new start to 2015

PUBLISHED: 12:44 06 January 2015 | UPDATED: 12:44 06 January 2015

Lawrence Farrow pours Juice Works juice at the Living It Up Christmas lifestyle show at Seckford Hall on Sunday, 30 November.

Lawrence Farrow pours Juice Works juice at the Living It Up Christmas lifestyle show at Seckford Hall on Sunday, 30 November.

Juices, in particular those packed with super-nutrients or functional herbs and added vitamins, have really boomed – it seems we can’t get enough of them.

Ben Stiff is the founder of Impressions Drinks that produces homemade juice made in Suffolk.Ben Stiff is the founder of Impressions Drinks that produces homemade juice made in Suffolk.

As an county with its own share of orchards, it’s no surprise to find Suffolk products in this market. James White’s Beet It is acclaimed for its sweet, earthy taste and benefits for sportspeople in particular, while the Appletree Hill brand has won awards for aromatic, true-to-the fruit juices.

Then there are entrepreneurs such as Lawrence Farrow and Ben Stiff, who have fascinating stories to tell about their leap into the juicing world.

Lawrence Farrow of The Juice Works. Photograph Simon ParkerLawrence Farrow of The Juice Works. Photograph Simon Parker

‘Juicing changed my life’

Juicing really did change the life of Lawrence Farrow, who runs The Juiceworks in Ipswich.

Over 10 years ago, superfit Lawrence, who was running and exercising regularly, began to gradually lose his eyesight. After lots of tests he was found to have a brain tumour. During treatment Lawrence ballooned from 11 stone to 17 stone.

“I tried to lose weight. I tried everything, but I was told it was unlikely on my medication I’d ever lose weight.

“But I didn’t give up.” Lawrence set off to a health retreat where he lost a stone in just three weeks by following a diet that included fresh juices. “I ran for the first time in a long time and when I got home I put my microwave on eBay and bought a juicer.

“I’ve managed to lose four stone and I feel alive again, and like I want to be here.

“Everyone started seeing my changes because I was on a high all the time. Friends and family asked me to make them juices.”

That set the ball rolling and having operated part time for a year, Lawrence fully launched The Juiceworks in February last year.

“I just love juice,” he says. “I make them all fresh with no chemicals.” Lawrence sells the juices via his website. Everything is made to order and either collected in person or delivered frozen to customers on Friday. All you need to do is pop the juice you want to drink in the fridge overnight to defrost it.

His favourite? “The one I have for breakfast is great. I invented it by accident. The Purple Mega Mix has carrot, apple, ginger, beetroot and lemon. It tastes surprisingly good.

“One of the most popular packs I sell is like Slimfast. You have a juice for breakfast and lunch and then your usual dinner. So many people feel better for it.”

Flavours include The Super Green (apple, spinach, parsley, kale, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger), The Emerald (spinach, cucumber, apple, ginger, celery, parsley, lemon and lime) and Fresh Fix (fennel, celery, apple and lime).

Gift vouchers are now available with the three day juice cleanse and breakfast and lunch packs proving most popular.

Try them out by going to www.thejuiceworks.co.uk

Nutrition tailored for you

At just 24, Ben Stiff has achieved more than people many years his senior. His most recent accolade is being the brains behind Suffolk’s latest drinks brand, Impressions – nutrition-based concoctions whizzed up in an adapted barn at his parents’ house in Kersey. Key to the brand is the use of various extracts and fruit and vegetable combinations to maximise health benefits.

Understanding health and nutrition is something that comes naturally to the entrepreneur. He’s been interested in it most of his life.

“I had a very scientific background growing up,” he says. “My mum is a cancer consultant and my dad has a degree in physics.

“I remember, when I was very small, I got a pop-up anatomy book. Most of my friends were out playing and I was learning about T cells.”

Later, Ben became interested in sport, and aged 18 took part in a skateboard ride across the UK for a stroke charity, after one of his friends suffered from a stroke at 16.

“From then I had an interest in anything to do with sport. I went to Southampton and did a degree in extreme sports management, and while I was at uni I competed in body building as there was a huge fitness scene.”

This fuelled Ben’s interest in nutrition, so while in his third year he decided to study nutrition and personal training alongside his degree. He passed both and after university started out as a personal trainer.

Six weeks after finishing university he was approached by the mentor who had advised him on his skateboarding trip. He had a plan to swim the Missouri and wanted Ben to recommend a trainer. Ben put himself forward and was whisked away to the US where he spent 52 days with the team.

“We finished in St Louis and I had an eight-day gap until my connecting flight to New York. The team bet me I couldn’t cycle the distance. I spent my last $200 on an ancient bike and started going east. I didn’t even have a map.

“I made it to Pittsburgh by day six and my knees were tripled in size, so I gave my bike to a homeless person called Bob and caught a Greyhound to New York.”

Arriving home in 2012, exhilarated yet exhausted from the challenge, Ben set up a personal training business.

“I’d always had juices with me for myself because of the interest I had in health from an early age.” Prompted by friends, Ben built his own juice press and set off to hawk his wares at Sudbury Market.

“On my first day I sold out! They went down pretty well and I had great feedback. People were wanting to know where they could get them from.”

After a few disasters and working through flavour combinations, Ben mastered his methods and now sells his juices at local markets.

Key to the juices is function. It’s something Ben once focused on entirely – and he admits the resulting broccoli juices weren’t so delicious. But every single juice, as well as having a refreshing, balanced flavour, is enriched with good things that serve a purpose.

The most popular medley, Refreshing Rhubarb (rhubarb, apple, strawberry and raspberry) for example, has elements to aid the immune system. Cucumber Mojito has spirulina and wheatgrass for detoxing, and the carrot, orange and ginger drink contains sencha green tea and Siberian ginseng to give a caffeine-free boost in the morning.

“I never really had very high hopes for this,” Ben reveals modestly. “I’ve been amazed by how happy people are with what I’m making. It’s such a lovely feeling when people approve of what you’re doing.”


Try it at home

Want to have a go? Try this refreshing, green, health giving treat. It makes a litre and should be kept in the fridge and drunk within three days. Simply blitz four to five apples, three cucumbers, 200g celery, 500g greens such as kale or spinach, the juice of two lemons and a peeled knob of fresh ginger in a juicer.

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