01 August 2015
At Naturally Sassy, we absolutely love all things PLENISH, and so have decided to indulge in our (and yours too!) intrigue regarding the company and its’ beautiful founder, Kara Rosen. Building a business based on her love for the way her quarterly cleanse rituals allowed her to feel, whilst providing her fellow juice lovers with a story undoubtedly inspiring to follow, we openly welcome her as our newest Inspiration on a Plate.
YOU CAME TO LONDON AFTER YEARS HECTICALLY WORKING IN NEW YORK, BUT AT WHICH POINT DID YOU DECIDE TO TURN YOUR JUICY LIFESTYLE INTO A CAREER?
When I moved from NYC to London, I terribly missed the organic, cold pressed juices I had grown to depend on in NY and LA. I was consulting for several lifestyle brands when I arrived here, but had this itch to start a cold pressed juice company that was made with organic produce and mostly veg. After I had my daughter, I took a few months off from consulting to be with her and bought myself a cold press juicer. The rest kind of happened organically. I started making the juices for myself, then friends and family and before I knew it, my phone number was being passed around to their friends and husbands to deliver juices and cleanses all over London. It proved to me there was a demand for convenient, high quality, low sugar juices and I spent the next 6 months at home developing the PLENISH brand, finalising recipes with our dietician Romi, working on a business plan and sorting out our supply chain (although it’s getting easier as our volumes grow, sourcing fresh organic produce can be a challenge!). I partnered with the SoHo House group to lanch our website, and through that initial partnership and the personal network I made juices for, the business has grown through word of mouth and a lot of good old fashioned hard work!
WITH A LIFESTYLE UNDENIABLY FABULOUS IN OVER THERE, WHAT INITIALLY BROUGHT YOU TO LONDON? IN A WORD?
Love. My husband was offered the opportunity to move to London for 12 months, I jumped at the opportunity and Conde Nast was great at allowing me to freelance from over here, so the choice was easy. 6 years later, we love London – the roots are down, we have both set up businesses here, had our daughter here and this now feels like home.
AS WE KNOW HERE AT NATURALLY SASSY (THROUGH OUR SASSY SNACKS), STARTING UP CAN HAVE ITS’ HIGHS AND LOWS, BUT WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR MAIN STRUGGLES WHEN BEGINNING PLENISH, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Oh, there were heaps! The biggest challenge for me was setting up an organic supply chain. It’s really easy to source really tiny amounts of organic produce in the UK, or huge volumes, if you’re a mega company – but when you’re small and growing that middle piece was really tough. I’ve met some really inspiring farmers and organic champions along the way who have helped me navigate this new world (Conde Nast did NOT have an organic vegetable sourcing department!) The second biggest challenge was to get buyers to believe that green juice made with mostly veg like cucumber, kale and spinach WOULD sell! When we started, it was before the sugar debate around fruit juices was in full swing and the ‘juice category’ was thriving on sweet juices. A few visionary buyers and a bit of persistence and luck on our side gave us a break -first at Harvey Nichols who were our first stockist and a really great partner to us to this day.
AS A JUICING GODDESS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR ULTIMATE FAVE IN THE PLENISH COLLECTION?
I have two at the moment. We have our newest green juice that launches this week called PLENISH Greenest Green. It’s our first all veg juice – with Cucumber, Kale, Spinach, Ginger and a splash of lime. It is super low in sugar and chock full of phytonutrients, veg and minerals and is really refreshing. I also love our Cacao Maca Cashew M*lk. I have a major sweet tooth, and this one always satisfies my chocolate cravings, particularly if I’m working late and need something to tide me over to dinner. And do you make any juices at home that you love to make which aren’t in the range, and why? I have a few go to juices (like the green coco or kale mary in my book) but whenever I’m feeling run down, I whip up a ginger, lemon, red chilli and honey shot – it is my immunity super weapon.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN HEALTHY LIVING, OR WAS THE TURNING POINT FOR YOU ULTIMATELY WHEN YOU COULDN’T FIGHT OFF YOUR REOCCURRING STREP THROAT?
I always cared about being healthy, but it took me being ill for a long period to understand what that meant, and how the food we eat plays a huge part of creating health (or dis-ease) You must have the luxury of cleansing all the time, but how often and how long do you generally cleanse for? I like to cleanse about 4 times per year, at the start of each season. I generally do a 3 or 5 day, depending on how my system feels. Coming out of this long winter where I was working and entertaining more than I’d like, I did a 5 day as I felt so good after 3 that I wanted to keep going. And though we know you are a keen yogi, do you enjoy any other forms of exercise? I love running – it’s the only exercise I’m good at pushing myself at. Things like weight training (which I also love the results), I am just not motivated to do on my own, but running is an hour to myself to digitally detox, challenge myself and just zone out. The parks here are so amazingly beautiful all year round, I always feel grateful when I’m out running and that just feels good!
RELEASING THE PLENISH BOOK MUST HAVE BEEN AN ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT FOR YOU (AND WE LOVE IT BTW!), BUT WHEN YOU STARTED OUT DID YOU IMAGINE A BOOK DEAL COMING YOUR WAY?
Thank you! And No, not at first. It was quite early on when my agent got in touch and asked that very same question – would you want to write a book? I had been running plenish for 2 years, and had been working with so many clients, helping them overcome different ailments. It felt like the perfect opportunity to share all of the knowledge and advice – and I had written the proposal overnight.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MAIN MANTRA YOU LIVE BY?
Be kind. Believe in what you do and work hard! Eat lots of plants along the way! We wanted to fuel our intrigue so wondered if you could choose 5 things you simply couldn’t live without, what would they be? My iphone, jax coconut oil, a notebook, dropbox and a green juice, natch! This is all fantastic, however what we really want to know is, what’s coming next for PLENISH? Lots of amazing new organic products that extend beyond what you’ve seen from PLENISH already!
Photo Credit: Phill Taylor