Lumi Juice adding new products to its lineup

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Print this page by Veronica Garabelli
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Photo courtesy Mountain High Media

In 2013, Hillary Lewis came up with the idea for her Charlottesville-based organic juice company, Lumi Juice, after shopping at a Whole Foods store. Today her products are found at about 350 stores in the U.S., including Whole Foods and Fresh Market.

Lewis, 29, still has a hard time processing the rapid growth of the company, whose name stands for “Love U, Mean It.”

“Some days I’ll sit in the facility and stare at things and be like, ‘I can’t believe we’re making juice here because I remember when it was an empty warehouse, and nothing was in it,’ ” she says of her 12,000-square-foot facility in Charlottesville.

Lewis was a student at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business when she developed the concept for Lumi. At Whole Foods, she picked up a juice made with high-pressure processing and became curious about that production method.

After studying high-pressure processing, she decided to use it in starting her own juice company. She says the no-heat process kills bacteria but still preserves flavor and nutrition.

Lumi’s flavors include Wahoo Orange and Farmhouse Greens, which includes cucumber, apple, kale, celery, lemon and parsley. “The only thing that is in there is real produce,” Lewis says.

A 16-ounce bottle of Lumi Juice retails for about $8, while 10-ounce bottles sell for about $4.25. While some may think those prices are high, Lewis says shoppers would pay more if they bought organic produce to create the juices at home.

This month, the company plans to roll out new flavors in 2-ounce bottles and six packs. The new, 2-ounce “shots” include the Gold Rush, a juice made with turmeric, and the Hot Shot, made from beets, lemons and jalapeños.

Lumi produces more than 5,000, 16-ounce bottles of juice a week and employs 13 people.

Lewis would like to expand the company’s distribution, so that customers can buy its juices anywhere from a small bodega in New York City to a local airport shop.

And she doesn’t plan to restrict the company to making juice. One day she’d like for Lumi to make other organic products using high pressure processing. (The process, for example, can be used to make lunch meats, hummus and guacamole.)

“My goal is to never have to heat anything,” Lewis says.

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