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Scene in South Bend: Rein Juicery

| Thursday, September 11, 2014

scene-web-bannerKeri O'Mara | The Observer
Family. Whether it is in reference to the people you grew up with, friends that you’ve met or the community of people affiliated with Notre Dame, family is a concept that most people are well acquainted with. Family is something that the owners of Rein Juicery know very well, and upon stepping into their first store located at 2036 S. South Bend Avenue, individuals will immediately feel like they fit right into the family.

Founded by three brothers Scott, Todd and Nick Anglemeyer, Rein offers quality juices to a South Bend community with few options for juice and smoothies. “We’ve always gotten along really well, and [working together] has been really great,” explains Todd and Nick as they go back and forth about each other’s idiosyncrasies. “We all wanted to open something together, so we sat down and decided that South Bend needed a juice bar. They need something that’s a healthy alternative, something that they can use, they can go to and help create a better lifestyle.”

The commitment to bettering the community is an important part of Rein’s mission, and the founders believe that their juice can help kick-start healthier lifestyles in the community. Additionally, the company prides itself on the fact that much of the fruit and vegetables used at Rein come from local farms. “We really wanted to do something that could benefit the community as well as local farmers,” explains Nick. “We have a lot of local purveyors … we have been trying to work something out with Unity Gardens so that we could donate some of our profits when we kind of get going a little more.” Unity Gardens is a non-profit organization that allows people to go and pick as much produce as they want for free.

Apart from the community emphasis, the actual juice itself is created using a unique method: cold pressing. According to their website, “Cold-pressed is a juicing technique where zero heat is applied to the fruits and vegetables in the juice. Compared to the juice you make at home or buy at a traditional juice bar, our juices yield a 30-40 percent higher nutrient content.”  The additional nutrient content of the juice is what Rein Juicery believes separates their product from similar existing juices. “We’ve had a lot of East- and West-coasters come in and they’ve given us really positive feedback on our juice,” Todd proudly adds. “They’ve said that it is comparable if not better than a lot of the major juice bars in their areas.”

As a self-proclaimed juice expert, I decided to put the juice to the test with two different smoothies, and neither the “San Jamar” nor the “Berry Smojito” disappointed. Made in front of me, I resisted the urge to quickly drink the delicious concoction and tried to savor each smoothie. Including unusual pairings such as carrot and coconut oil or mint and pineapple, each smoothie features unique flavors that harmoniously blend together, creating a novel experience beyond the strawberry-banana smoothies that many other smoothie companies sell.

Though the brothers have been enjoying success with their inaugural location, the brothers describe the process of creating the store as somewhat of an uphill battle. Originally conceived as a truck that would travel around the country visiting various music festivals, the idea shifted towards a concrete location when logistical and fiscal considerations were made. “The process was really intense,” Todd says over the whir of blenders in the background. “We worked with our Michigan juice guy, who does Welch’s Grape Juice, Meijer’s Juice Division, and he basically told us ‘Look, juice is one of the hardest things to get passed through legislation, outside of seafood.’ So it was about four months of just trying to sit down with the right people, explain our process, and we went through like eight different people in total, and it finally came together in our favor.”

Despite the initial difficulties, the trio of brothers has been pleasantly surprised with the community’s reaction. “We didn’t know how South Bend would really take to the idea, because in Chicago or New York or LA or somewhere, you’ll find cold-press organic juice for $14. And it’s every block … South Bend’s been really supportive to us, and it’s just educating the community on what they are really getting.” With plans to open more retail fronts and move into wholesale, these busy brothers show no signs of slowing down. And luckily for them, the quality juice that they make gives them all the energy they need going forward.

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