Truce – a Love for Juice, Nutrition and Healthy Living
I had the pleasure of meeting Blaire Molitor and Allie Pohlad over five years ago when the concept of a fresh juice bar in Minnesota was considered a wild idea. The pair were looking for a designer to help develop the brand and packaging, so we sat down for tea to discuss their business plan and vision for the brand. Each brought a diverse set of skills to an entrepreneurial partnership— Blaire with a masters degree in development and Allie with a masters degree in holistic health. The two shared a history as childhood friends and a commitment to health and wellness. Together they launched Truce – Minnesota’s first 100% organic fresh-pressed juice shop in 2013 and have since expanded their wellness initiative to two Minnesota locations, in both Uptown and the North Loop, with a third location planning to launch this spring in St. Paul. In addition to in-store purchases, Truce now offers direct shipping to the consumer, for those of you looking to have fresh-pressed juice delivered right to your door. We recently caught up with these two and discussed all things – juicing, nutrition, holistic balance, their favorite indulgences, and life as female entrepreneurs. Catch their interview below!
Tell us a little bit about TRUCE and how you found yourselves on this endeavor?
Allie: It all started with a meal and the typical “catching up” session, which left both of us remarking on the absence of fresh-pressed juice in Minneapolis, as compared to other cities we spend time in. The idea of opening our own completely good-for-you juice and food establishment quickly grew from there, and we both jumped at the opportunity to contribute to the health and wellness scene in this city. Not to undermine the work and thousands of ups and downs we’ve experienced over the past five or so years, but in general, we’ve found this journey to be really rewarding and our fellow business owners to be very supportive.
Blaire: Truce is Minnesota’s first (and still only!) 100% organic fresh-pressed juice bar. We make the juice fresh daily using a large-scale hydraulic press, which uses no heat or oxygen allowing the nutrients and enzymes to stay intact for up to 5 days (versus a traditional juicer you might use at home). Since opening, we’ve expanded our menu to include smoothies, acai bowls, salads, and snacks. In addition to being organic, all items are also 100% raw, vegan, and gluten-free.
Allie and I have always had a strong interest in health and wellness, as well as a deep love for Minneapolis. We were kind of dumbfounded at the lack of healthy options in the city we grew up in, and it slowly became obvious that opening a place of our own, where people could always get a product they could trust, just made sense.
What’s the most common misconception people have around juicing?
A: We still get a surprising amount of new customers or other folks who believe that all juice is equally healthy and beneficial, and that’s not true. Our juices contain 100% organic fruits and vegetables – and nothing else! And they’re totally raw, never processed or heated. Our juice lasts about 3-5 days from the day it was juiced, which pretty clearly showcases its freshness. Juices you buy at the grocery store or most gyms have expiration dates about 30 days from the date of production, which in our opinion, does not equate to being fresh. We hope that people continue to educate themselves on the best options out there and choose fresh as often as possible!
B: Some people still get turned off by green juice, thinking it will taste like grass, but the greener the better! I think there’s also a misconception that calories rule all – how many calories are in each juice is probably the #1 question we get. We purposely don’t have that information listed, because we want people to understand that it’s the quality and content of the ingredients that matter, not counting the calories.
Holistic nutrition is the foundation of TRUCE. After reading countless articles, I still have no idea what I should *really* be eating. How do you find the balance between what you should be eating and what you want to eat?
A: I think the answer is right there in the question… balance is key! We both eat pretty healthy most of the time, which for us means tons of organic veggies, some grains, nuts and seeds, the fruit here or there, and conscientiously-chosen proteins. After enough time of choosing healthy foods, those things become not just what you “should” eat, but also what you want to eat. Of course, we indulge in less-healthy options as the cravings come up (pasta, anyone?), but really, we believe that listening to your body and letting it guide you, will take you a lot further than following some strict and trendy diet.
B: I think the simplest approach is sticking to whole, real foods. Are there 100 ingredients listed on the package? If so, probably not a good sign. Fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free does NOT mean it’s good for you! If it wasn’t around 100 years ago, you probably don’t want to eat it. Sticking to whole organic foods allows you to (mostly) eat what you want, when you want. For me, really understanding the benefits of the specific foods I’m eating is huge. I know the vitamins, minerals, fats, and anti-oxidants in avocados, for example, are going to be much better for me than something processed and packaged, and that helps to guide my daily decisions.
What makes up your daily meal plan?
A: I seem to have a relatively slow metabolism, or maybe I’m just one of those people who does better with more food less often, rather than less food more often. So, I end up eating two solid meals a day most days. In the colder months, I usually start my day with some hot water, lemon, and herbs, followed by a juice (Hardcore Greens). Around lunchtime or early afternoon, I usually have a pretty veggie-heavy meal with some protein (I love eggs!) like a giant salad or bowl, loaded with all sorts of good and green things. I tend to eat dinner by 7pm most nights, and that meal consists of more veggies and protein, usually with some grains mixed in. All winter long I crave curry, so that’s a pretty frequent pick for me!
B: I start every morning with warm water, lemon, apple cider vinegar, manuka honey and adaptogens (pictured above). It’s just my go to, and I always feel better after drinking it. Next up is a Truce green juice, which rotates depending on the day. Lunch is always a toss up – I’ll either make some salad concoction or get a giant smoothie at Truce. Afternoon snacks are a must – usually something crunchy with hummus. Dinner at home is generally grains, greens, avocado and hot sauce (like a whole bottle’s worth), a veggie curry, or something Mexican. If I don’t have at least one avocado a day, I’m doing it wrong. There’s also usually a half bar of dark chocolate in there somewhere. I probably eat out twice a week. In general, I’m vegan at home and vegetarian when I eat out, that’s just what works best for me.
What are your favorite apps/online resources for holistic health?
A: My top 3: Mark’s Daily Apple blog is one I tend to utilize for general advice and guidelines, as well as for specific queries (although my diet is not paleo/primal, I still find the knowledge base and principles very useful). I like Equinox Gym’s newsletter “Furthermore” for quick workout ideas and other interesting health-related articles. I read just about everything that GOOP puts out and love it.
Can we get the benefits of clean eating without an all-or-nothing approach?
A: Absolutely, yes! Every healthy choice makes a difference. I believe that starting small and making small changes or frequent good decisions help encourage the formation of positive habits. For example, once you see how good you feel after an intense workout, walk around the lake, Truce juice (!), etc., that feeling is addicting, and you’re likelier to do it again and again until it sticks. Even if you don’t embrace an all-in healthy lifestyle, eating clean most of the time has a huge positive impact and helps to balance out the not-as-healthy decisions.
Any tips or hacks for busy people looking to bring whole foods into their lives?
A: Besides juice, which is obviously a pretty easy way to get a few servings of veggies in, I’d recommend starting every meal with some greens or a serving of vegetables. They will help fill you up and will sound more appealing at the beginning of a meal (when you’re hungry) than at the end. I’m also pretty into the spiralizing trend. I LOVE carrot, zucchini, and sweet potato noodles, etc.- and they’re a great way to sub out gluten and starches. Another recommendation I have is to join a CSA/local farm, thereby guaranteeing you a big box of fresh produce that you have to use up every week during the growing seasons. The bonus with this is, you’ll cook more and learn to be more creative in the kitchen. Finally, I’m a fan of homemade nut butter, they are super easy to make in a food processor and make for a great snack with an apple or veggies, etc.
B: It feels like there are always so many “NOs!” in eating – no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, etc. – it can be easier to think about what to ADD in on a daily basis, instead of thinking of what to take away. Juicing is the easiest and fastest way to get more nutrients and vitamins into your system, so a great place to start is by adding juice to your daily diet. A (fresh, organic, vegetable-based) juice + croissant for breakfast is better than just a croissant.
You’re both sharing a favorite recipe with us today. Can you tell us why you selected these particular dishes?
A: I make Mexican Lime and Avocado soup at least once a month. It’s the only thing I make in our slow cooker and is a huge crowd pleaser…trust me! It’s also pretty versatile; while the version I’m sharing is vegetarian and gluten-free, it can also be made vegan (no cheese) or with chicken (add 2 chicken breasts and chicken broth instead of veg broth).
B: Healthy dishes don’t have to be complicated or require a ton of prep. One bowl? Vegan muffins? Win-win.
Is there really such a thing as a “foodie” cleanse? Sounds too good to be true.
B: Yes! The best thing about eating “clean” is how delicious and nurturing fresh fruits and vegetables are. A “foodie” cleanse is just stripping away all the things the body doesn’t need (think processed foods, alcohol, sugars, etc.) and giving it just what it needs – this does NOT mean deprivation. There are some really great resources for this. At Truce, we offer what we call a “Complete Cleanse” which is 2 greens-based juices, a raw & vegan salad, a raw & vegan soup, and house made cashew milk. Goop always has great detox advice as well. We also love what sakara.com is doing.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure? I can’t say no to an Old Fashioned Doughnut – the cakey, sourdough kind.
A: The Linden Hills Coop sells peanut butter-covered pretzels in the bulk section… a bag of those disappears between the store and home for me!
B: Cheese pizza, macaroni & cheese, grilled cheese. Any combination of bread and cheese, I’m in. But let’s not say guilty pleasure, because I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong here, let’s say occasional indulgence 🙂
What’s been the most difficult part of owning your own business?
A: Hiring! Endless hiring! We have some amazing people in management positions, who we’ve been lucky enough to hold onto, and they’ve made all the difference. The other hardest part about owning a business for me is the responsibility of making all the big decisions. It’s up to us – there’s no one who can tell us what to do or who knows the business as well as we do. That’s a lot of pressure!
B: There’s so much to keep track of on a daily basis, we are lucky to have such a strong team to help us out. I think I’m still coming to grips with the fact that it’s ok to make mistakes and it’s ok to be wrong because when your name is on something, you want it to be perfect every time, but that’s just not reality.
Any last words on being female entrepreneurs?
A: In general, the support we’ve gotten from other business owners and people in the community has been amazing and encouraging and so incredibly helpful. There have been a few, very rare, times when we felt less-than-encouraged and not supported (specifically as women entrepreneurs), but those moments and interactions reinvigorated us and made our determination to succeed that much stronger. They also made us appreciate our fellow female entrepreneurs!
B: Not to get too motivational speaker on you here – but stay true to what you believe. There will be times when people try to question, or doubt, or undermine your opinion because you are female, but you know what’s best for you and what’s best for your business. That said, it’s been so much fun to connect with other female entrepreneurs and really feel a sense of camaraderie and encouragement.
About Truce: TRUCE is Minnesota’s first 100% organic fresh-pressed juice shop. Founded by two local women with a commitment to health and wellness, Truce is your one stop shop for high quality, delicious fare. In addition to our organic juices, we also offer house made cashew milks, raw & vegan salads, soups, acai bowls, smoothies, and cleanse packages. All of our products are 100% organic, vegan, raw, and gluten-free.
Shop juices, cleanses, meals and snacks on www.drinktruce.com and follow Truce on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for news, updates, recipes, and educational resources.
Allie’s Recipe: Mexican Lime and Avocado Soup (Basically chicken tortilla soup without chicken or tortillas)
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- One jalapeño, seeded, stemmed, diced
- Two garlic cloves, minced
- 28 oz of canned tomatoes (diced, whole, whatever)
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 2-4 avocados, cubed
- A block of queso fresco, cubed
- Add all ingredients from onion through cumin to crockpot, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours
- When time is up, stir in cilantro and lime
- Pour over cubed avocado into bowls and add cheese
Blaire’s Recipe: One Bowl Berry Coconut Muffins by Minimalist Baker
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
- 1/4 cup cane sugar (or sub granulated or brown sugar)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal*
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (or sub flake) + more for topping
- 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend*
- 1 cup mixed berries tossed in GF flour blend (fresh or frozen + slightly thawed)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners, or lightly grease.
- Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl by mixing water and flaxseed meal and let rest for a few minutes to “gel.”
- Measure out almond milk and add vinegar. Wait 3 minutes, then add baking soda and stir. Set aside.
- To the flax eggs, add applesauce, melted coconut oil, maple syrup or agave, sugar, and whisk for 45 seconds. Add almond milk mixture and whisk once more.
- Add salt, gluten free flour, almond meal, shredded coconut and oats and whisk again until combined. The batter should be somewhere between thick and thin and pourable.
- Toss berries in enough gluten free flour to coat and add to the mixture. Gently stir once more.
- Divide batter evenly between muffin tins (they should be generously 3/4 full). Optional: Sprinkle the tops with a bit more coconut flake and/or cane sugar. If you put additional berries on top, they sink a little.
- Bake for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then gently remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Photos by 2nd Truth