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 V.22 No.20 | May 16 - 22, 2013 

Market Report:

The Green Growler Emerges

Market season brings smoothies

Sunshine and smoothies bring shoppers to Los Ranchos Growers Market.
Ari LeVaux
Sunshine and smoothies bring shoppers to Los Ranchos Growers Market.

Farmers market season is upon us. Several have already opened for the year, with the big one, the Albuquerque Downtown Growers Market, kicking off on May 18. This is the time of year when we’re reminded of the magic that can happen when rare drops of water are mixed with our abundant New Mexico sunshine. Enjoy the resulting green while it lasts.

Los Ranchos began its Saturday Growers Market on May 4 with an appropriately green splash, thanks to the debut of a smoothie operation named the Green Growler.

The concept of a green smoothieheavy on leafy greens, often with fruit juice and something creamyis nothing new. In recent years, green smoothies have gained particularly strong traction among the fitness crowd and in the increasingly health-literate population as well. People are aware, sometimes painfully so, that they should be eating more raw plants. A lot more. And green smoothies are probably the tastiest way to get it over with.

The Green Growler smoothies are made of kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, mango, avocado, banana, chia seeds, ground flax and pumpkin seeds. Everything but the tropical fruit is organic.

The Green Growler smoothies are made of kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, mango, avocado, banana, chia seeds, ground flax and pumpkin seeds. Everything but the tropical fruit is organic.

The two friends behind the 2-month-old startup business, Stephanie Pier and Tanya Jones, are using their company’s namesake to deliver their dark green, leafy beverage: 64-ounce growlers are priced at $14 (plus a $2 bottle deposit if you don’t BYOG). Smaller smoothie sizes served in plastic bottles are available as well: a quart for $8 and 6 ounces for five bucks.

I’ve often wondered about how people spend so freely on alcohol while complaining about the price of food. Priced lower than a growler of good IPA, the Green Growler smoothies hammer this point home. In terms of their respective impact on your body, a growler full of green smoothie and a growler full of beer could not be more different. When you consider all that is in it and all that went into creating it, a growler of green smoothie should be a lot more expensive than a growler of beer. The fact that these smoothies are priced the way they aredespite being largely organicis all the more impressive. Jones and Pier are currently in talks with growers at the Corrales Market to have them supply fresh, local veggies for their smoothies.

Green smoothie businesses have been sprouting up around the country of late, Jones told me, but theirs is the first in Albuquerque. She said the 2-month-old business has basically floated itself from the beginning. They each put in about $30, she said, and had a $100 gift.

“We’re getting new customers almost every day,” said Jones. “We’ve got a product that people seem to like, and the response has been better than we thought it would be.”

While business is good, the smoothies haven’t exactly been making themselves. Jones and Pier are hustling, driving around town to get the best prices on ingredients, and to make growler deliveries to gyms, places of work and even homes. It’s hard work, but at least if they need a pick-me-up, they have plenty of green goodness on hand. Stop by the Los Ranchos Saturday Growers Market and try some yourself.

 
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