Rita Katona wants you to know that plant-based eating is more than just a trend.
Her company is the proof -- she's seen explosive growth since introducing just one line of pressed juices under the name "Juice So Good" almost four years ago. Katona followed up those 16-ounce juices with dairy-free nut milk coffee brews, a perishable, plant-based baby food brand, and a new line of nutrient-packed probiotic wellness shots. She already has one small, grab-and-go brick-and-mortar in the skyway, and her wares are distributed at more than 1,000 stores nationwide, including Target.
"We're so much more than a juice company now," Katona tells us.
It's why she recently rebranded as "So Good So You," and it's why, this winter, she'll bring an additional location to the Minneapolis skyway, one that's three times as large as her current location.
The second SGSY brick-and-mortar will showcase even more new options. The headliners: filling, nutrient-dense, plant-based bowls designed to have at least 25 grams of protein each, plus an expanded array of gourmet salads and tartines -- “beautiful, fancy toasts” to satiate your stomach and beautify your Instagram feed. (“It has to look beautiful," Katona says, “not only for Instagramming purposes, but because when it’s beautiful that makes it appetizing. You want to eat it.") They'll also have more smoothies and smoothie bowls, along with several hand-crafted warm and cold beverages.
You've no doubt noticed that phrase -- "plant-based" -- is coming up a lot. “We are 100-percent plant-based company," Katona says. Meaning: "All of the products that we make are vegan, but we don’t use that word."
Why? Well, because people still tend to conflate "vegan" with "carrot sticks and hummus and nothing else," and that's not what SGSY is about. Katona's kitchen is state-of-the-art, and she's consulting with local chefs who specialize in produce-driven food to create an experience that's as an enjoyable on the culinary side as it is good for the body. You won't find wilted spinach and sad tomatoes languishing in a fluorescent-lit display here; Katona says these are chef-driven dishes that are pleasing to look at, carefully plated, and delicious.
Katona's aiming for a January debut for SGSY's latest, so if you spend your December, say, going to a bunch of holiday parties, eating and drinking entirely too much, and pretty much pretending calories don't count?
“We’re going to be right there for you,” she chuckles. “Anything and everything that we have is going to make people feel great and help them move towards their goal of feeling awesome and being healthier. That’s how food should make you feel.”