We’ve been stocking Almighty Juices since they approached us in 2016 and it’s always been clear to us that these hero suppliers of ours are driven by their values. I sat down with Adán, co-founder of Almighty at his café, Milk Crate on Ghuznee st, Wellington to find out more.
Adán grew up in the North West of the USA and later moved to Mexico City where he worked with homeless children teaching music, art, numeracy, literacy and basic survival and social skills. After studying law, he came to New Zealand to start a family and completed a masters in education. Helping young people has always been a priority for Adán and he brings that into his business wherever he can.
How did Almighty begin?
After studying, I started playing music and working in some bars across Wellington – including Matterhorn which I later became one of the owners of. After that, I partnered with Ben Lenart who owned Milk Crate and together, we sought partners to help us out with our businesses - one being a café called August which we turned into a cold-press juicery.
We were then approached by Karma Cola who wanted to know if we could make our juice for them as part of their fridge strategy. Karma Cola wanted to be a one stop shop for cafés, to bring in fridges which would provide everything the café needed: from fizzy drinks to juice to coconut water. They would ensure the products were certified organic so that the café owner and customers could rest assured that they were getting the best quality, ethical drinks in one easy place. We couldn’t wholesale our cold-pressed juices across the country so we set out to create the organic juices which we sell now. And that’s how Almighty juices was born.
Karma Cola are now our distributors and strategic partners. They have very strong ideals that are similar to ours and they’ve been around a fair bit longer than we have so we can learn a lot from them, they’re a great company to work with.
Can you speak to how values effect the choices you make as a business?
We didn’t want to create a business just to make juice, we wanted to create a social innovation side of it as well. That’s when we began partnering with Garden to Table in Auckland and the Common Unity project in Wellington. Each of us spends 2-3 hours a week in the gardens with the kids teaching them how to grow and cook fresh organic produce using purely organic practices. Proceeds from each bottle of Almighty sold also go to these garden programmes.
All of Almighty’s juices are certified organic (by BioGro) and that’s something that’s never going to change. We work with producers around the country and when we can’t find particular produce domestically, we go off-shore. Our turmeric comes from Fiji, oranges form Mexico and guava from Brazil, and these are all organic too.
What is the main driving force behind Almighty?
There are a lot of opportunities for us to do a lot of different things in our business but the thing we’re constantly asking ourselves is whether it relates to people, place and produce.
We want to encourage people to begin having more conversations around future food solutions. Cities in New Zealand as well as all over the world are fast growing and food scarcity is going to be an issue so we feel we need to take a look at that and have a serious think about what we’re going to do. Maybe there are ways in which we can produce our own food more efficiently and put less strain on other communities that are still being forced to produce food in exploitative ways. It’s a really big issue and it’s not something we think we’re going to be able to tackle alone, nor do we think we have the capability or capacity to change the world in that way but we just want to do our bit.
What’s next for Almighty?
We’re now exporting to Australia – to Melbourne and Sydney. We’ve got some really strong distribution partners that have similar ideas to us but we’re also looking for some other social enterprise partners over there. We want to be able to sell our products over there and have people feel comfortable about part of the proceeds going to Australian gardening projects as opposed to being sent back to New Zealand.
We’re also looking to launch some new products later in the year with much more focus on health and wellbeing but sticking to the approach we have to unique flavours. The new drinks will revolve around vegetables and superfoods with extra added health benefits. We’re sourcing ingredients for those now and making sure we can source and produce everything within a price point which makes them accessible.
We’re excited to try these new juices and are stoked to be supplying products from these admirable, ethical guys. To find out more, visit drinkalmighty.com or buy one of their delicious juices on our online store.