Eight years ago, Calgarians Jeff Tumbach and Zack Lister (who has since moved on from the company) noticed a serious void in the market for fresh, clean juices. Frustrated with the use of “natural flavours” and other chemicals in the food system, the duo founded Well Juicery with the goal of making truly healthy beverages available to the masses.
“Naturally flavoured doesn’t mean what you think it means. Natural flavours are, quite literally, chemicals and preservatives, and far from being natural at all,” says Tumbach. “At Well, we’re trying to educate consumers on this particular loophole. The Well promise is that if we wouldn’t feed it to our families, we wouldn’t feed it to yours.”
What started as an apartment-based juicing business that sold products at farmers’ markets has become the largest cold-pressed juice manufacturer in Canada. With 25,000 sq. ft. BRC-certified production facilities in Calgary and Toronto, Well’s lineup of ready-to-drink cold-pressed juices, wellness shots and superfood lemonades are made using only fresh fruits and vegetables and filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Its products are free from any chemicals, preservatives or additives. Specifically, Well’s facilities use Kreuzmayr Belt presses, Aesus and Speedway filling lines and Hiperbaric High Pressure Processing (HPP) technology. In fact, Well was the first Canadian beverage manufacturer to operate HPP technology in-house, which is a cold-pasteurization technique. In recent years, the practice has become more common in the food-processing industry.
“This technology locks in the freshness and nutrient content of our beverages [without heat], which maintains live enzymes and all the good stuff you’re looking for in a raw juice product,” says Tumbach. “Our fresh produce and HPP combined gives Well the most nutrient-dense juices on the market.”
Additionally, Well has expanded into spirit-based RTDs with its Organic Vodka Lemonades, including Spirulina Vodka Lemonade, Charcoal Vodka Lemonade, Green Tea Vodka Lemonade and Hibiscus Vodka Lemonade.
“There’s a movement in the RTD market towards more premium, real-juice components in beverages [as] customers are becoming more aware of product [ingredients] and demanding better,” says Tumbach. “That’s why we developed this alcoholic beverage skew.”
In November 2021, Well scored a national distribution deal with Starbucks Canada to carry three flavours at all 1,300 locations across the country: Be Well (beets, apples and orange carrots), Well OJ (oranges) and Well Greens (leafy greens, apples, lemons and ginger). South of the border, Well has already expanded into many states, including California, Illinois, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.
Over the years, Well has become a trusted brand for quality products, and its aggressive growth strategy is showing no signs of slowing down. More broadly, the company aims to educate consumers on healthy eating and sustainable farming solutions. Recently, Well partnered with Guelph-based Goodleaf Farms to create a line of products using vertically farmed, sustainable and pesticide-free produce.
“Getting positive feedback from our customers is what keeps us going and seeing the brand grow and become more popular is really how we define our success,” says Tumbach. “It’s our mission to help pave the way for fresher products. We’ve had a lot of success and we hope that helps bring other better-for-you brands into the market.”
By Nicole Di Tomasso