Amy Waldman owner of Puree Juice Bar in Bethesda has launched a home delivery service, and with it a vegan commercial kitchen based in Kensington.
The delivery service opened in December and delivers Puree’s juices, raw foods and soups to homes across the DC area, as first reported by Bethesda Magazine’s Table Talk blog. All of the products are freshly made in Waldman’s new vegan commercial kitchen.
When Waldman decided to expand the Puree Juice Bar business, she knew her current store on Elm Street in Bethesda wouldn't be big enough to support the additional orders.
“I needed more production space. I just couldn’t continue in this space and serve the amount of people, customers we were having,” Waldman said of her Bethesda-based business.
When Waldman began looking to rent space within existing commercial production kitchens, she said she couldn't find anything that was really appropriate for raw food production.
“Raw chicken, dairy – it’s not safe, it’s not clean and it’s not vegan," Waldman said of spaces that were already available. "I met other people who were having the same problem. It’s a huge ordeal to sanitize everything before coming in to work.”
From there the idea to create her own vegan commercial kitchen was born. Waldman says she found what she was looking for in a 2,400-square foot space on Metropolitan Avenue in Kensington, the former site of a contractor’s showroom. The space was renovated into a vegan-only commercial kitchen, and is shared by Ape-man Foods and Capital Kombucha, businesses that pay a fee to use the kitchen space. Waldman says with more partners are likely coming.
While scheduling for space is getting a little tight, Waldman says she would be open to bringing in other small commercial productions interested in getting started.
“I would love to be able to help other people out, but it would depend on how much space people need,” she said. “I have to make sure that we all have enough space to work, right now it works well because of our schedules."
Puree begins production of its juices and soups at 4 a.m. and is done by noon. The food is used to stock the Puree storefront and other businesses that sell Waldman's product, as well as home delivery orders.
Waldman says the home delivery service is still in a sort of beta launch, as she’s trying to work out some kinks with the ordering system. She hopes to have a new service launched for the New Year that would allow for easier, more systematic ordering.
“I’m kind of jerry-rigging it right now,” she said. “Deliveries are pretty limited -- just to start we go to Bethesda and Chevy Chase on Tuesday and Friday, Northwest DC on Wednesday and Saturday, and Great Falls, Virginia on Tuesdays and Fridays.”
The delivery fee is $12 flat, but customers can also choose to pick up orders at participating retailers as well.
For more information on home ordering and pick up locations check out the Puree Juice Bar website here.
Will you use the home delivery system? What other vegan options would you like to see come into the area with the new commercial kitchen?