I won’t soon forget my first experience with Saratoga Springs-based Legacy Juice Works. My dad, who’s a major spice fanatic, gave me a sip of his Big Shot—one of the company’s 12 cold-pressed juices, which is made with apple, lemon, ginger…and cayenne. Needless to say, my mild-suited palate was ill prepared, and it completely cleared my sinuses! Thankfully, Legacy has a number of other more me-friendly flavors, such as Smooth Green (cucumber, apple, kale), and my favorite, Melon Breeze (watermelon, grapefruit and a hint of lime). I’ve since become a big fan.
Who do we have to thank for Legacy’s sweet (and sometimes spicy) legacy? Colin and Christel MacLean, who originally opened the business as Saratoga Juice Bar on Broadway in 2013. Two years later, the couple moved into the wholesale market with Legacy Juice Works, and since then, the brand has exploded, expanding its presence to more than 800 retailers nationwide, including both JFK and LaGuardia airports in NYC, 27 Gelson’s Markets on the West Coast and hundreds of CVS pharmacies. Legacy was even commissioned by Wegmans Food Markets to produce the lone cold-pressed tart cherry juice on the market. “Our store is our innovative lab space,” Christel says. “We use it as a testing space where we create new recipes, mix new flavor profiles and get feedback. You’re hearing things all the time, you’re understanding what people are looking for, and it’s great to be able to take that and develop it for the wholesale market. I think that’s our little secret weapon.”
Aside from making an honest living, one of the MacLeans’ main goals in producing their delicious line of juices is to promote healthy living—and the cold-press process is the key. Each 12-ounce bottle has the juice of approximately three pounds (!) of fresh produce in it. After each bottle is filled, it goes into what’s called a cold-water chamber. There, it gets hit from all sides with 87,000 pounds of pressure, killing any bacteria but keeping the active enzymes and vitamins intact. The finished product retains 100 percent of its raw ingredients’ nutrients.
So why choose Saratoga for their company’s HQ? “Saratoga’s so unique: People really do care about wellness and playing hard, but being healthy at the same time,” Christel says. I know exactly what she’s talking about. As someone who plays hard and stays healthy—but sometimes skips my daily dose of fresh fruits and vegetables—I find Legacy Juice Works the perfect liquid meal. (Hold the cayenne, please!)