Three years ago Kristen Trovato wanted to start her own business. There were several things to consider; most important was making sure her customers profited from her service. “When I decided to start a mobile juicing company, the whole business made sense to me,” said Kristen. “I wasn’t selling a product; I was helping someone else create a value added product. The fact I get to turn a profit and my clients do too, is the win/win I was looking for.”
Kristen’s husband, Remo, sold his web design company to work with Kristen after their first year proved highly promising. Now they roam the orchards and fields of British Columbia and create delicious and nutritious juices. At first they only processed apple juice, but after several enquiries they decided to expand to berries and cherries.
“We went to Switzerland and met with manufacturers to learn how to process the cherries,” explained Remo. “We needed an efficient way to separate the cherries from the pits. We added a de-stoner to the unit and got a continuous feed belt press, and now we do all types of berries and cherries.”
They also do peaches and apricots with their juicer on wheels; however, they just de-stone the peaches and provide their customers with the resulting pulp for jams, jellies, cider, spirits and even wine.
The process for juice is simple. Farmers book a time and date and Mobile Juicing drives up to the property with a generator to power their trailer. “We attach the trailer to a water supply and the farmer loads the fruit onto the conveyor,” explained Kristen. “The fruit gets washed and then sent into the mechanism. The juice is then flash pasteurized and packaged in a Bag-In-Box system.”
To make things even easier for farmers, Mobile Juicing provides the Bag-In-Box, with custom designed labels on the boxes (minimum 1500 5L Bag-In-Box).
“We need a minimum of 6,400 lbs. in order for us to come to your farm and process your fruit,” said Remo. “We’ve also figured out a way for people with less fruit to benefit. For example, once we finish up with a farmer, his neighbour can come to where we are and we’ll process what they have while we are in the area.”
“We also do group days,” adds Kristen. “Hobby and small farmers bring their bins to a central location and it becomes a communal event. We are very flexible and want to have lots of options available for our customers. We encourage farmers to invite their neighbours and sometimes we pair people up if they have less than the minimum amount.”
To get an idea of just how much fruit is needed, 200 lbs. fills one press, which equals 12 – 5L boxes of juice. You don’t have to stick to one type of fruit either. The Trovato’s have created some very tasty juices by mixing berries and apples together. For farmers that grow berries and apples, they simply freeze the berries and add them to the apple mix once the apples are at their prime ripeness.
“The fresher the apple the better the juice,” said Remo. “So far we’ve found the best mix for apple juice is a mix of tart and a sweet apples.”
Juicing is also a viable option for farmers who don’t have crop insurance and are left with ugly fruit that won’t sell in grocery stores. “Last year we had two farmers that juiced their entire orchards because of hail damage,” said Kristen, “as long as it is only little dents and misshapen apples, we will juice them.”
Mobile Juicing has travelled everywhere from Salmon Arm to Osoyoos; however, if there’s an opportunity they’ll go anywhere fruit grows in BC.
“We will go to Lower Mainland and into the Similkameen and Kootenays this season,” said Kristen. “All we need is a couple clients and we are there. Even if one farmer wants us, we’ll make enquiries of neighbouring farms to see if they’d like to use our service as well.”
Aside from the 5L boxes, Mobile Juicing has flexible and customizable packaging with their small bottling line and a smaller 3L Bag-In-Box.
Kristen and Remo are looking into ways to use the pulp produced when juicing. “We could make paper from apple pulp or use it as feed for animals, the options are endless. Our service is only limited by our imaginations.”