Two important influences in Lamarion Spence’s life growing up were his grandmother and his godmother, both excellent cooks.
“They each had a garden and cooked with fresh ingredients. My godmother’s garden was in the backyard of her brownstone in Brooklyn. She was a very creative cook and amazing dishes came from the produce she grew. My grandmother in Chattanooga, Tennessee, specialized in traditional Black Southern cooking. At her house, she served ‘Sunday dinner’ every day, superbly made, all fresh. She didn’t believe in leftovers, and those of us at her table were happy to oblige.”
Looking back on this family heritage, Spence is convinced how much good nutrition is foundational to the full development of children: academically, socially, and emotionally.
His career with food and wine companies sparked other ideas, specifically alternative uses of products that would otherwise be considered waste or excess, just part of the cost of doing business. He also became convinced that buying something is as much about the experience as the product.
“California is an anomaly. We have the best soil on the planet, almost anything will grow here, but I recognized that a lot of produce goes to waste because it doesn’t look appealing. Farmers even factor that into their projections, knowing that they won’t be able to sell everything they grow. I figured we could solve two problems at once: contract with them for their oddly-shaped or under-sized produce, and guarantee our company a wholesale supply of affordable, fresh and high-quality produce for our juices.”
Spence recognized that fresh juice was the most efficient way to deliver good nutrition, especially to children. “Once kids become habituated to the sugary taste of soda, it’s hard to break that habit as they grow up. We asked, ‘Can we make a beverage that competes with the attributes of that soda, but that’s good for you?’ Kids’ taste buds are super sensitive, so it has to taste good as well as be good for them. They can’t have to hold their nose to swallow it.”
“Juicing has been around for a long time, but a lot of the focus has been on losing weight. And as something become a fad, it often becomes more expensive – it excludes rather than includes. We ask our customers to look at the back of every label and see the ingredients, because we want our juices to appeal to everyone.”
“The great taste of our juices supports our mission of sustaining a healthy quality of life. I know from being in the wine business, that if it’s thought of as ‘special,’ it’s an occasional purchase. However, we want Seeded Juice to be a routine purchase in the grocery cart, maybe along with a six-pack and a bottle of wine,” Spence says with a smile in his voice.