Located in the “hart” of Lethbridge’s downtown, Solstice Juice Co is locally owned and operated by two sustainability enthusiasts. Lauren Hart is the founding owner of Solstice and HeartSpace Studio, and Lauren Scherloski is it’s newest co-owner. Together they have been creating unlikely but healthy and more importantly, tasty juice combinations to complement their bustling yoga studio.
If you own a juicer you might notice the amount of leftover fruit pulp and waste there is. Now imagine doing it on a commercial level. Each week Solstice creates a rotating batch of their fresh pressed juices to be distributed at their location, bi-weekly at the summer farmers market, and through various retailers in Southern Alberta.
From the beginning, Lauren Hart has worked hard to reduce the waste coming out of her shop. It all began with selling their juice in glass bottles. While there is no deposit on the bottle, if a customer chooses to bring back their glass juice bottles they are given a $1 credit towards their next purchase. They are commercially cleaned and put back into rotation; a process which hasn’t slowed during COVID-19 times, and they are proud that they are able to offer this sustainable option for their customers.
Next they addressed their food waste. Each week Solstice estimates they go through 250lbs of various fruits, veggies, and nuts to create their product. From there they estimate that nearly 80lbs of that will be turned to pulp through the juicing process, which Lauren Scherloski takes home to compost at her own home composting system or she’ll keep stems for stock or to regrow. On special occasions, like during their women's new moon circle hosted by their mother company - HeartSpace, they’ll create treats from the pulp for their guests.
The girls aren’t done yet though, and have been working with local farmers Free Folk Farms and Rubens Veggie Barn to ensure the juice they offer doesn’t come with a carbon footprint from travelling large distances. Other plans in the works are eventually having an approved and licensed garden of their own to pick and press from, but until then they’re happy to support local growers!
So if you’re looking for a fresh juice that is locally made, locally sourced, and locally distributed, check out Solstice Juice Co in the restored Oliver Building, at the Saturday Farmers Market, anytime at Purple Carrot Health Foods Store or Umami, or at the Kommon in Medicine Hat.
Written by Erin Hanrahan.
Leftover food from making the juice are taken to backyard compost.Website=