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Meet the CEO of Urban Remedy

Here’s the scoop on why the organic food company set up shop in the East Bay


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by Olivia Vigo

Since joining Urban Remedy three years ago, CEO Paul Coletta has transformed the former online-only organic food company into one of the top local options for a quick, healthy meal, with kiosks in Whole Foods stores across the Bay Area and three (soon to be four) new shops in the East Bay. We talked to the Orinda resident about how the company differs from other juice businesses and why big food is a big problem.

 

Q: Why did you decide to bring stand-alone Urban Remedy stores to the East Bay, first in Walnut Creek and Lafayette, and then Berkeley and (coming in May) Oakland?

A: We came into the East Bay with a certain amount of conviction by opening these stores. I’ve lived in Orinda for about a decade now, and what I know to be true is that the East Bay consumer appreciates better, healthier food. But it felt like the East Bay had developed less around the area of healthy prepared meals. There was certainly the customer, but there were fewer choices than in the city or the South Bay.

 

Q: Some people would argue that the cold-pressed juice industry is already pretty saturated. How does Urban Remedy stand out?

A: We’re not a juice company; we’re an organic food company that does great organic cold-pressed juices.

Everything is certified organic and certified non-GMO. And it’s probably the lowest glycemic cold-pressed juice in the marketplace: Our juices do not have any added sugar.

And 100 percent of what we make is produced in Point Richmond at one of the largest certified organic food production facilities in the Bay Area.

Operating our own food hub allows us to deliver superfresh products from local farms, without sacrificing quality, food safety, or profit. Big food systems aren’t optimized to meet the growing demand for fresh local food.

 

Q: What do you mean when you say “big food”?

A: I’m talking about our industrialized food system in America. Over many years, big food has negatively impacted both people and the planet by focusing on centralization, efficiency, and engineering food systems to increase profits. We believe the future of food is fresh. Today’s customer will demand a shift to more clean, fresh food. urbanremedy.com.

 

Coletta’s Urban Remedy Picks:

1. The Bar: “It’s a fresh bar; it has 11 grams of protein and only eight grams of sugar; and it’s all plant-based protein.”

2. The Glow green juice: “Glow has E3 Live, an aqua botanical superfood. It’s very low glycemic and tastes great.”

3. The new animal proteins, specifically the salmon: “Last year, we introduced sustainable animal proteins, including sustainably farmed salmon.”

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