There was someone that’s been juicing way longer than juicing’s been cool: That person is Melvin Major Jr. (of Melvin’s Juice Box), a twenty-year veteran of all things liquid cleansing. Major’s been pushing juices in NYC for two decades and has garnered a cult following that includes some serious celebrity clients.
Even though WWD this week exposed 1/2 of The New Potato’s failed attempts at cleansing, that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a great juice when we taste one (or a cool juicer when we see one). We chatted with Melvin about how the juicing fad has changed, why he personally keeps it clean and the time Russell Crowe walked in…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
I first start my day with a glass of lemon water, followed by green juice, “Body Good”, a Nut Milk and a “Garden of Vegan” later in the afternoon. I usually have one meal and that’s around 6pm, mostly stewed dishes, grilled fish and lot’s of rice
You were juicing twenty years ago. What do you think about the fact that it’s so huge now?
I’ve found that everyone today is into health. They now know that juices don’t just taste good, they feed your body with the right nutrients and fibers. When I started juicing it was more of a hippie fad. Over the last few years juicing has become this huge phenomenon, so I felt it was my duty to share my love and method for juicing with the New York City community.
Are people doing it the right way?
There’s only one way to juicing and its always right. As long as you are putting fresh fruits and vegetables into your body, you can’t go wrong!
Your personal mantra…
I believe in treating people well and spreading love.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like Nike and Adidas, sweat pants, and bright shirts. I love colors.
What’s your most memorable celebrity juicing experience?
Russell Crowe. I went crazy when he walked in and yelled out “Gladiator!”.
Do you have a favorite celeb juicer? Who is and why?
Christy Turlington. When I first met her, I didn’t even know who she was. She loved to hang out at the bar. We used to talk a lot and I taught her a few tricks. She now juices herself…I guess I lost a customer.
Do you know what juices are best for skin and why?
All I know is that our centrifugal method of extracting juices for our blended smoothies is a better way to keep all of the essential nutrients. We end up using more fruits and vegetables, allowing for more fiber and pulp in each juice that we produce. Our juices are good for your skin, body, and mind.
Is cleansing necessary? Is it way more beneficial than just having a juice on a regular day?
Cleanses are a great way to detox and rejuvenate your body. I wanted to introduce a cleanse to our menu because they relieve the buildup of toxins, hydrate your skin, improve digestion while building immunity, and recharge your system with essential vitamins and minerals.
What do you have to be careful of when you bottle juices in terms of freshness?
We do not like to have any of our juices lying out on a shelf. Our mission is to make each juice with a lot of love. For all other juices, just be aware of an expiration date and how it is stored, but daily fresh is always best.
A common misconception about juicing…
Pink coconut water, which some companies advertise as “special,” is really about to go rancid and is not good to consume. Coconut water should always be clear. Another one is how easily juice bars use the word organic, while we all know that there are only a few places that serve real, organic juices.
What are your vices?
I used to have many, but I left them all in the past. When I started juicing, it changed my life. I took a new, holistic, approach to life.
What bands/songs would be on your ideal playlist right now?
Bob Marley, Stir It Up.
What are your favorite restaurants/food spots in NYC?
Sullivan Bistro is my favorite spot. They have some vegetarian gems on the menu.
What’s ‘the new potato’ of juicing?
Pressed juices, although I don’t follow their method. I use a centrifugal method that doesn’t take the fibers and nutrients out of the juice.
Melvin’s “Body Good” Juice
Makes one 16 oz. serving
2 leaves of kale (Wash and use entire leaf)
2 leaves of collard greens (Wash and use entire leaf)
2 leaves of swiss chard (Wash and use entire leaf)
2 stalks of celery (Wash and use entire stalk)
2 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples (Cut into pieces core and all)
1″ piece of fresh ginger root (Around 1/10th of a medium-sized root, washed)
1 lemon (cut away the peel)
Put all this through the Juice Extractor and mix it all together. Pour from cup to cup and stir it up as Bob Marley would say!
*Melvin recommends (and only juices with) all organic produce.
*Melvin Major Jr. photographed at Melvin’s Juice Box in New York, NY. Juice photo by Alli Shepherd.