By Mario Toneguzzi
ELXR Juice Lab, which provides healthy alternatives to conventional food products, continues to see a growing market in what it sells and that’s leading to expansion plans for the company.
It has opened three permanent retail locations in Toronto in the past few months with more opening by the end of this year.
Dan Gelshteyn, founder of ELXR, said more permanent retail locations are in the company’s long-term plans.
“Because of the format of our business, everything is grab and go a lot of it is made off-site. It’s kind of quick service. So we’re looking really for high traffic areas that work with our demographic. All of our stores are under 500 square feet. That’s kind of what we’re looking for throughout the city,” he said.
“We’re trying to open up at least a few more by fall and then continuing from there.”
Gelshteyn said the company is hoping to open three more permanent locations this year. It will also have a few pop-up locations.
“Here and there, wherever there’s opportunities and we feel it’s a good fit for our brand. I really like the idea of pop-ups because they give us a lot of knowledge on who our target customer is,” he added.
The company says it believes in going back to its roots to promote longevity and reliance on simple, unadulterated wholesome nutrition for whole body nourishment.
It sells cold-pressed juices, protein-dense plant-based milks, waters booster shots and cleanse packages.
“There’s a huge health movement going on . . . It’s a really convenient way for people to access their daily nutrients especially for a city like Toronto where people are on the go. Moving, moving, moving. And sometimes they forget to get a healthy lunch or don’t have time to fully sit down. So it’s a really great solution for people on the go,” said Gelshteyn.
“And with juices, effectively they’re absorbed into your bloodstream within 10 to 15 minutes so you instantly feel a lot better after consuming such a product with so many live enzymes and nutrients.”
The company launched at the beginning of 2015.
“The first year we just did strictly wholesale. We set up a lot of partners within Toronto where we supplied different cafes, grocery stores, with our cold-pressed juices. In the second year of business we started with our pop-up approach,” said Gelshteyn.
Two pop-ups opened at the corner of King Street and Spadina Avenue as well at the Bayview Village shopping centre.
“We just wanted to test retail. We’ve always been really passionate about the retail side of the business and being able to communicate with our customers and being able to understand from a product development standpoint and to create more of an experience instead of just sending it to different stores and hoping that people understand our products. The pop-ups were a really big success.”
A location in Yorkville Village opened last October. It was the company’s first permanent location. The second permanent location at King and Spadina opened towards the end of November. And the third permanent location at Bayview Village opened in mid-March.
ELXR products can also be found in several other stores throughout Toronto.
Gelshteyn said the company hopes to eventually expand to about 10 locations in Toronto with the possibility the brand could grow in the future outside the city.
“We work with different offices in downtown Toronto where we have different solutions depending on the amount of employees and the type of office it is. We do everything from setting up mini fridges in offices and replenishing daily juices for anyone working in the office to grab,” he said.
The company name derives from the word elixir which is a magical or medicinal potion, a substance believed to cure ills and maintain a healthy life.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.