gold. People come to buy their organic
carrots, and then they can drink their
organic carrots too.
VL: What are you most excited about
MW: We’ve always juiced for color. This
year I’ve got this deep purple carrot. It
actually stains your tongue if you take a
bite of it. Fennel’s a big one for us, and it’s
somewhat hard to find. It’s got amazing
flavor and is really good for digestion.
But the thing I’m most excited about
is tulsi. They call it sacred basil or holy
basil, and it’s a cornerstone of ayurvedic
medicine. It has insane flavor, divine
aroma, and it grows really well and juices
really well. Tulsi is going to be our new
kale in a sense.
VL: Is there anything unusual you’re
buying from another Vermont farm?
MW: Aronia berries, also called choke-berries, from The Farm Between. They’re
a native berry with astronomically high
antioxidant levels, a very deep purple-blue, kind of [a] rare color in nature.
VL: How about an unexpected
ingredient that works well in juice?
MW: Our Sweet Potato Love juice is
sweet potato, pear, and ginger to taste,
and it’s surprisingly good. People aren’t
sure, but then they taste it. I tried my
hand at growing them last year and it
was a fail, but I get gigundo seconds, as
big as small watermelons, from another
VL: Can juice play a role in reducing
food and farm waste?
MW: Every ugly carrot that I grow is
worthy of juicing, so we don’t really
have waste in that regard. And, as much
as I can, I always buy seconds from
VL: At the end of the day, what is the
most rewarding thing about running a
MW: Everyone smiles when you hand
them a juice. When people come up to
me, they feel good about what they’re
doing. I’ve been working a lot and it
feels great. I’m just hanging out, talking
to people, and making them juice. It
doesn’t feel like work. A
“Damn, this is good. This could sell.”
VL: Can you explain the name, Juice
for the People?
MW: The whole thing is to try to
keep the juice accessible and affordable.
Anyone coming off the street with no
experience [buying fresh-pressed juice],
yes, there’s a little bit of sticker shock.
But there’s some education that has to
happen; it’s not expensive for what it
is. The first thing I say is, “we’re a farm,
and we juice everything we grow. In
the summertime, we’re buying almost
everything else local except for lemons
and exotics like turmeric and ginger.”
A lot of it is attitude too. We try to keep
it so anyone can feel comfortable walking
up to us.
VL: Before practicing law, you also
went to art school and worked as an art
teacher. Do any of these skills help in
your current field?
MW: The lawyer thing allowed me to
set up the whole business and jump over
hurdles — the nitty-gritty paperwork,
zoning, and permitting — that could
intimidate a fair amount of people. I had
kind of failed at art. I was a horrible art
teacher, young and intimidated. I really
thought that was a chapter I’d closed.
But then when we opened the first juice
bar, we had to make a cart and we didn’t
have a lot of money. There was a whole
creative process. I got some busted bikes,
chopped them up, made them shiny and
welded them together. I was using my art
skills again in service of this new mission.
VL: It was law school that brought you
to Vermont. What made you stay?
MW: Vermont’s bucolic nature. Its
farms. Vermont Law School is in the
seat of it all. I had come from Albany, the
city, and I just wanted to be in the woods.
I had visited a couple of law schools and
drove to Vermont for an interview. I
knew I wanted to be here.
VL: You’ve sold juice in all sorts of
venues, from the mall to the co-op.
Where does it sell best?
MW: What I learned is you don’t only
need the traffic, you need the right
mindset. The farmers market is absolute