Collar City Hard Pressed

collar city hard pressed jessica garrity

Collar City Hard Pressed's Jessica Garrity

By Lauren Hittinger

Juicing been getting a lot of attention over the last few years. So I was curious about Collar City Hard Pressed, a stand that opened at the Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market during the indoor season this past November. And after trying one of its creations, I was converted. Not only did the juice taste good -- but also you could see exactly what was going into your drink as it was being made.

So I went back to sample more -- and talk with Collar City Hard Pressed owner Jessica Garrity why she started the business, her plans for it, and how she feels about the whole juicing movement.

On this particular Saturday, Collar City Hard Pressed was serving up three different kinds of juice. I tried two of them: "Go for the Green" and "We Got the Beet."

The Go For the Green is made with celery, romaine, cucumber, apple, lemon and spinach. It tastes, in a word, healthy. You can definitely tell it is packed with veggies, but it still has a pleasant and drinkable flavor. My co-taster said it was like souped-up apple juice.

We Got The Beet includes beet, apple, lemon, and ginger. It had a sweet taste, with tangy hints from the ginger. It's my favorite selection so far.

In both recipes you can taste all of the flavors, but the ingredients work well together. Until you get to the very end, the juice has a smooth consistency.

collar city hard pressed juicing

Here's my quick chat with Jessica Garrity:

Why did you start Collar City Hard Pressed?

It's funny because it wasn't something that I thought about for very long or particularly carefully. I found myself basically obsessed with fresh juice and smoothies and was suddenly annoyed that there wasn't a place in my neighborhood where I could get any. I kind of hate leaving my neighborhood on the weekend so just thought it was only fair that we had a juice place here downtown. I also recognized that juicing was a pretty trendy business and thought downtown Troy would be a great place to get to work.

What do you do with all of the juicing waste?

All pulp goes to one my fellow vendors at the farmers market, Mariaville Farms from Delanson. They use the pulp to feed some of their animals. I rarely have produce left over, but if I do, I pass it along to other people at the market who could use it. Troy Compost is also at the market and they helped me out a couple times before Mariaville and I connected.

Personally, what's your perspective on the whole juicing movement?

Ahh. I'm a lover of good, whole, and real foods, and want them available in as many shapes, forms, and places as possible. I think of juice as one of these forms. (I also love a Brown Bag burger once in a while and definitely indulge in Mariaville's bacon on Sunday mornings.)

Food is all about balance to me. Anytime people become obsessed with ONE food and look at it as a miracle or cure all... I think that's a little nuts.

I'm a fan of the juicing movement; meaning juice should be available and incorporated into a healthy balanced diet. Having fresh juice should be an option. I'm not a fan of anything restrictive or that requires you to give up solid food for several days while you exist on some kind of lemon juice cocktail. If there is someone out there that felt great after doing this, more power to them, but I it's not something I could consciously promote or convince people to do. It just seems like a bad idea to me and personally, I would be extremely unhappy and not nice.

Sometimes people ask me about what I eat, or how I eat, and I always go back to the Michael Pollan quote which is old and cliché by now, but always seemed to be the easiest answer to a complicated question: "Eat (real) food... not too much... mostly plants." And not one of them, eat all of them, the good ones.

collar city hard pressed red juice

What are your future plans for CCHP?

To not drop apples onto my first floor neighbors at the market. To start offering bigger to-go containers (people have started bringing small buckets and Tupperware bowls so I figured it's time). And I have some exciting things in the works with other local businesses. I'm mostly planning for the summer market, which I am really looking forward to.

Do you have any plans of opening a retail location?

Yes. Stay tuned.

This interviewed has been edited.
____

Lauren writes about shopping, crafting, and living well on a small budget at The Thrifty Ginger.

Earlier on AOA: A short tour of Capital Region juice counters (2013)

Comments

Yummy! Where does the produce come from? What are the prices for the juice?

J- It's $5 per juice (in the size containers pictured). Jessica told me where her produce was from, but I can't remember for sure right now.

I had the beet juice recently, really good, sweet, tart, and you could taste everything (lemon and ginger worked really well with the beet). $5 I think!

Love me some of Jess' fresh juice on a Saturday morning!

The beet juice convinced me that I was wrong all this time and that, in fact, I actually DO like beets! Probably just in Jessica's amazing juice blend, but if it gets me to imbibe this well-known "beauty" food and all-around great nutrional player then I'm down! In a word: DELICIOUS!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Capital Region high school graduation rates 2014

The state Department of Education released its annual collection of data about high school graduation rates around the state on Thursday. The statewide graduation rate... (more)

Holiday gifts: Daniel B.

Gifts and giving are on most everyone's mind this month. So we thought we'd ask a few people to share some thoughts on presents, past... (more)

Warmth with flair

Historical object gawking: We came across this photo of a 19th century stove in the Albany Institute collection. It was made by a Troy company... (more)

Crisp Cannoli storefront closing

The Crisp Cannoli in East Greenbush -- you know, the bakery that makes croissant donuts, including an apple cider version -- is closing its storefront... (more)

Local food gifts

We're into the stretch run for December holidays, so we asked Deanna for a few stocking stuffer-type local food gift ideas. Stockings are my favorite... (more)

Recent Comments

... I tend to ask questions that make the person think about what they just said. I ask it sweetly and in a tone that notes confusion on my part. I have been called honey in the office and asked the person, " Can I ask what you mean when you call me honey? Because you don't call John honey." It calls out that he's treating you differently for being a woman. If he still doesn't get it, you can be more direct: "I appreciate that you respect my work and treat me equally, but I wouldn't want others to think otherwise based on how you address me."

Where to get latkes?

...has 10 comments, most recently from E

How New York State generates electricity

...has 6 comments, most recently from Domenic

Miss Pearl: Who you calling honey, sugar?

...has 13 comments, most recently from chrisck

Local food gifts

...has 2 comments, most recently from chrisck

A good endocrinologist?

...has 9 comments, most recently from Karen