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

Stuff to do this weekend

It's Halloween. And it's the weekend, so there's plenty of stuff to do. After the jump we've assembled a bag of fun-sized treats for your... (more)

Morning Blend

The Albany metro area "registered a significant uptick in the number of residents living below the poverty line" between 2012 and 2013, according to an... (more)

A look inside The Shop in Troy

This Friday marks the grand opening for The Shop, a new restaurant and bar in downtown Troy. It's the third commercial space to open at... (more)

Pizzaween

Pizza fact of the day: We've heard a few times that Halloween is one of the busiest days of the year for pizza shops. How... (more)

NANOvember 2014

The entity now known as the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is taking over the month of... (more)

Recent Comments

... as somebody who is interested in developing downtown and possibly starting a business there, but isn't Columbia development, what message do those tax breaks send to me? The smaller players who will do the type of infill, mixed use development that we really need get discouraged when they see that only the big guys get any support from the city and that the playing field is tilted against them ...

A young, active church congregation?

...has 9 comments, most recently from Katie

Impact Downtown Albany's vision of what the city's downtown could be

...has 11 comments, most recently from J

Chicken parm at D'Raymonds

...has 7 comments, most recently from Mary

A look inside The Shop in Troy

...has 7 comments, most recently from Cyril

A look inside Wolff's Biergarten Schenectady

...has 9 comments, most recently from Dark Helmet