Green Smoothies: An Expression of Values!

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Bonju

‘You are what you eat.’

A simple dictum to stress that to be healthy, eat healthily.

That light sweetness in each juice comes only from the fruit – never from sugar or anything added – so it’s really important our fruits and veggies are of the best quality!

For Judy Okten, this dictum became her personal and professional passion.

Judy is the founder of BONJU, a fast-growing startup focusing on healthy living. Launched in 2016, the company’s mission is to energise people through the power of super-smoothies – handcrafted daily in Geneva and made of raw leafy greens, fruits and superfoods, delivered direct to your home.

GBN took the opportunity to interview Judy to get a first-hand account about her remarkable journey that led to the creation of the Geneva-based healthy juice business.

 

At the Lab

We met her in Eaux-Vives, where she has a small space to create and experiment. It is her own private laboratory, “that I was finally able to secure after a lot of door knocking around town.”

Her ‘test-bed’ location is very different from Judy’s marketing background. She started her career in her native Canada, mostly at Procter & Gamble, who posted her to Geneva.

While at P&G, she became interested in healthy living. In her spare time took a course on plant-based diets at Cornell University, and studied to be a health coach and vegan chef.

 

50 Testers

BONJUYet it was with smoothies where her interest lay to improve people’s health.

The health benefits of these beverages support her calling. Scientific evidence shows that plant-based diets contribute to substantial risk reduction of developing chronic conditions and disease such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. As part of this growing awareness, green smoothies have become popular recently.

…healthy living is about living it daily, and making the correct daily choice…

Like any good marketing professional, she began test trails and surveys before launching her product. “We recruited 50 people working in companies in Geneva, delivering daily smoothies for free for a week to do a product survey.”

The feedback was impressive. “One hundred percent felt more energy,” Judy told us, “and 100 percent had better digestion and 100 percent would recommend the product to a friend.”

For Judy this was incredibly rewarding. “So our thought was, just do it!” She was helping people, and doing what she loves. Judy stared blending smoothies at home to sell and from there the company has kept growing.

 

Stepping Out Alone – Just Do It

BONJUAsked what was the hardest part of starting her company, Judy says, “the hardest part of starting was…starting! As in finding a way to start that was not too capital intensive. You need to find a balance between how much do you invest today to equip it the company for tomorrow, and against that having cash flow. Overall, it is very rewarding and the company expresses my values.”

Her experience at P&G assisted a lot to develop her skills to help grow the company. “My mentors and advisors are from P&G, but at the company you move slowly and diligently, but when starting your own small company, you have to move fast…you just have to get the product out there! Sometimes I have to say to myself, I have the knowledge, and have the information, let’s just go! Don’t over think it. You cannot be trapped in your mind. You have to ask yourself if this makes you happy. If the purpose is right, just go for it!”

 

The Power of Smoothies

As Judy says, healthy living is about living it daily, and making the correct daily choice. If you can choose an action that helps you make other good choices, why you wouldn’t make that choice.

“Greens give you tones of energy. And then we added the healthy fats – omega 3 fats – as it helps you stay fuller longer. It’s a game changer. They start off all kinds of positive changes in your life. I feel light. I feel ready all the time. It cuts the sugar cravings, and changes your palate so you crave greens, helping people to lose weight and get more energy. We call them hits of happiness!”

That light sweetness in each juice comes only from the fruit – never from sugar or anything added – so it’s really important our fruits and veggies are of the best quality!

For Judy, however, smoothies is just the start. “We are also doing brunches, doing smoothie bowls full of goodness! This expresses the whole philosophy of the brand. It is a lot more personal and it is about the lifestyle. The fact that it tastes good too makes it all the more accessible.”

BONJUTaste and freshness are everything for BONJU. “We use only the freshest, ripest ingredients that are mostly locally sourced, everyday. That light sweetness in each juice comes only from the fruit – never from sugar or anything added – so it’s really important our fruits and veggies are of the best quality!”

One of her long-term goals is to open a vegan shop where the can do brunches, wellness talks, and cooking lessons. “We would love to see BONJU expand beyond Geneva to all over Switzerland, so to continue to connect more people to this healthy lifestyle.”

Every day, BONJU delivers to companies around Geneva, and there is a home delivery service six days a week. For more information on these services, visit bonju.ch and tap into a healthy lifestyle and use these exciting products to express your own personal pursuit of healthy values.

BONJU products can also be purchased in the following stores:

  • Manor (Central Geneva, Chavannes, Vesenaz)
  • Boréal Cafe (Rue Jargonnant, rue du Stand)
  • El Salad (Rue des Etuves)
  • Mango Deck (Cours de Rive, Bourg-de-Four)
  • Le Snack (Geneva Airport)
Jessica Sanabria De Mestral Jessica Sanabria De Mestral

I am passionate about healthy lifestyles, nutrition and wellness. My background is in helping small and family companies grow and be efficient. My experience in international environments has required me to work in English, Spanish and French, whilst learning about and experiencing a wide range of cultural attitudes and perspectives.

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