Why did you start LoMo Juice Co.?

As high school students at Hinsdale Central, Lauren (Kneupfer) Rozum and Melissa (Gamauf) Abraham had big dreams, one of which was to one day be partners in a business of their own.

"We didn't know what we were going to do," Abraham said, but the answer became evident soon after she moved back to her hometown from Chicago. Abraham asked Rozum, who was already living in Hinsdale, to recommend a local juice spot. Abraham said she was surprised to learn there was no such thing anywhere near her new home.

"In the city, there's a juice bar on every corner," Abraham said.

Wanting to fill her own need and that of the community, Abraham teamed up with her longtime friend to form LoMo Juice Co., a line of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices made without artificial colors, additives or preservatives.

"What you see is what you get," Rozum said.

Along with fresh and largely organic ingredients, the secret to LoMo's great flavor and texture is the company's huge commercial juicer, Abraham and Rozum said. Located in a commercial kitchen in Westmont, it turns out up to 500 bottles of juice every Tuesday for distribution to several local retailers and pickup points.

After months of testing recipes and developing a marketing plan, LoMo made its first batch of juice available last October.

"We sold out in 15 minutes," Abraham said.

Prior to opening the business, Rozum was making her own juices at home, and dealing with the mess that came with it. Many people stay away from at-home juicing for just that reason, she said. LoMo lets them enjoy the health benefits of fresh juice without the mess.

Unlike home juicers, LoMo's equipment uses extreme pressure to extract juice, nutrients and fiber from every part of the fruits and vegetables, creating a product that's healthier and tastier than other juices.

"The taste is unmatched," Abraham said.

The two said they hope it won't be long before LoMo juices and a host of other healthy options are available to enjoy in a nearby storefront. Until then, LoMo juice is available in Hinsdale at The Fruit Store, Cafe LaFortuna and Shred 415. Online pre-orders can be picked up in town at Cafe LaFortuna. Because of the freshness and perishability of the product, orders cannot be shipped.

Rozum said it's hard to name the most popular flavor from the six concoctions on the LoMo menu. She said Kale Mary is a favorite amongst vegetable lovers, while kids tend to enjoy Bee Cause I Said So. The sweet mix of strawberry, pineapple, apple, lemon and raw honey is a healthy alternative to a juice box. Older customers have been known to pair it with tequila, Rozum said, resulting in a tasty cocktail without added sugar.

Moving Right Along is a surprise favorite of many who thought they didn't like beets, Rozum said. Mixed with pineapple apple, pear and ginger, it's proving to be a hit.

"People love that one," she said.

Rozum said she and Abraham are grateful for the support of the community. The two lifelong friends said they're proud to offer a simple, tasty way for their friends, families and neighbors to eat better and feel better.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean