Interview With Cullen Farrell: Rijuice Founder

Linette Arroyo
Dec 17, 2015 · 6 min read

Currently, Rijuice has six employees:

· Cullen Farrell — Founder, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of San Diego, certification in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University. Prior to rijuice, Cullen was a trader for a startup precious metals company in Chicago. Born and raised in Lancaster, PA

· Kyle Ober — Co-Founder, Operations, Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of San Diego. Kyle studied and worked in Architecture for a year after college in Philadelphia before joining Cullen in Lancaster to start rijuice

· Dr. Ross Martin-Wells, PhD — Development, Bachelor of Arts in Physics & Astronomy from Carleton College, Phd in Physics from Penn State University. Ross was a physics professor, and has been involved in various startups from technology to business consulting.

· Mike Tifft — Research, studied Biology at Dickinson University, born and raised in Lancaster, PA

· Rafaed Pozzi — Head Chef — native to Puerto Rico, moved to Lancaster 15 years ago, worked at Turkey Hill for many years until joining the rijuice team in 2015. Rafaed has years of interest and personal investigation in the realm of raw and plant-based eating as well as agriculture.

· Evan Schultz — Kitchen Operations — native to Lancaster, PA, CTC Certificate in Photography, self taught in music since the age of 12, front man for Early Life Forms — a band from Lancaster City.

The story behind Rijuice.

Rijuice was started in 2013, when Cullen decided to leave his desk job as a trader for a startup bullion company that was based in Chicago. Coincidentally, the company moved its operations back to Lancaster his hometown. Upon return, Cullen became increasing disinterested in the office culture, sitting at a desk for upwards of 8–14 hours, trading what was supposed to be the end all be all of commodities. Gold and silver. Even here, in this thriving market. Cullen found no purpose. He wanted to find something that would hold value forever. He felt that health and in particular, food was the industry for him. Food is for everyone. No matter who you are. He became immensely infatuated with the practice of juicing — nothing sounded greater or smarter to him than flooding your system with high frequency living food from the Earth on a daily basis. Once he started he knew he had to share and he found that by being in Lancaster County there was no better place to be. We are surrounded by the best non-irrigated soil in the world. The best soil meant the best plants, the best farmers, the best practices, the best produce, which meant the best and most nutrient dense juice in the world. He had to share. He had to scale this. To him it was more valuable than gold and silver. The vision was born.

Where are the ingredients obtained for Rijuice?

Cullen: About 70% of our ingredients are sourced right here in Lancaster County, the only exception is the citrus in our juices (grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, orange) and even those are sourced from a Lancaster Company — Four Seasons in Ephrata. We harvest our greens, root vegetables, and tubers from Lancaster names like Buckhill Farms, Lancaster Farm Fresh Coop, Tom Culton, Earl Groff, Oasis Bird in Hand, Alex Wenger of The Field’s Edge (and we get our organic apples currently from Oyler’s Farms in Gettysburg.

Sourcing has become incredibly important to us if not the single most important thing in our business, as it has the highest impact on the quality of our products. We are so blessed by the abundance here in Lancaster in regards to the vegetables and variety we can receive. We are however, becoming increasingly more interested in the citrus side of our business as well, and are looking into ways to gain more direct relationships with citrus growers regionally here down the East Coast and even into Puerto Rico as we can’t get enough of certain exotic flavors like Passion Fruit and Papaya, among others.

How do you choose which ingredients to blend together?

Cullen: Experiment. We are always always experimenting in the kitchen every single week. Nature dictates this as well for us. If something is in season, that we think we can juice, we will bring it in and let Rafaed work his magic. Chef Rafaed truly has an incredible pallet — he can make almost anything work, and can deliver flavors that you didn’t even know were possible. This is something we pride ourselves on. We know that no one in the world is making juice blends like us or is even trying. We dance in both the world of juice for flavor as well as juice for well being. We like to think that we make a juice for everyone, so that everyone can be brought into the power of accessing real food in an exciting way.

The unique blends we make are exclusively at Lancaster Central Market (for the time being). Someday we hope to make some of these more unique combinations we do available online for juice fanatics that want new experiences and flavors than the traditional.

What makes Rijuice different than other juice?

Cullen: The uniqueness of our market specials as discussed above are certainly one thing that make us stand out from any other juice company. The other simple thing would be that our juices are crafted from produce right here in Lancaster County. Lancaster has the best non-irrigated soil in the world. With this, one could boast, that are plants are much healthier and vigorous than in other agricultural regions. If this is the case, our juice is much healthier. It may have the same ingredients as another juice company, but we will take Lancaster kale over California kale anyday. Lastly, is our intention. We have always held a base the basic intention of Healing and love in our juices. This isn’t a measurable quality of course, but we believe it has always come through.

Is there a place to obtain nutritional information, such as calories, sugar, or vitamins for Rijuice?

Cullen: Currently, we are selling 6 juice flavors in about 20 different stores here in the region. Our current 6 standard flavors all have nutritional information on the back of their labels and this information will be made readily available on our website. Due to the ever-changing nature of our market specials it is hard to calculate this information for those. You can at the very least be safe in knowing that it is always real, raw and unprocessed food that is going into our beverages. You simply can’t beat that.

What is your most popular juice?

Cullen: When we make the Passion fruit juice, it seems to just fly off the shelves. However, of our 6 standard recipes available at market and in stores — our kale/spinach/apple/lemon juice or “A Million Bucks” as we call it is by far our most popular blend.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about Rijuice?

Cullen: Rí is actually the ancient Gaeilc word for King, thus rendering “The King of Juices” We decided on this in 2013.

When we opened for business in 2014 (a year later) we started at Tellus360, an irish owned and run pub on King St. We’ve always felt a strong synchronicity with our name. Pretty cool.

Other things to look out for in the future — We really want to do some of our own farming. Whether that’s getting some of our own land here in Lancaster or taking things to the future with vertical indoor agriculture (which we have been exploring) We want to take our journey to the next level. We are a bottom up company and we want to keep it that way forever. Vertical integration would be the dream, and we believe it’s attainable.

Also, be on the lookout for some seriously cool (and accessible) product developments/partnerships/collaborations in 2016. This community is really coming together and we are excited to be apart of it!