Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 | 7:08 p.m.
Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach spends family time in La Jolla, Calif., after returning to the United States from his annual Italian travels, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their words of wisdom.
We continue today with The Juice Standard co-founder Jamie Stephenson, our weekly contributing chef Ben Vaughn and shoe kingpin Steve Madden, who answers our 10 Questions and is in town for MAGIC.
The Juice Standard was born to let Las Vegas residents buy organic, reduce waste and heal their bodies one bottle of cold-pressed juice at a time. But before the company served juice to its fans, juice itself needed to turn someone important into a believer: its founder.
Jamie Stephenson is the co-founder and CEO of The Juice Standard, Las Vegas’ only cold-pressed juicery serving juices and nutmilks from 100-percent organic ingredients. Here’s her story:
I’m often asked what motivated my business partner Marcella Williams and me to open The Juice Standard, and it was the result of a health wakeup call — a “come to juicing” moment? — I think many people have experienced if they’ve watched someone die … or, in my case, live.
In 2002, my stepfather Walter was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. He married my mother in 2001, and I recall how good it felt that my mom was happy. Walter was kind, smart (he built UNLV’s first Richter scale for the geology department) and loved sharing knowledge.
He also was patient — and clever. My brother Jason and I were difficult to warm up, and one day, as Walter gushed over the clarity of his walnut-encased Paragon speaker (think precursor to Bose), Jason insisted on blasting his punk album by Rancid to prove it.
Walter obliged with enthusiasm, even walking Jason to the end of our cul-de-sac to see how far away they could make out Ruby Soho’s lyrics. Walter had us. We loved him dearly.
A year after Walter’s prognosis, I moved home to attend UNLV and save to pay off a small debt. I was pudgy and tired all the time. Acne pocked my face, back and shoulders. I was insecure in my skin (literally) but wanted to become someone — do something — important. What that was I didn’t know. Yet.
My mother made a proposition: Live with her rent free, and she would contribute toward school — but I could only eat her cooking. If busted, it was pay rent or move. I agreed, but, once under her roof, my mom droned on about real food. It was, “Eat this, not that.” To which I’d counter, “Whatever: Taco Bell rules!”
I was clueless and defensive, and when my mom insisted that Oreos were bad for me, she made me angry. In my world, salad came from a bag until my mom handed me a basket and shears asking me to harvest that dinner’s greens from the backyard. My neck actually tingled hot with panic.
“We can’t eat that! We grew it!”
“I know. It’s the best. Hurry up. You have 10 minutes.”
She was right. Tender mesclun was bright, tender and slightly spiced. I had hated raw veggies, but after that salad I gradually drank my mom’s green juice and felt good whenever I did. It was the same juice she made Walter every day.
Because after his oncologist said she should “plan for his death, soon,” she insisted that nutrient juice and macrobiotic foods would help Walter withstand chemotherapy and radiation.
Five years later, Walter was in remission, and I had bought my own place. My skin glowed, and I had amazing energy and a deep knowingness that real food works on a cellular level to prevent (reverse?) many ills.
Walter proved that juice was that important because raw, organic produce let me love my family longer. We lost Walter at 73, but we had time for sharing and goodbyes. He died with his feet in my hands. I’ll never forget how that felt.
I co-founded TJS because I experienced how plants — in juice form — are transformative, but our standards transcend merely promoting juice as a holy grail of health. Our cold-press method produces the most effective, convenient way to receive tremendous amounts of nutrients.
TJS uses only 100 percent organic produce (which is 50 percent more nutritious than their conventional counterparts). We bottle in glass — juice tastes colder and cleaner that way — and TJS gives back a buck for each clean bottle returned so we can subtract from our landfills, not add to them.
We’ve mastered making nutritious delicious and aim to prove it one complimentary tasting at a time. Inspired? My story could be yours. Let’s start your health journey, together, one healing bottle at a time.
Visit TJS at “The Hive” (4555 S. Fort Apache Road, Las Vegas), “The Rose” (2530 St. Rose Parkway, Henderson) and JuiceStandard.com. Follow on Instagram @thejuicestandard and at our Facebook page.
Be sure to check out our 10 Questions with shoe designer Steve Madden here for the MAGIC fashion convention while celebrating his 25th anniversary in shoe business, plus our weekly contributing chef Ben Vaughn.
On Wednesday, our guest columnists are celebrity chef Barry S. Dakake of the star-studded N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms and an amazing love story with two of the acrobats in “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.