Meet Sabrina Kippur, Founder and Owner of Juice and Salt, an independently owned business based in New York. An advertising pro turned fundraising expert turned juice maker, Sabrina built her juice business to fill a gaping hole in the market. Read on for her company-building story:
What did you do before starting Juice and Salt?
Sabrina Kippur’s career has always revolved around health. After she graduated from college, she worked in advertising, exclusively serving pharmaceutical client accounts. Working in advertising only made her want to help improve people’s health even more — but she wanted to do it more via a more direct channel.
She transitioned to major gifts fundraising for NYU’s Langone Medical Center, supporting the hospital and medical school. “I just loved sitting across from a prospective donor and being able to directly show them the impact of their gifts,” Sabrina said. After several years, she made her next move: to consulting. Even more pivotal to her career was when she earned her pilates certification, which gave her the ability to improve her clients’ health in the most direct, hands-on manner possible.
In 2014, Sabrina became severely ill — so much so that she had to stop working. A viral infection of her brain incapacitated her for several years. When she was able to work again, she started Juice and Salt, a juice company that is the result of the direct impact juice had on her recovery. “This is the complete culmination of my career journey — it’s always been all about other people’s health. Now I can see that I’m making a real impact with every juice I make,” she said.
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What is the Juice and Salt origin story?
In January of 2020, Sabrina took the leap and started Juice and Salt. The name consists of the two components that helped her recover from the viral infection: juice and salt.
Her viral infection affected many areas of her brain, including her hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates the body’s functions that humans don’t have to think about, like breathing, heart rate, and pupil dilation. “It just wasn’t working, and that had vascular implications. It impacted my blood pressure, my digestion, many functions of my body that I had taken for granted.” The problems that this caused are reflected in the six types of juices, custom-made to support customers with certain health conditions, on her menu. Sabrina makes the first and only juices tailored to common health conditions: insulin resistance, iron deficiency, IBS/the low-FODMAP diet, low-histamine diets, high blood pressure, and low blood pressure.
These health conditions were all ones she faced while she was sick — with so many competing health conditions, she couldn’t figure out what to eat to avoid exacerbating issues. “Even a smoothie was too much food for me... I simply could not digest it. I found juice in 2017, when I was at the height of this inexplicable inability to do anything in my body. Even when it was diagnosed, I had to figure out how to manage my illness myself. I started experimenting with juice because it was liquid and the bioavailability of juice was helping me. I was finally reaping the benefits of what I was putting into my body,” Sabrina said.
Before she started Juice and Salt, she would browse juice stores’ selections without success — she was suffering from common conditions, but the juices available didn’t play nice with those conditions. She saw a gaping hole in the industry. “If IBS is the most prominent gastric condition and you have juices with labels that say ‘gut green juice,’ but there are ingredients that inflame the gut, you can’t in good conscience call it gut green juice.”
“It’s hard to figure out what you can have with any condition that affects your body systemically,” Sabrina said. So she took matters into her own hands: she started making juices with the foods she could have. Her histamine intolerance meant that eating high histamine foods would cause her body to produce more histamine. Two high-histamine foods, spinach and lemon, are nearly omnipresent at juice retailers, making it impossible to find an appropriate option that was readily available on the market.
At the end of 2018, Sabrina was enjoying making her own juices, and she started sharing photos of the juices that were helping her cope with various health conditions. It caught on.
When she was ready to return to working, she started collecting feedback from the friends and family she created juice — they loved it. No one else was making such a specialized product. After becoming certified with the New York City health department, finding the right bottles for her juices, creating labels, and establishing a brand, she was ready to launch.
In one sentence, how would you describe your products?
The first and only juices tailored to common health conditions.
What's your favorite way to enjoy your product?
“I have two juices for each of the health conditions I’m focused on, except for the low-histamine and high blood pressure juices, which I offer three juices each for,” Sabrina said. In total, she offers a selection of 14 juices.
Her favorite juice? “My ‘low histamine one’ juice, which is made with apple, beet, celery, ginger, and cilantro. I drink it straight with a straw, but I know that at my launch party in January 2020, some of my guests added vodka.”
Who is another food entrepreneur that you follow? What do you love about them?
“I really admire Zoë Sakoutis and Erica Huss of the Highway to Well podcast. They’re so approachable. The intro that they have on their podcast is that they want to make wellness more approachable,” Sabrina said. “They launched the cold pressed juice industry with BluePrintCleanse. The way that they come off to a target customer, which I consider myself, is so down-to-earth and friendly. They’re open about their company and origin, which is refreshing. They liked something, so they started a company based on it. I feed off of their confidence and the way that they make wellness approachable.”
What's the best thing about your job?
“The ability to help the health of other people.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, Sabrina was able to host a few pop-up events. At one event where she had a tasting table, a dermatologist stopped by and asked the question that Sabrina will never forget: “I understand the concept of consuming only what’s right for you, but why are you saying that juice is better than food?”
“I thanked her for asking. I let her know that my recommendation is always that you have what is right for your body, and that you consume the ingredients that are helping you,” Sabrina said. “I’m just here so that if what helps you is in the form of juice, you can get what’s right for you.”
Juice and Salt exists so that consumers with common health conditions are able to grab the juice that’s right for them — the juice that helps them live the life they need to lead. “This is an opportunity to figure out exactly what’s right for you and own that.”
What advice do you have for aspiring food entrepreneurs?
“Assume that no one else is doing it the way you are. Just do it. Don’t let competition scare you away.”
Learn more about Sabrina and Juice and Salt on Instagram. Join us in the Kitchen, our community of passionate cottage cooks and food business owners.