Freshly squeezed business

Web and Karen Staunton are not the type of people who pass up their juicy dreams.

The longtime Rogue Valley couple, who plans to open an organic, cold-pressed juice bar in downtown Ashland by November, started a juicing kick last year to stave off the symptoms of Web's diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis — and the results have been tasty.

"If you haven't had a cold-pressed juice, it's like no other juice you've ever had," said Web, who is off his medications and feeling the best he has since being diagnosed in 2002. "When I started juicing, I was feeling better in the first four days."

The Stauntons were unaware of the business implications of their 10-day December juice fast, "but I feel like we were meant to do this, the stars just aligned," Karen said.

"I think Ashland understands the idea of living a healthy and organic lifestyle," she said. "It's really our hometown, and being able to offer this to an already health-conscious community is something we're passionate about."

Web, 55, and Karen, 56, have lived in a rural setting outside Talent for nearly 30 years, they said.

Northwest Raw organic juice bar will be located at 370 E. Main St., where sheets of plywood and NW RAW banners currently cover the storefront next-door to Pasta Piatti.

Once construction is finished on the former laundry mat, the Stauntons' 650-pound, cold-press juicer with 30,000 pounds of pressing power will be carted in.

"The cold-pressed juice is just so good, it has three to five times more enzymes," said Web, talking through a tutorial on the industrial-strength machine capable of squeezing out 20 gallons of juice each hour.

The difference between any cold-press juicer and more common centrifugal-force juicer is temperature. The grinder of a centrifugal-force juicer turns at a higher rate of speed, generating heat that destroys some of the enzymes in the fruit and vegetables moving through it.

In addition to a half-dozen juices, a handful of smoothie options and nut-milk choices, Northwest Raw will also serve large salads and wraps and offer protein options, the Stauntons said.

"It will be a heavy vegetarian menu," Web said. "We're not vegetarian but we understand the importance of making raw, organic foods a significant part of your diet."

Nothing that is genetically modified will be served at Northwest Raw, the couple said.

"If it's not available organic, we're not going to use it," Web said.

"We're passionate about organic, raw, non-GMO food."

Eventually Northwest Raw would like to open multiple juice bars, the Stauntons said.

"The juicing community doesn't really have a gold standard ... it's really up to us to set that standard," Karen said. "People that have juiced know how incredible it is ... your skin just glows and your hair begins shining after a few days."

Northwest Raw will offer multiple-day, juice-cleanse packages and everything will be served in either half-liter, quart or half-gallon returnable glass bottles, Web said.

"We really want people who are geared toward outdoor activities ... we want people to be able to run in, grab their growler of juice and just go," Karen said.

Forming a relationship with local organic farms is also a big priority for the emerging juice bar, said Web, who estimates Northwest Raw will hire 8-10 employees, both part- and full-time.

The Stauntons are in the middle of an campaign to support their hopes of raising $20,000 for the bar. About $1,000 has been raised so far.

Northwest Raw's website, currently under construction, is at

Sam Wheeler is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at

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