January 12, 2021 – The seeds of inspiration for Perfectly Pressed Juice’s new shop in downtown Monterey took root half a world away on the shores of Australia’s famous Bondi Beach, just outside of Sydney.
Alex and Kate McCloskey—both born and raised in Monterey—moved to Australia while Alex pursued a master’s degree. Alex completed his studies and then worked for an Australian health food company, while Kate worked in design and as a nanny, immersing herself in Australian culture—including the country’s burgeoning business for fresh-pressed juice.
“We lived in Bondi, where going to the beach and grabbing a juice was just part of the culture,” recalls Kate. “I think it’s what led us to this. Prior to being over there, I don’t think the juice industry or smoothies would have been much on our radar.”
When the couple wanted to start a family, they returned home to the Monterey Peninsula. Alex began working in the agriculture sector, commuting to Salinas for work, first at Mann Packing and then at Church Brothers Farms. Soon after, he and Kate found the serendipitous opportunity to take over Perfectly Pressed Juice, the local juicery launched by Monica Berriz in Salinas in 2013.
At its height, Perfectly Pressed had outlets in Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Prunedale, Watsonville and Capitola, but by late 2018, location after location had closed. Just as the juicery looked on the verge of shuttering entirely, the McCloskeys took over ownership and rebooted the brand. They kept the focus on all-natural, cold-pressed juices and wellness while leveraging Alex’s expertise in product development and fulfilling Kate’s Aussie aspirations of owning a juice shop.
Building on their success turning around business at Perfectly Pressed’s Salinas flagship store, the McCloskeys are bringing a new outlet for the juicery to Monterey and this time taking direct inspiration from their beloved Bondi Beach.
Kate leaned on her background in design to craft a bright and breezy feel for the new Alvarado Street location, which was previously home to MYO Frozen Yogurt. “I wanted something that felt fresh to go with the overall feeling of what a juice is,” she explains. Aqua blue tile, light woods and white counters evoke Bondi Beach and its picturesque ocean pools. “It all came together representing Sydney and that little blink of our lives that was actually so special to us.”
While the layout and design of the space differs from the original Perfectly Pressed location, the menu and format remain the same.
Juices stand as the centerpiece of the menu, naturally.
All are raw and cold-pressed, made fresh every day from local produce. Currently, juices are pressed at the original Salinas location, but juicing operations will expand to the Monterey outlet soon.
Each juice blend has been carefully curated for wellness, but doesn’t sacrifice taste. “Wellness should taste good,” emphasizes Kate. “It should be fun and enjoyable. It shouldn’t feel restrictive or punishing,” adds Alex.
11 different blends are available, including longtime favorites from the Salinas location. Selections may cleanse and detoxify (Green Dream and Energee), build and strengthen immunity (Green Flash and Super Green), soothe the stomach and aid digestion (Rad Booster and Mint Kick), or replenish and hydrate (Recoverade and Summer Love).
“The Green Dream is the top seller, by far,” says Alex. “It’s approachable healthy. You get a little more of the apple and cucumber, but still the good stuff like kale, spinach and romaine.” In close second is the Summer Love, with watermelon, mint, lime and apple. “It’s very refreshing and killer after a workout.”
Bottled juices are available in two sizes—16 ounces for $9 or 64 ounces for $38. (64-ounce juices must be ordered in advance and include a $5 bottle deposit.)
Also look for two-ounce shots of concentrated wellness elixirs ($4) for a boost for gut and immune health, as well as alkaline waters ($3) that help balance pH with chlorophyll, aloe or charcoal and lemon.
The menu features housemade almond mylks (16 ounces $9, 64 ounces $38). Horchata Mylk riffs on the Mexican spiced drink with a hint of cinnamon, dates, vanilla bean, Himalayan sea salt and alkaline water to promote bone and heart health. The Vanilla Cold Brew adds a coffee kick to the Horchata Mylk for natural energy. The vibrant Golden Mylk pairs almond mylk with turmeric, ginger and pepper to aid digestion, memory and blood pressure.
Juice cleanses are also available, including a one-day cleanse ($68) to quickly “reboot” your system and a three-day cleanse ($187) to kickstart weight loss.
Cleanses include a curated selection of eight juices to drink throughout the day. “Each serves a purpose for your body,” explains Alex, “like helping digestion get going, helping the liver reboot and getting your detox flowing.”
He recognizes juice cleanses may be daunting to some, but underscores how helpful a cleanse can be for your health. “You put in a lot of work being regimented about what you’re putting into your body, so it helps you reboot and restart and get back into that consistency of diet.”
Cleanses are naturally popular sellers this month with many resolving for better health in the new year. But Alex is quick to frame the cleanses should be complemented by a year-round attention to health and wellness. “A lot of people tend to focus on it for six weeks. You hit it hard at the beginning of the year, then you kind of forget a little bit after that, then you forget a lot after that, then all of the sudden it’s January again.”
For those looking to make their New Year’s resolutions stick, Alex emphasizes consistency is key. “There’s a reason I have a Super Green every morning. It’s consistency. Making it a regular part of an overall balanced diet.”
Beyond juices, Perfect Pressed also offers smoothies and bowls packed with superfoods.
The smoothies have been a standout in Salinas, where employees help craft and refine recipes based on their favorite ingredients and customer requests. Many incorporate the shop’s cold-pressed juices and almond mylks. “It’s been really fun to come up with new recipes for the smoothies,” says Kate.
Choose from 15 different smoothies, categorized according to what benefit they offer the body—Strength, Energize, Wellness, Restore and Cleanse. All are 20 ounces and $10.
Kate’s favorites? Matcha Mantra (spinach, banana, ginger, coconut water, cordyceps, lemon and matcha) and Minty Chip (almond mylk, mint, ginger, banana, Blue Majik spirulina extract, collagen, date and cacao).
Superfood bowls ($12) showcase nutrient-rich açaí and pitaya (or dragon fruit) as the base and pay homage to the favorite snack of Bondi Beach surfers. Look for signature bowls like Better Brekky (açaí with granola, strawberries and blueberries), Tropical Tango (pitaya, coconut, banana and granola), Muscle Beach (açaí, whey protein, almond, coconut and chia) and Nutty Monkey (açaí, banana, almond and peanut butter), plus the option to build a custom bowl.
Both Alex and Kate look forward to seeing Perfectly Pressed Juice take root in downtown Monterey and grow with the community’s feedback.
“We’re both experimental people,” explains Alex. “We want to see what Monterey wants and needs and respond to that.” There are plans to include kombucha on tap and offer mobile order pickup. Alex hopes as they settle into the new space and as coronavirus restrictions relax, there’s opportunity to try new things like artist popups, classes, mixers and more. “We’ll evolve with the people.”
Alex isn’t afraid to experiment, stay nimble and ride the waves—even if some items or ideas don’t catch on. “That nimbleness is the beauty of the food industry,” says Alex. “We worked in restaurants forever—Kate and I met working at Vesuvio, I worked at Rio Grill for 10 years—and what we love about getting back into the food space with the juice shop is having that chance to experiment.”
Perfectly Pressed Juice • 491 Alvarado Street, Monterey • 831-747-1127, perfectlypressedjuice.com • Open for drinks and food to go 7am to 5pm Monday through Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday