When Organic Avenue, an organic and vegan raw pressed juice bar, opened its first site in Manhattan eight years ago, it was a small, family-run operation.
After being purchased almost two years ago by Weld North, a private investment company concentrating on education, health and wellness, consumer services and marketing businesses, the concept started to evolve and major expansion plans began to take shape.“There are many people in the juice space now,” says Kelly Harman, who oversees Organic Avenue’s store development. “We knew that, to better differentiate our brand, we’d need to enter the food category.”
Organic Avenue worked with another New York restaurant to develop vegan raw and organic food menu items suitable for sale from a grab-and-go display case. Now with 12 locations throughout New York, Organic Avenue is the only organic plant-based grab-and-go brand in the U.S. that provides fresh breakfast, lunch and light dinner entrees and cold-pressed juices. The menu includes hot and cold wraps, salads, falafel, hot grain bowls, soups and oatmeal as well as bottled smoothies, juices, booster shots, tea and other beverages.
As the business expanded into more locations with a burgeoning menu, Organic Avenue was in desperate need of an effective and consistent grab-and-go solution with an aesthetic that fit its décor and brand. “New York is a fast-paced environment, and we had three stores at the time with no uniformity or consistency in the design,” Harman says.
Organic Avenue’s locations used what Harman describes as a hodge podge of different refrigerated display cases with outdated designs and inefficient cooling systems. The chain needed up-to-date, energy-efficient refrigerated grab-and-go display cases to showcase its new food offerings as well as effectively and safely hold its signature raw pressed juices.
“All we offer is fresh food, which has no preservatives, so it was very important to find a solution that could display our products attractively and safely,” Harman says. Because Organic Avenue’s juices only stay fresh for 96 hours, the store must replace these products every 4 days. “It also was key to find a display case that could maintain temperatures properly, since our product has a short shelf life.
“We came across Structural Concept’s Oasis line by referral from another foodservice operation in the city that utilizes the company’s grab-and-go displays,” Harman adds. The refrigerated grab-and-go display case line not only fits Organic Avenue’s aesthetics, but it also showcases the chain’s growing food and juice offerings.
“We chose the Structural Concepts Oasis line due to the functionality of its shelves and lighting, which highlighted our food beautifully,” Harman says. “The black background on the 7-foot cases makes our food and packaging pop even more than it did before.”
Organic Avenue chose a seamless case design with no dividers. “This works so well, since customers are not subconsciously dividing food when looking at the display,” Harman says. “The seamless display case design makes it much easier for people to see the food and make their choices.”
One of the reasons Organic Avenue went with Structural Concepts’ Oasis grab-and-go display case line was its design flexibility. “We knew, based on previous experience, that there was flexibility in design with these units,” Harman says. “That was important to us.”
Harman also appreciated Structural Concepts’ customer service and follow up, which resulted in even more functionality from its grab-and-go display units. “The company representatives visited the shop and made recommendations we didn’t know existed, like adding different fittings and remote compressors,” she says.
Organic Avenue currently has Structural Concepts’ Oasis line in three stores, utilizing a total of eight cases, and plans to add units in its remaining locations. “We are currently renovating three of our locations, and the Structural Concepts Oasis grab-and-go display cases will be an integral part of the concept,” Harman says.