How does a health and wellness brand respond to a global health crisis?
For ELXR Juicelab, it’s been all about boosting e-commerce and donating over 5,000 meals and juices to foodbanks and frontline workers. As Toronto’s own cold-pressed juice and superfood emporium, ELXR has continued to provide plant-based goodness to its community – plus an exciting new extension to the brand.
We got all the (juicy) details from CEO Dan Gelshteyn himself – including how all of us can stay healthy during the self-care chaos that is 2020.
Tell us more in detail about how COVID-19 has changed your business.
It was definitely a huge transition for us at the beginning. We went from having five retail locations within malls and business hubs in Toronto, to shutting down all of our retail operations with no knowledge of what the future would bring. Ultimately, we knew we had to very quickly pivot our strategy and focus our efforts on expanding our online delivery service. We updated our website and introduced free online delivery across the GTA to continue providing access to healthy and nutritious food products. We are grateful we were able to support our team throughout the pandemic and remain connected to our community as a result.
What was the most difficult shift to make?
Beyond that initial transition, the most difficult shift was definitely slowing down and looking inward at our operations. We really took this time to find new efficiencies within our business, streamline our operations and connect with our customers to see what kind of products they felt were missing from our offerings. We also wanted to focus heavily on product development in an effort to continue on our mission of becoming the leading destination for functional foods and beverages.
How has your leap into e-commerce changed your vision for the future of ELXR?
E-commerce is one stream of the overall business we’ve always wanted to further develop. While we had to be extremely reactive in our initial strategy, this time also gave us the opportunity to really think about how we wanted to grow this facet. We hope to continue to develop and streamline our current contactless home delivery service, while also investing in an Apothecary extension which will eventually carry over to our retail locations. This will consist of a curated range of small-batch, locally-sourced and community-focused non-food products that will be available for purchase online through our website.
What has been the best surprise in how people have shown up for you or your business during this time?
Our staff and community have been extremely patient with us while we continue to navigate this new normal. We can’t thank them enough for their ongoing support! Beyond this, we were really fortunate to have recently merged with small business incubator, LoveKind Inc. This partnership gave us the ability to not only focus on our pivot strategy, but also look at ways we can show up for our community in these difficult times. LoveKind has helped us maintain a people over profits outlook and gave us the opportunity to join efforts with other partners like Calii Love to donate over 5,000 meals to local health care workers and first responders throughout the pandemic.
Do you think this is going to change your industry going forward? How?
In terms of the health and wellness industry, I think consumers were already on the trajectory to becoming the most educated and conscious they have ever been. As a result of this pandemic, people are going to continue on this path of putting more emphasis and care into how they treat their bodies and what they consume in an effort to be the healthiest version of themselves.
ELXR is all about health and wellness. Do you have any tips for how people can stay healthy through an ongoing pandemic?
Whether you just learned to cook for yourself, are snacking more than usual, or becoming more health-conscious in an effort to keep your immunity balanced, I think it’s increasingly evident that this pandemic has had an effect on the way we eat. Juice cleansing can be a great way to take a break from unhealthy eating habits which may have developed during lockdown. You can also refocus your diet by introducing organic plant-based superfoods to detox, energize, and nourish the body.
What is the easiest thing people can do to support your business right now?
We recently reopened our Yorkville Village and Oakville Staples locations and are so excited to welcome our community back. While we continue to work towards the reopening of our TD, Scotia Tower and Bayview Village locations, we’re still offering contactless home delivery throughout the GTA on our website.
ELXR just launched a new menu of tasty and nutritious grab-and-go items – all plant-based and gluten-free! Score 50% off any salad or wrap when you purchase a juice in-store.
Want to keep connected? You can find ELXR at @elxrjuicelab on Instagram and Facebook!