Long-time juicing devotee Eric Helms founded Juice Generation in 1999. His goal was to create an accessible juice bar where New Yorkers of all lifestyles, ages, and dietary backgrounds could experience the energizing effects of fresh, raw juices. Eighteen years later, Juice Generation has become an essential part of the daily lives of thousands of New Yorkers.
Eric is always on the lookout for the next big thing—and his obsession with superfruits has made him a cultural trendsetter. He was the first to bring mangosteens to market from Southeast Asia, which landed him scores of national media attention, including an appearance on the Today show. Before anyone had heard of pitaya fruit, Eric secured the exclusive rights and was importing it from Nicaragua.
A tireless superfood sleuth, he traveled to Nebraska to secure an entire crop of aronia berries for Juice Generation. The antioxidant-rich berry was a huge hit with customers and critics who embraced the domestic superfruit.
Eric was also the first to introduce a line of activated charcoal drinks at Juice Generation, popularizing the traditional detoxifier as an ingredient. This landed him national media coverage—from Good Morning America and Time to The Wall Street Journal, People, and “The O List” in Oprah Magazine.
Eric is not only invested in exciting new ingredients and superfruits, but also in their sources. He’s traveled the world to meet with the farmers who produce ingredients for his stores, be it the spinach and kale from local farms in upstate New York, or the Brazilian farmers who harvest the superberries for Juice Generation’s açaí bowls. "It’s not just about what you use," he says, "but how it’s grown."
In 2008, Eric received a special challenge from friend and fellow juicing devotee Salma Hayek. She asked him to collaborate on a line of detoxifying juices and Cooler Cleanse was born. Today, what began as a labor of love has become a popular nationwide delivery service. Cooler Cleanse brings short and functional juice cleansing programs directly to thousands of people of all ages and lifestyles.
Eric published his first book, The Juice Generation: 100 Recipes for Fresh Juices and Superfood Smoothies in January 2014 with Simon and Schuster. He partnered with Williams Sonoma to promote the title online and in-store with juicing demos and book signings. The book, which includes contributions from Blake Lively, Jason Bateman, Michelle Williams and Edward Norton, has sold more than 75,000 copies.
Today, Eric leads a team of devoted juicers in his growing number of stores and can often be seen sharing his juicing expertise on local and national media. Juice Generation continues to deliver on Eric's original mission, expanding across New York and, in the process, leading a lifestyle movement—one that supports healthier, greener options for people everywhere.