An affinity for healthy choices brings together the team at Jusu Bar.
Bruce Mullen, board chair and CEO Jusu Bar, moved to Victoria with his wife after a long career in Alberta trucking and transportation logistics.
It was a big change for Bruce, wife Charlene and their family, uprooting and coming to the southernmost portion of the country.
“We changed our lives,” said Bruce.
It turned out to be just a minor life change compared to the one that hit them less than a year later when Charlene was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Then everything shifted as the family chased every opportunity for health, from surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to alternative treatments worldwide.
She just didn’t survive.
Bruce grieved, then he looked at his son Brandon, in business school at the time, and decided to share the wealth of health, creating Jusu Bar. it was an extension of the organic lifestyle started after Charlene was diagnosed.
Sarah Bowder is among the folks who jumped on board with the idea. The president and co-CEO of Jusu Body, the latest rollout of the Jusu line, suffered her own health challenges.
“We’re all fine until the day we’re not,” said Bowder, who fell ill in 2008. She spent the next year journeying back into health through auto immune disease.
“It definitely includes juicing. It includes eating organic,” she said. “It was a step change in my health and is something that is so simple to do.
“We thought if we can help people get off the chemicals … and not have the devastating life-changing event we did, that would be a good thing to do in life,” Bowder said.
The Jusu Body launch follows on organic, cold-pressed juice, and a selection of other products added since inception.
“To re-purpose and reuse the incredible product Mother Nature gives us is a a pretty good idea,” Mullen said.
The goal is hero (organic farmer) to zero (waste).
“We’re not going to throw anything away,” Mullen said.
They started with four body products to care for the outward: lotion, scrub, lip balm and bar soap.
“We’re repurposing the pulp from cold pressed juice. You end up with quite a bit of pulp left over when you press juice,” Bowder said. “Skin is the largest organ, but its also extra absorbent. What you put on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream.”
A full 250 ml of pulp is used to make a 237 ml tub of scrub in the new Jusu Body line. “The soup uses a huge amount too,” Bowder added. A bar of soap is 20 per cent pulp; one kilogram of pulp makes 50 bars.
“If we can minimize the toxins that go into us by making smarter choices and simple choices we can see a step change in our health,” Bowder said.
Items such as other body products and protein powders are already in the works to follow Mullen’s theme of “prevention versus insurance” and “education not medication.”
The four products come in four varieties each as well: ginger citrus, vanilla peppermint, eucalyptus mint and scent-free and rival any product out there, Bowder said.
“It’s great to use everything and why not nourish our bodies,” Bowder said. “We’re not about surviving, we’re about living and having luxurious things. We’re providing the opportunity for people to make smart choices with exceptional products.”
Last year Jusu opened two stories in Victoria. By the end of the year they expect to have 15 shops across Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary and San Francisco.
“Lots of people have ideas,” Mullen said. “My team, they make it happen.”
There’s an app for that
* Join Jusu’s new loyalty program and use an app to collect points, earn rewards, create a profile, load money onto your Jusu Bar account and pay in the store with your phone.