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Sherwood Valley Juice Co. pushes hard into the smoothie market

Two local entrepreneurs create healthy vegan drinks from freeze dried fruits and veggies


by: RAY PITZ - GOOD STUFF  Peter Stack, left, and David Cascadden, owners of Sherwood Valley Juice Co., display an array of the special powdered smoothies they offer through their Sherwood business.While Tang and Ovaltine used to be the powered preferences of many youngsters hoping to get their daily vitamins and energy, a local company is hoping to push those guys - and others - aside.

Enter Sherwood Valley Juice Co., a local business operating in a small suite at the Business Park Sherwood for the last 1½ years.

At the helm of the operation are David Cascadden and Peter Stack, a pair of seasoned entrepreneurs who have mixed a concoction of raw fruits and vegetables to create unique smoothie drinks. But they're not the normal smoothies you find in grocery dairy cases or at Jamba Juice. These smoothies come in packets.

"They're just freeze dried and turned into a powder," said Cascadden, a Garden Home resident. "It's kind of a meal replacement."

Consumers simply add water to the powder and shake it for 15 seconds to create an instant thick smoothie, Stack pointed out.

And the result has had many of those who try it exclaim, "wow, that's great," said Stack, who lives in Tigard.

"If you like fruits and vegetables, you'll like the way this tastes," he said.

So far, the pair has come up with Citrus Sunrise, Farmer's Market Blend, Tradewind Islands and Cascade Berry Bliss and Super 8 Half Pint. All are naturally sweetened except for the Farmer's Market Blend, which contains stevia, a natural plant that provides a sweet flavor.

Stack said so far no other company has brought together the flavors they have in quite the same way with their goal to provide customers with nutrition, value and convenience.

"The demand is what's created the market," said Cascadden. "Now we get to battle it out over market share."

Stack said the nice thing about their smoothies are that they are putting real food in front of people. Also, Sherwood Valley Juice Co. doesn't have to pasteurize its products.

"Because it's a powder, we don't have to worry about contaminants," said Stack.

The process is monitored from seed to powder.

Cascadden said the raw materials are sourced from several locations and sent to Sherwood where the power is blended according to their special recipe before being shipped out. As an example, Farmer's Blend has 12 separate ingredients.

"We addressed the nutritional demands and we addressed the convenience demands," said Cascadden.

Although Sherwood Valley Juice Co. is available on the shelves of the Food Front Co-op in Northwest Portland and Hillsdale, and through Portland's National College of Natural Medicine, the company's focus is selling direct via SherwoodValleyJuice.com.

And the vegan smoothies have been gaining acceptance in the gluten-free community as well.

Still, if you don't want to go the vegan route, there's no problem with adding honey, creamer or yogurt to the mix. The two point out the smoothies are portable as well with water being the only ingredient a person needs. Another way to enhance the drinks is to make them with very cold water or add ice.

Cascadden and Stack said sales are going well but like any other small company there are challenges to face.

"We would like to be on shelves; the process is very expensive," said Stack.

What gives them some advantage, however, is that their smoothies are shelf stable. They are also pushing to sell their products under private labels. Already Journey Gym, which makes a portable universal gym, is using Sherwood Valley Juice Co.'s smoothies under its own label.

And although it's not being sold as a weight-reducing product, Stack said he lost 25 to 30 pounds simply by using to eat less or eat better.

The company is located at 13950 S.W. Galbreath Drive, No. 220. Call 503-396-2916 for more information or visit sherwoodvalleyjuice.com.