Greenhouse is a proudly Canadian company. Our mission is to offer widespread, sustainable access to plant-based nutrition of the highest quality.
Our project is to make life-enhancing products, to delight palates, to build inspiring spaces, and to broaden perspectives.
Our promise is to be a welcoming and inclusive community, to anticipate needs before they are voiced, and to treat everyone with thoughtfulness and respect.
Our goal is to make it simple to savour the present while looking out for a healthy future—ours, and that of our planet.
Our juices are cold-pressed: We use hydraulic pressure to extract juice from our ingredients while minimizing heat and oxygen, for a nutrient-dense product with enzymatic activity intact.
We press all of our juices in small batches right here in Toronto. We don't use preservatives, additives, pasteurization, or HPP (high pressure processing)--they're the real deal, so please keep them chilled.
We make our juice from organic ingredients. They are GMO-free and grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.
We source our produce from local farms during the Ontario growing season, prioritizing "seconds," or the often less-loved, misshapen vegetables and fruits--and then we send the fibre back to the farms to be used as compost to help new crops grow.
We are striving to be a zero packaging waste company.
We bottle our juices in reusable glass rather than porous plastic because it's better for you, better for the planet, and better looking. Don't you think?
All of our products are plant-based, meaning that they’re made from plants. Just plants. Lots of plants.
Placing plants at the center of our plates (and in our glasses) is a simple, powerful, and delicious way to improve our health, and that of our environment.
Located two doors west of the world’s longest street, halfway between the Summerhill and Rosedale subway stations, the little house on Macpherson is Greenhouse’s original home.
We fell in love with this peak-roofed bungalow—which a wise neighbour tells us was once the studio of the late Canadian artist Arnaud Maggs—many moons ago, when the idea of starting a cold-pressed juice company was still but a glint in a few friends’ eyes. Its silhouette inspired our name and our logo.
We first opened the doors of the little house on the morning of January 8th, 2014. We didn't think anyone beyond our immediate family would walk through them. It was a grim Wednesday with temperatures around -40°C. We were selling a product that was all but unheard-of in Toronto at the time. Worse, it had "cold" in the name.
Much to our surprise, people did come. A good number of people, not all of whom were our parents. In fact, so many brave souls ventured in that we sold an entire night’s worth of juice within a few hours. We kept the doors open until sundown, offering colourful samples to those who had made the pilgrimage through ice and snow but were too late.
When evening fell we spun into production for the next day’s double batches and continued until dawn. Thursday morning, within an hour of opening, not a single bottle remained for sale. Word was spreading, and a community was forming around the green stuff we were making. We were astonished, and immensely grateful.
For the next 173 days straight, the house was in a near-constant state of activity, serving as our storefront from dawn to dusk each day, and moonlighting as our production facility.
Six mornings a week, a 40-foot truck would pause on Macpherson, a residential, one-way street, for just long enough to deposit a few hundred kilograms of organic vegetables and fruit. Some days, we could hardly move in the shop: boxes of spinach, kale, collards, pineapples, apples, and lemons were piled to the ceiling.
One Sunday morning, Wolfgang Pfenning, the Crop Manager (and CEO) of Pfenning's Organic Farm in New Hamburg, Ontario, delivered our produce with his mother, Barnhild, who founded the family farm with her husband Wilhelm Pfenning in 1981. Wolfgang described sitting down with his mother that Sunday morning at the café around the corner for half an hour to watch the weekend traffic flow in and out of our shop. “I grew up on carrot juice with my mom, and everybody thought, ‘you’re crazy,’" he told us. “I was actually experiencing an indescribable level of joy seeing how the public has changed.”
Just after six every evening, our last visitors would witness the changing of the guard: out would saunter the juice proselytizers, and in would stride the juice pressers, chef’s coats buttoned, ready for a full night of extraction. Well past midnight, the crisp smells of fresh pressed apples, carrots, celery, and ginger would waft through the little house, until the last juice had been mixed, bottled and labelled, and the fridge was fully stocked for the early morning rush.
Keeping 5 Macpherson buzzing 22 hours a day, seven days a week was great fun, but we knew it couldn’t last. We had inadvertently turned the little house into a bustling factory, and it was getting worn out from the effort. And so the day before Canada Day 2014, we packed up our presses and hit the Rosedale Valley Road, heading for the Riverside production facility that we had just finished renovating.
The roomier new digs allowed us to build three more shops that year, plus an online store and a doorstep delivery service. Every night, a refrigerated van zoomed each day’s supply of freshly pressed juice from our new facility to our shops’ fridges in the wee hours of the morning, and a mini electric car with the passenger seat removed (to make way for precious cargo) dropped delivery boxes on doorsteps across the city.
Two and a half years later, that same facility produces enough juice for our twelve company-owned shops (and counting). We’re gradually improving our efficiency, which in turn will allow us to improve the accessibility of our products.
Nowadays, if you’re up early enough, you might just catch a little car zipping around town, ferrying the day’s supply of freshly pressed juice to doorsteps across the GTA. And nowadays, if ever you find yourself two doors west of the longest street in the world, equidistant between the Summerhill and Rosedale subway stations, in the dead of night, put your ear up to the door of the little peak-roofed house: you might well hear a deep, rumbling snore.
-GHJC, January 2017
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