Coming: fresh juice bar

By Lynn R. Parks

Seaford is changing. So much so, say James and Kathleen Brambila, Seaford, that they feel sure that a juice bar will be a success in downtown.
"Five years ago, we would not have opened this," said James Brambila. "But now, younger professional people are coming into the area. Times are changing in Seaford, Del."
The Main Squeeze, offering made-to-order juices and juice blends, will open next week at the corner of High and Pine streets. It is owned by Organic Family Products, a company started a year ago by James Brambila and Ed Salkind, Marlton, N.J., to do a variety of projects revolving around
natural foods. The company is working on a bottled juice product that Brambila expects to be available from natural foods stores in about six months.
"I have been in the juice business since I was a young lad," said Brambila, 37, whose father recently retired from a juice company in Southern California. "I have worked with all aspects of juice. And this is how we live; we just enjoy fruit juice. We make it every day for ourselves, so now we will make it for others too."
Kathleen Brambila, 36, said that her husband was working at a pickle plant in Hurlock, Md., and it was "such a drudgery." A firm believer that people should be happy in their work, she encouraged him to open the bar. "He has always wanted to work in juice and I have been in retail," she said. "It will be a perfect mix." James Brambila quit his job at the pickle plant in September.
Both Brambilas grew up in Southern California. They came to Delaware about six years ago, sent by the juice company James Brambila was working for and which was interested in expanding to the East Coast. When the Harrington branch was closed, the family, after a one-year stay in Winterhaven, Fla., decided to make their home in this area. "Seaford has so much to offer," said Kathleen Brambila. "It is a great place to raise kids." The couple has three children: Vienna, 9, Roman, 7, and Cayman, 4.

The Main Squeeze will offer fresh-squeezed fruit - including orange, apple and whatever is in season - and vegetable - such as carrot, beet, celery, even spinach and kale - juices, much of it made from organically-grown products. "We are still working with distributors to get all organic products down here," said Brambila.
It will also sell Smoothies - blends of fresh bananas, yogurt, soy milk, fruit juice and fruit - shots of juice made from wheat grass, teechino, a blend of nuts, grains and fruit that is brewed like coffee, and hot teas. A fact sheet being prepared by Kathleen Brambila will explain health benefits of the drinks and a library in the bar will include books on topics ranging from healthy eating to treatment of back pain.
Prices will range from $2.75 to $3.45 for a 12-ounce glass of juice, $3.75 to $4.95 for a Smoothie. More, the Brambilas acknowledge, than the price of grocery-store juice. But "this will be right out of the orange, baby," said Kathleen Brambila. "And it is in liquid form, so it goes right to work making you feel good."
James Brambila said that because their juice will undergo no pasteurization process, "we will not be killing the enzymes you want working in your body. This is a fresh product, a pure product. It makes you feel alive. When you walk out, we want you to walk out with a smile, because you know that you have done something good for yourself."
Kathleen Brambila has no patience with those who doubt that the juice bar will be a success. "We are positive thinkers," she said. "Everybody is so pessimistic and I can't stand that. There is always a possibility. We believe it could be really great in downtown Seaford. Just because it has been one way for so long doesn't mean that it can't change. A lot of people don't see that possibility."
And, her husband added, he has seen startup juice producers grow into multi-million companies. He was employed by Naked Foods, a natural juice producer that started as a one-man operation in Vienna Beach, Calif., and, before it was bought out by Chiquita, had spread into Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and from Maine to Virginia on the East Coast. "Hopefully, we are on the ground floor of something good in downtown Seaford," he said.
Brambila has visions of expanding into other Delmarva towns. But patrons who, he is convinced, will make the Seaford store a success need not fear. "I will always keep this one open, because this was the first," he said.