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Trader Quits Wall Street to Open Old Town Juice Bar

By Paul Biasco | August 22, 2014 5:33am
 Real Good Juice Opened at 1647 N. Wells Saturday.
Real Good Juice
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OLD TOWN — John Schiff quit his job on Wall Street with dreams of opening a smoothie truck on the West Coast.

While he didn't make it quite to California, he did get into the juice business and settled in Old Town.

Real Good Juice Co. features cold pressed juices such as the Juice-Tin-Bieber (almonds, coconut nectar and sea salt) and the Juice Willis (carrots, coconut water and lime) that Schiff and his juice chef have been working on for the past year.

Paul Biasco says the Jay Cutler's signature juice was pretty good:

The resident juice chef, Gabe Lava, has worked in some of the city's top restaurants including Lula Cafe, Bonsoiree and Nico Osteria and happens to be Schiff's cousin.

Aside from bottles of cold-pressed juice, the shop sells smoothies, yogurt, granola and seasonal salads from the Green City Market and local farms such as City Farm.

Schiff was working as a trader on Wall Street just a year ago, where he had been working for the previous eight years, and felt he needed to make a change.

"It took long enough, but I’m finally doing something I love," he said.

Schiff and his team opened Real Good Juice Co. Saturday in trial-by-fire fashion during one of the busiest weekends of the year, the Air & Water Show.

Schiff, who lives in Old Town, said the community support for the business has already been evident.

During the first weekend they ran out of strawberries in the afternoon, and a neighbor wasn't about to let the new business on the block stumble on opening weekend.

She went to the grocery store and returned with a bag of strawberries.

"You can't get that in New York," Schiff said.

Ten-ounce bottled juices range from $6.95 to $7.95 and 16-ounce versions range from $5.95 to $10.50.

One of the favorites on the menu was designed by Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who paired up with Real Good Juice Co. for his charity volleyball tournament at North Avenue Beach in July.

Cutler and his wife Kristin Cavallari each designed their own juice blends for the tournament, and Cutler's was the fan favorite.

The Cutler #6 contains spinach, carrot, celery, cucumber, apple and lemon. A portion of sales of the Cutler #6 go toward the Jay Cutler Foundation.

"It's more than just juice,'' Schiff said. "In this city, and across the country, there is not enough focus on whole, real food."

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