A Niskayuna man’s dream of opening a fruit and vegetable juice bar became a reality Thursday at the grand opening of True Juice Café, a startup housed inside New York BizLab on State Street.
There’s more than one way to juice a fruit, but David Kosineski, 24, is proud of the specific process and fresh ingredients he uses to make his product.
The café space, housed in the same building as Saratoga National Bank, saw long lines of people ready to try “Sweet Green” and other flavors from a smiling Kosineski behind the register.
A documentary film called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” kicked off what Kosineski calls his “juice journey.”
“Getting out of high school at Niskayuna, I had the worst stomach pains,” said Kosineski. “I wasn’t feeling myself, or maybe I was depressed in a way. I always want to better myself, so what I did was I watched a bunch of documentaries.”
The 2010 film featured Joe Cross, a man struggling with obesity. On a 60-day juice cleanse, Cross lost weight and recovered from other health issues. He now sells diet books and juicer machines.
For the next few years after high school, Kosineski bounced between working at his family’s commercial printing business to studying hotel and restaurant management at SUNY Schenectady.
When he spent thousands of dollars on a juice press, his father, Brian, was skeptical at first.
“He drove off to Buffalo, brought it home that night, and I had no idea what it was,” said Brian.
That first juice tasted a little odd, but soon enough, Dad became Kosineski’s first investor. True Juice Café has since gotten a lot more startup help from the BizLab, the startup incubator where Kosineski rents space.
“David is passionate about juice, passionate about the product,” said Rick D’Errico, managing director of the BizLab. “I don’t know if he’s passionate about payroll or if he’s passionate about having the proper insurance, but those are necessary.”
Kosineski said his juice is different from the rest: It’s made with a soft grinding and pressing process, not in typical spinning-blade blenders, which he said kill nutrients.
“If you’ve ever seen that juice that’s foamy on the top, and it’ll get clear until you shake it,” said Kosineski. “That’s it breaking down in front of you.”
At the event Thursday, juice-drinkers ranged from business leaders to extended family, to artificial intelligence startup owners.
Laurel-Le Lipoli and Ginger Happner, members of the Schenectady Arts Society, had just hung some of their original paintings on the wall of the new space.
“You can’t even believe what this place looked like before,” said Lipoli. “This is amazing.”
The new shop adds to the recent revitalization of Schenectady west of Erie Boulevard; Kosineski remembers driving through the area every weekend with his grandparents.
“As a student I would never walk this block, there was nothing here. Honestly I’m shocked by the foot traffic we’re getting here already,” said Kosineski. “We’re getting people walking in outside who have never heard about us.”