An Interview with Laurel McConville
On our everyday mission to live well, we constantly think about what we eat. Eating smart can help bring your mind and body into balance, give you energy, and keep you looking great. But we also know that it can be tough to find truly healthy, local dairy alternatives. Nectar & Green’s small batch almond milk is the perfect solution. They press organic almond milk, bottle it in glass, and deliver weekly throughout Boston and Cambridge. Here, Laurel tells us a bit more about Nectar & Green and why almond milk is a great part of a wholesome lifestyle.
Why did you start Nectar & Green?
I started Nectar & Green for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I wasn’t finding the fresh, pure products I wanted here in Boston. Five years ago, to have a fresh juice or fresh nut milk you had to make it yourself. I wanted to be a part of the paradigm shift here in Boston. I knew that it was coming.
Why almond milk?
Because it’s a product I believe in. Whether you consume dairy or not, truly raw almond milk is a deeply nourishing, soothing product to incorporate into your daily rituals. I’ve been a health food geek for most of my life and gave up dairy about twelve years ago. For me, it was the single biggest shift in my health that I had ever experienced, but the alternatives back then weren’t impressive, or good for you for that matter. I got to making nut milks and nut cheeses myself, to have an alternative beyond the heavily processed soy products available back then. Even now, what’s in stores just doesn’t compare to truly raw almond milk in terms of quality, purity and health benefits.
Why is Boston the best place for your business?
In starting Nectar & Green, my vision was originally more broad and included pressed juice and health food products as well. As juice began to arrive to Boston in a big way over the last two years, I knew that we were ready for a pressed nut milk company too. So, I narrowed my focus and jumped on the opportunity. I moved to Boston ten years ago after graduating from school, first living in the North End and now the South End. It’s a city that is very much defined by its neighborhoods, which is one of the things I love most about it. Truly raw nut milk can’t be sold in stores, which has ended up being a really beautiful thing for us. It means that each week we are in the city’s neighborhoods delivering our product right to people’s doorsteps and to a handful of neighborhood pickup locations. It has been a really intimate way to experience the city.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in starting the business?
Entrepreneurship is as hard as everyone says it is, and there are days that the challenges definitely outweigh the romance. City, state and federal regulations were incredibly difficult to navigate in the early stages, particularly because we were doing something that wasn’t being done yet. I’m just so grateful that we pushed through and are now able to do what we do best – put a beautiful, healthful product into people’s hands. When our orders go out on Tuesdays, it’s the happiest moment of my week.
How do you balance running the business with living a healthy lifestyle?
Balance is key, and also sometimes unattainable. I try not to be too hard on myself when I lose balance, and I keep a short list of non-negotiables for myself. Sleeping enough and eating well are two things I don’t cut corners on. I also meditate daily (twice when I can), and make sure I have time everyday when I unplug and get outside – whether it’s time in the garden, on my bicycle or walking to a yoga class, I think time away from screens is so important.
Why is wellness important to you?
While I think it’s true that we are only as healthy as the foods we put into our bodies, I’ve learned that food isn’t the whole picture. When we don’t slow down and make time for the things we need and love, our bodies find a way to let us know. I’ve learned to take a more holistic approach to wellness, and while I don’t necessarily strive for perfection every single day, I don’t stray from my core values. I avoid plastics and chemicals everywhere I can, from the cookware in my kitchen to the products I use on my skin, and I listen closely to how what I put in and on my body makes me feel.
How is Nectar and Green involved with the inaugural WELL Summit?
We are so thrilled to be attending the WELL Summit and soaking up all of the amazing things going on throughout the weekend! Most importantly, our organic, pressed almond milk will be at Saturday morning’s healthy breakfast bar. We’ll be offering three of our six flavors (Pure, Lavender and Vanilla Bean) that pair really nicely with the other gorgeous products the summit is bringing together.
We love almond milk! Where can we find it after the WELL Summit?
We deliver weekly throughout Boston and Cambridge, and to a few of our favorite neighborhood shops around the city (currently Tatte Bakery in Kendall Square and Beacon Hill, Urban Grape in the South End, FoMu in Jamaica Plain and Shake the Tree in the North End). To place an order for delivery or pickup, you can visit our website nectarandgreen.com. (And of course we’re on Instagram too!)
What is next for Nectar and Green?
Growth! We believe so much in what we are doing and want nothing more than to get our impossibly pure product to more people.
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