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Santa Monica Means Business:

Varietal Orange Juice

Adriana Kahane wants to get people thinking about citrus fruit (and the juice of that fruit) the way they think about quality grapes (and wines) and coffees – in terms of varietals rather than generics. Her Santa Monica company, Dream Foods International, LLC, imports citrus juice (organic and kosher, and not from concentrate) squeezed from fruit grown near the Mt. Etna volcano in Sicily, and it sells the juice nationally to both distributors and retail chains with an organic bent (roughly half and half, volume-wise), shipping from warehouses in New Jersey and California.

The “Italian Volcano” brand name graces tall glass bottles of orange juice (red in color, since it is squeezed from blood oranges) and tangerine juice (which looks more like orange juice), and “Volcano Lemon Burst” and “Volcano Lime Burst” come in those little plastic squeeze bottles that look like the fruit, but in this case they contain the oil (zest) as well as the juice. “If you have gourmet coffee with breakfast, shouldn’t you have gourmet juice as well?” asks Kahane.

The future looks “really good,” she says, as the company is talking to supermarkets with a more mass market orientation, and Winn-Dixie has just picked up the lemon and lime bursts.

Green Business

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) recently earned recognition by the City of Santa Monica as the first charter business to receive their Green Business Certification, making it one of the healthiest and most energy efficient businesses in Santa Monica.

The City launched its Green Business Certification Program (GBCP) in October 2006 to provide businesses with educational assistance to encourage cost-saving “green” practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources. The project was a collaborative effort among the City, Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau and Sustainable Works.

The new program certifies and recognizes local businesses that have taken steps to incorporate sustainable practices into their operations and have improved their performance. “We’re extremely proud to receive the Green Certification – it’s a significant honor and a validation of our efforts to create a healthier workplace for our employees, preserve resources and reduce energy costs, as well as promoting green alternatives to the visitors of Santa Monica,” said Misti Kerns, SMCVB CEO.

SMCVB is a nonprofit organization. It promotes Santa Monica’s sustainable lifestyle, both in its marketing and in its services to tourists, residents and local businesses. Printing letterhead and business cards on recycled paper, performing local errands on bike or foot and using reusable kitchenware, office supplies and packaging are just some of the ways SMCVB is going green.

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