By Michaela Slinger and Austyn Jasper
If you’ve walked along Cleveland Avenue in Downtown Squamish since arriving at Quest, you’ve likely spotted a cute rainbow juice truck on the corner of Winnipeg Street. Quest alum Ami Massey, 25, along with business partner and friend Erin Stansa, 26, are the owners of Mountain Squeeze, the first cold-pressed juice truck in town. You won’t be seeing them around downtown anymore, though—they’ve moved closer to us.
On Monday, September 26, Mountain Squeeze relocated to the On The Farm lot at the corner of Mamquam and Diamond Head, across from the Locavore food truck and beside Cloudburst Cafe (all popular Quest student haunts). Come November or December, Massey said that Cloudburst will move into the larger On The Farm store space, and Mountain Squeeze will sell their juices and smoothies out of the cafe space and put the truck away for the winter.
Even if Cloudburst is late to move into the new space, Mountain Squeeze juices will have a bottling license by November. It’s only the smoothies that depend on a larger space—right now, the current Cloudburst space is simply too small to be home to the daily creation of Mountain Squeeze smoothies. And once it gets cold around November, the truck would be unbearably frigid to work in. That’s why this eventual partnership with Cloudburst is a “match made in heaven,” Massey said. “That place is such a hub, rain or shine.”
The wholesale opportunity with Cloudburst means that Mountain Squeeze can focus on expanding their reach. “We won’t need to have the truck running all day,” said Massey. “We can focus on getting to other places in Squamish to fill demand, and next summer we’ll be able to do solely events.” These include the Squamish and Whistler farmers’ markets and Squamish’s biannual Refresh Market, as well as the option to go into Vancouver. This will happen once they trade in their “super sketchy” small trailer and the secondhand carpet cleaning van that tows it for a refurbished food truck, which is currently underway.
While selling out of Cloudburst will mean a slight loss of profit for Mountain Squeeze, Massey and Stansa are unfazed. “We won’t have the cost of rent [anymore], because we won’t have a lot [after November],” said Stansa. They also completed their barista training with Cloudburst recently in order to have the option to work at the new cafe and “maintain a face behind our product,” said Massey. “We’re going to train their staff in how to make our smoothies and juices, but if we want to actually be there selling it, we can.”
Mountain Squeeze’s current success is a result of Stansa and Massey’s’ energy, passion, and general joy for life. “We’re not afraid to say really crazy ideas,” said Stansa. “Some of those really did lead to the direction that we’re headed in right now. It’s happening so naturally, it’s kind of meant to be. You create your own luck, in a way.”
Massey said her Quest education definitely helped her with Mountain Squeeze, albeit very indirectly. Her question was: “What is the humane treatment of animals?” but her main takeaway from Quest was the ability to focus in on an area of passion and go for it. Coming back to Quest would be a fairytale ending for Massey. “It’s on our dream list,” she said.
For now, visit Mountain Squeeze’s new location in the On The Farm complex, or check them out at http://www.mountainsqueeze.com/. Go thirsty.