Last updated on September 28, 2016
California native Jonnathan Courtney opened Calizumos with the ambition of changing the world one bottle at a time by providing the freshest, healthiest and most delicious cold press juices and acai bowls in Barcelona.
Or as Jonnathan puts it himself: “We’d like to share our passion for wellness and nutrition through great-tasting food and drinks for all to enjoy. Our motto is Press, Drink, Discover, Play.”
But how does a Californian end up with his own health food joint in Barcelona? I asked him a few questions to find out the juicy gossip (sorry, I couldn’t resist!).
Jonnathan: I’m originally from Orange County, California but in 2009 I did a study abroad program here in Barcelona at UAB and after spending five months here I had fallen in love with the city and promised myself that one day I would return to live here.
Ben: How did you get into food?
J: In the States I found an internship at the St. Regis Monarch Beach resort and spa, where I began my culinary journey. It’s taken me around the world for the past six years as a professional chef at 5-star resorts. I’ve had the opportunity to live and work in the US, Portugal and Qatar.
In March 2015 I decided to leave the culinary world and return to school to study nutrition so that I could combine my passions for health and food. I decided to settle down in Barcelona, the city I always wanted to return to.
B: What do you guys offer at Calizumos?
J: We’re a small start-up company that believes in leading our community to a better and healthier lifestyle through raw pressed vegetable juices and acai bowls.
We believe in the art of combining simple natural produce and super foods, which promotes the well being of our community. Regular or daily intake of fresh pressed juices can dramatically increase your general health, leaving you feeling much more energized and most importantly healthy.
It is of importance to make sure our clients get the very best at all times,
B: Where do you source your ingredients?
J: We source our everything from various local stores here in Gracia, who receive their produce from local farmers here in Catalunya, though some ingredients have to be imported. Acai, now known as a super food, is delivered to us all the way from the Amazons of Brazil.
We truly believe that fresh produce maintains all of the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It is of importance to make sure our clients get the very best at all times and we use seasonal fruit, not only because it’s tastier, but also because it allows us to make our juices even fresher.
B: What has been the biggest challenge in opening your business in Barcelona?
J: One of the biggest challenges has been the cultural differences in terms of how business gets done. The biggest challenge in this was mainly the way I was used to doing business and getting things done back home. I was confident that I had everything under control and knew exactly where to go and what to do, but I was in for a big surprise and the experience was a big eye opener.
I was fairly fluent in Spanish back then, but opening any kind of business has its challenges and I really learned that the only thing that stays true to making things happen is networking. I have met a lot of good and knowledgeable people here in Barcelona, which were all very willing to help me get my business off the ground.
Being an extrovert also helped a lot in this regard, as I can easily make friends and talk to basically anyone, which was a big contributor in making the Calizumos dream a reality. As physically and emotionally draining as it was with tens of thousands of roadblocks, I can proudly say that I came out the other side more knowledgeable and a proud owner of a business here in Barcelona.
B: Tell us a little bit about your bootcamps! Where do you find the energy to run a new business and hold bootcamps?
J: The juices of course! Haha! They give me all the energy I need. Honestly, my goal for opening Calizumos was never to only promote cold press juice and acai bowls, our main focus is to create awareness of maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
I started the free bootcamp so that I could give back to our clients and community to help them stay active and spend their time enjoying the outdoors instead of all those metal horses in the gym. I personally workout six days a week and that consists of running to the beach, weight training at the gym, and doing steps at Parc Guell or Plaza Espana. For now I can keep up with the bootcamp soldiers, but soon they will be catching up to me so I definitely want and need to be in top form.
Our FREE fitness bootcamp runs every Saturday at 18:00pm.
B: Anything else?
J: Since opening Calizumos I have to say that I have met some of the most interesting and inspiring individuals. Many who are excited for me and my business. They are all happy to share their knowledge and experience. A lady from the US who was staying in the area with her family for a wedding came into the store one day.
She was really impressed with the initiative and told me to watch a documentary on YouTube which inspired the Calicleanse programs. I would recommend Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead to anyone who would like to start their health journey.
I would recommend juicing to anyone as it really changes your life for the better. Whether it is to balance your lifestyle, start your journey to a healthier you or whatever the reason might be, we are here to help you start and maintain your health journey.
Stay juicing and start your journey with Calizumos today!
Make it Happen
Address: Calizumos, Carrer Ramon y Cajal, 124, Gracia
Nearest Metro: Joanic (Yellow Line)
Monday to Friday: 9am to 2:30pm and 5pm to 8pm
Saturdays: 9am to 3pm
More info: www.Calizumos.com