Plant Passion : Lifehouse Tonics
Welcome to the new section of this blog : Plant Passion. Whilst on my travels i've been speaking to the most inspiring people bringing their own Plant passion to life. People who have created concepts, launched products or made an impact on their community - with a focus on plants. Always.
Launching now feels right as I am going though some changes in my own 'Plant life'. Finally in London after completing PlantLab Level Three I am now between projects and deciding where this will take me next. Interviewing these people has been pretty incredible inspiring many ideas, provoking thoughts and evaluating the huge impact one idea can have.
When I was In LA earlier this year I discovered Lifehouse tonics an adaptogenic smoothie bar that serves sensational Elevated superfood smoothies, tonics, and elixirs packed with functional herbs and mushrooms. After many a green juice and superfood laced smoothie this place stuck out. I was fascinated by the blends of mushrooms, combinations of amped up non- juices and also their deserts laced with goodness.
I met founders Jack and Fraser to find out where is mesmerising concept came from.
It seems Lifehouse Tonics is a natural evolution of a dream Originally intended as a house of life with all sorts of wellness activities under one roof was streamlined and brought to life by these college friends from Canada.
Both of whom spent years since moving to LA gracing the Erehwon Market Tonic bars to get their one and sometimes two daily fix of 'elevated' smoothies and Tonics. While this is a delicious experience it isn't so friendly to the wallet. So, with growing passion and knowledge for Tonic herbs and mushrooms. An idea sparked.
"Approachable Elevated Tonics"
Taking inspiration from western medicine, one of Jack's close family members had pointed him in the direction of Ron Teeguarden - one of the foremost recognised herbalists in america, published Auther and co Founder of Dragon Herbs
Inspired by the power of Eastern medicine the initial thought was about finding a way to make these ancient magical herbs less mystical and more accessible to a wider market.
So, Naturally this entrepreneurial dream team set about creating a brand that could demystify the power of adaptogenic* herbs through creating a desirable lifestyle brand that now retails their own blends of superfoods as well as delightful raw snacks and elevated drinks
* Adaptogen (in herbal medicine) a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress.
As you may know In LA the Wellness market is leaps ahead. California is the dreamland that creates the lifestyle trends and experiences that the rest of the world eventually follows.
With so many juice, smoothie and plant based restaurants how does Lifehouse stand out the the crowd?
It seems Cold pressed Juice is on every corner of major cities around the world. But did you know who started the trend? An amazing Juice bar just in Beverly Hills is the culprit. Beverly Hills Juice is an amazingly compact takeout shop that literally just offers a core range of juice with the option of blending it with banana and coconut (BananaMana).
They do what they do. they keep it simple and they do it well. So, the Guys of Lifehouse drew on this idea. Rather than embody a whole house of life they wanted to stick to one thing and do it well.
What drew me to the Brand was the ingredients, the way they make a point of not doing 'juice' but creating blends of magic potions that benefit you in some way.
My Fist experience of the brand was the 'Shroom Shake'* My obsession with 'magic' mushrooms draw me to this creation designed with adaptogens at the heart. This uplifting combination was rich and delicious like drinking a smooth silky superfood chocolate ice cream (what more could you want!?)
Their other most famous creations include a MintHouse Chip, Filthy Hippie and an amazing No Macha - made with green powders blended into a dreamy vanilla milk.
More recently they have also put their powerful adaptogenic blends into jars to sell. You can grab a jar of 'sunshine daydream', 'Mellow Mood' or in my case 'Destiny unbound' so that if you can't make it over to West Hollywood each day you can atleast attempt to whiz up your own Filthy Hippie at home!
*coffee, cacao, almond milk, cashew milk, cinnamon, mesquite, coralus, poria, chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, maitake, tremella, reishi, shiitake, phellinus, tocos, coconut oil, cacao butter, lakanto
I was lucky enough to also experience their probiotic tonics which are more like a very fruity 'slushy' (in want of better words) blended with Kefir. The 'steeped elixirs' which are out off this world and sort of reminded me of the amazing Rawligion waters that I had tried over in London. The Lifehouse take on Elixirs included wonderful blends of imaginative ingredients many of them using monkfuit* which sparked many an idea for me.
The elixirs consisted of blends like 'I love Zuzu', 'Fungi Palmer' and endless summer' all being light and fresh with different qualities to any day.
If that want enough Lifehouse also does amazing probiotic dessert pots and adaptogenic cakes - which are totally sensational.
*monkfuit a natural sweetener made from a small sub tropical melon. that is sweet but low in sugar.
When comparing this brand to others to in LALA land I would day they are Most similar to the aspirational lifestyle brand moon juice - created by guru Amanda Chantal Bacon. Although Lifehouse is certainly a little more decadent. Also noted if we were going to 'compare apples to apples' Beaming is has a similar style and offers a good range of superfood packed drinks again a different vibe with more od a cafe style offer and not so targeted on brain boosting power.
With products, a store and a strong brand identity under their belts whats next for Lifehouse?
Since this interview they have opened a second site in Culver City with a focus on Takeout. This is a natural progression from the hollywood site that acts as a sort of HQ. With the current HQ consisting of a large open space which has little footfall the new culver site will provide quite the opposite with a focus on city workers after a quick boost mid day and morning. Jack and Fraser were excited about the opening and visualise the brand coming to life in many forms with a small footprint and getting their Lifehouse concept to as many as possible!
For me it was magical to see a brand born out of a dream - bringing ancient wisdom to the forefront of mainstream culture and doing powerful things with plants. The more plant passionate people out there the better!
My main takeaway thinking back to this interview is focus. There can be so many ideas running wild but if you stick to your thing you can fly. Thanks to Lifehouse tonics for inspiration and superpowers!