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From left, Axioun Strategic Planning Inc. partners Padraic "Pat" Mulvihill, James R. Johnson and Patricia Johnson are the managers of Nu-Well Physicians, a group led by 12 physicians who developed and market the OLUS+ cold-pressed juices made from pro...
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Oct. 27, 201512:00 PM EST

Nu-Well launches cold-pressed juice business in former Piccadilly site

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Recognizing the inconvenience of consuming the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet, a group of Jacksonville physicians launched a drink to make it easier.

Jacksonville-based Nu-Well Physicians has launched OLUS+, a collection of six formulas of cold-pressed fruits and vegetables targeted at consumers age 40 and above.

Production has begun and the products are sold through e-commerce at the NuWellPhy.com. Nu-Well also is marketing to organizations for their workplace wellness programs.

James Johnson, president and CEO, said nine employees are on staff and that will increase to 75 in three years and 100 in five years, based on growth projections.

He is a partner in Axioun Strategic Planning. Axioun partner Pat Mulvihill is executive vice president of risk management at Nu-Well and partner Patricia Johnson is CFO.

Easy access to consuming daily servings of produce makes it easier to stay on a healthy diet, nutrition and wellness track, Johnson said.

“We’re a nation of convenience,” he said Monday.

The group leased and renovated the former 14,000-square-foot Piccadilly Cafeteria in the Regency area at 200 Monument Road.

There, it shreds produce into pulp in a slow rotating shredder and uses more than 14 tons of hydraulic pressure to press the pulp into juice.

The formulas are marketed in 12-ounce bottles, a size the team determined was an adequate daily volume for adults. A bottle a day for six days is the recommended consumption.

Each contains an average of six of the recommended daily servings of vegetables and fruits. The typical recommendation is five to nine servings daily, while the average consumption actually is less than two servings a day, Johnson said.

The formulas are designed to provide a balanced weekly nutrition program, according to nuwellphy.com. They are not meal replacements or a liquid-diet cleanse. Mulvihill emphasizes Nu-Well is a food processor, not a medical entity.

The cost is $7.85 a bottle. The products are ordered online and delivered by truck. Nu-Well is working on arranging pickup locations, too.

They are marketed as 100 percent vegetables and fruits with no filters or other ingredients.

Nu-Well says they are made fresh daily with organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables. GMO is brief for genetically modified organisms.

Johnson said it is a “well-balanced program that the physicians think is optimum.”

Formula1 is a mix of kale, cucumber, ginger, green apple, lemon and turmeric.

Formula2 combines carrot, lemon, grape, celery, parsley and turmeric.

Formula3 comprises green apple, cucumber, turmeric, Swiss chard and romaine.

Formula4 consists of Bok choy, green apple, parsley, ginger, spinach, cucumber, turmeric and lemon.

Formula5 is spinach, cucumber, turmeric, beetroot and pineapple.

Formula6 offers fennel, cucumber, orange, romaine, green apple and ginger.

Each type of the 18 vegetables and fruits is processed separately and the juices are measured precisely for the proper nutrients. The produce is processed upon a customer’s order and shipped quickly to ensure freshness.

The products are not pasteurized and are kept refrigerated. Raw and finished products are laboratory-tested onsite for quality assurance and safety, and equipment and surfaces are sanitized before and after each use. Each bottle is identified by a batch number so products can be tracked.

Nu-Well Physicians is a trademark of North American Physician Consultants LLC.

The management team comprises partners of Axioun Strategic Planning Inc. Johnson said that team owns about 20 percent of the company, while the physicians hold 80 percent of it.

The advisory board consists of 12 physicians and is chaired by Dr. Saumil Oza, chief of cardiology at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside. Dr. Bash Iyengar, a family medicine physician with St. Vincent’s, is the Nu-Well medical director.

The other physicians on the advisory board specialize in family medicine; radiation oncology; neurology; epileptology; internal medicine; gastroenterology; hepatology; rheumatology; ophthalmology; dentistry; radiology; and cardiac electrophysiology. Most are board-certified.

Nine are from Jacksonville, including several with Baptist Health. The other three are from out of state.

Oza, who specializes in heart rhythm disorders, said in a news release he believes more than 95 percent of the patients he sees have diseases that may have been prevented with diet and lifestyle modifications.

“There is more and more evidence in our medical literature that changing our diet and lifestyle, even after you have invasive procedures performed, such as bypass surgery or cardiac stents, can dramatically improve your chances of living a healthier and longer life,” he said.

Johnson and Mulvihill say nutrition and movement are critical for better health for adults age 40 and over. “Our workforce has become very sedentary,” Johnson said.

Mulvihill adds adequate sleep and stress management also are important.

Johnson and Mulvihill, who invest in companies, said the connection between them and the physicians was serendipity. They said they were considering a medical-related startup as Oza and others were working on ideas about nutrition.

“We came to the conclusion there was a megatrend” to build a company around nutritional products for people over 40, Johnson said.

“The doctors triggered us to think there was a real business here,” he said.

They spent four months testing the products among a cross-section of 140 people.

The physicians created the formulas, while the Axioun partners came up with the business plan and financial model.

They chose the Regency location, leased from the owners of Regency Square Mall, because of its central location to the greater Jacksonville area. It also had plenty of parking and space to expand.

Johnson estimates $300,000 has been invested in the building, including a portion from the landlord, and he expects more will be spent on equipment. He anticipates that Nu-Well will create its own bottles, too.

Johnson and Mulvihill said the facility will accommodate planned growth for several years. It could be the first of several locations in the country. They declined to share targeted sales goals.

They have a fleet of refrigerated trucks to deliver products twice a week. The products have a three- to five-day shelf life.

Olus is Latin for vegetable, and the plus sign represents the fruits.

After they establish OLUS+, they want to develop products for adolescents and for adult “weekend warrior” sports enthusiasts.

Johnson and Mulvihill say they are using Olus+ and feel the difference.

“The 4-o’clock crash goes away,” Johnson said.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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