Slice a beautiful piece of Florida citrus open. Squeeze it. Store the juice in the refrigerator . . . and leave it for a year before you drink it. Essentially, that’s the process commercial juice undergoes, with a few chemically modulated flavor tweaks along the way. And for Ben and Will Krause, it’s a far cry from the fresh-squeezed OJ they grew up enjoying.
The Krause brothers, who have made quite a name in the Upstate for their script-adorned bottles of fresh orange and grapefruit juice, pride themselves on a “grove to glass” taste. If that sounds like marketing hyperbole, it’s not—their juice is squeezed to order and on the shelf the very next day. “You cannot get a shorter time frame,” laughs Ben, who trucks in 12,000 pounds of fruit from their family’s Florida citrus groves each month.
When the brothers did a soft launch of Krause Brothers juice last spring, Swamp Rabbit Café sold out in six hours. Now, in the middle of their second citrus season, orders are flying and the company is growing. Ben credits the success of their “one-ingredient juice” to careful sourcing: “Cut an orange open—that’s what you’re drinking when you open a bottle of Krause Brothers,” he says.
In some ways, this path was inevitable. Ben and Will, who grew up sharing everything from a room to chores in the family citrus groves, always knew they wanted to go into business together eventually. What they didn’t know is that their craving for the fresh juice they missed from home would turn into the company they could build together.
Krause Brothers Citrus Co.
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