Tag: Chef V business

Summer 2022: What’s Chef V Up To?

Is V living the glamorous life of an entrepreneur, jet-setting to Paris for lunch, then off to the Greek Islands for a 2-week idyllic escape? Well, not exactly. But for someone who works her tail off, V knows how to have some fun on the road—even while she’s working. Let’s check out what V’s been up to this summer…

JUNE: Cape Cod & Newport, RI

When V was living in West Caldwell, NJ—CHEF V’s East Coast hub—for a few years, she regretted not exploring more of the beautiful parts of the East Coast. Thankfully, she can now cross off some of those sights off of her bucket list.

After leaving the CHEF V store in NJ, V, along with husband Brandon, and Coconut, explored the charming port town of Newport, Rhode Island, a seemingly entirely different planet than the desiccated, searing heat of Palm Desert, CA, where V grew up.

Picture V and Brandon as the Kennedys of the blended juice world, enjoying boat rides from one marina to the next, from one charming port town to another, sipping not on champagne but on Green Drinks.

That’s not to say V and Brandon didn’t indulge a little in the local fare. In Newport, they ate healthy, fresh seafood, which is to say, they just said no to greasy lobster rolls.

From Newport, V went to Cape Cod for the first time, calling the quaint town of Harwich, MA home for a night, melting the stress away at a little resort called Wequassett and playing 18 holes at Cape Cod National Golf Club, a really difficult course with tall grass above your knees. “I lost lots of balls,” V jokes.

While on the Cape, V and Brandon took a 90-minute boat ride and enjoyed perfect 75-degree, low-humidity weather and enjoyed some of the best meals of their lives. That’s saying something considering V herself is a seasoned chef.

“One of the best mouth explosions I’ve ever had was this amazing oyster dinner, each one topped with caviar, fresh tuna and lychee puree. It was phenomenal,” says V.

Another indulgence V shamelessly enjoyed was a pasta dish, which is something she rarely has. But a lobster carbonara was a delicious splurge she couldn’t resist.

Did V fall off the wagon and stop practicing what she preaches? Hardly.

Says V, “On vacation I’m adamant about sticking to a routine. Each morning, I still have lemon water, Green Drink, and practice 30 minutes of yoga. And when I follow the routine on a trip, I feel that the rest of the day I can be more relaxed about what I choose to eat and drink.”

Hamptons retreat

July: Colorado River & Paso Robles Wine Country 

Parker, AZ

Enjoying the outdoors when it’s 115 degrees? No problem! Not when you’re hanging out with friends on a pontoon boat on the Colorado River. Just jump in the 80-degree water to cool off. Rinse and repeat.

V grew up going to Parker, AZ, which has a much more family-friendly vibe than the nearby, debauched Lake Havasu. V whisked Brandon away to Parker in early July for his first trip there.

Unlike most people who party on the river, with an IV of beer hooked up into their veins, V made healthy smoothies, veggie plates with hummus and fruit plates for herself, Brandon and friends. She also cooked healthy meals for everyone on the boat.

Hamptons retreat

Hamptons retreat

Paso Robles, CA

Then, on July 30th, V and Brandon’s sixth wedding anniversary, the couple spent time in California wine country—Paso Robles to be exact.

“I love Paso. It’s more laid-back and not as snooty and pretentious as other towns in  more well-known wine areas of California like Napa,” says V, who has a decent knowledge of wine from spending a couple years in the industry years ago.

V doesn’t drink wine very often, but when she does, she knows exactly what she’s looking for. While in Paso, V played golf at Hunter Ranch where, unlike her mulligan-filled outing in Cape Cod, she played rather well.

V and Brandon hit a winery of note, Tobin James, where they enjoyed ambience and the wine. Then they went a French restaurant, Le Petite Canailles, that served a deboned Dover sole seasoned on a wood plank, topped with edible flowers. For a side: V describes it as “bougie tater tots with caviar.” It was phenomenal!

A splurge? V’s bank statement says yes but at least it was a healthy one. And hey, when you’re working your tush off, you deserve to treat yourself.

Hamptons retreat

Hamptons retreat

V and B also hit J. Lohr vineyards, Daou, and to celebrate their anniversary, the couple visited JUSTIN vineyards and enjoyed a four-course tasting menu with paired wines, featuring a trout tartarte with edible flowers, and a pasta agnolotti with truffle.

Again, another well-earned splurge!

“I like to have fun, too. So many people think that I’m a flawless saint when it comes to nutrition. I still take care of myself with Green Drink and my routine but I do enjoy myself,” V says.

Rawgust: Oregon 

V’s hubby, Brandon is originally from Lake Oswego, Oregon just 8 miles from Portland. Since Covid, the couple has driven (with Coconut of course) up there every year and has come to enjoy the ride. So recently, the trip hit the road from San Diego for the long haul.

V’s “Nana” lives in Southern Oregon near the Rogue River so they stopped there first. Then, the couple went up to Lake Oswego for an annual boat party on the lake with 8 floating docks, live music and a floating dance floor.

It might not be St. Barts but to V, this is a slice of heaven—and she’s earned it.

What’s Chef V Been Up To In 2022?

Like most people, Veronica Wheat Kress has embraced 2022.

The entrepreneur behind ChefV.com has been thrilled with life returning to a semblance of normalcy. For her, that has meant a return to in-person yoga classes, golf, running transformational health retreats for women and traveling.

The first quarter of the year witnessed Veronica making up for lost time. In February, she co-hosted a retreat in Santa Ynez, which is the gorgeous wine and ranch country not too far from coastal Santa Barbara. Veronica cooked every meal for her small group of lady guests, partook in deep-breathing kundalini yoga classes at 6 a.m., went horseback riding, and of course, indulged in a healthy, moderate amount of wine tasting. “We all had an amazing time connecting and sharing supportive stories. It was an awesome, empowering retreat,” Veronica recollects.

Based on the success of the Santa Ynez retreat, Veronica has been busily preparing for another women’s retreat this summer (June 24-27) in the exclusive Hamptons near NYC.

Hamptons retreat

After a trip to Cabo San Lucas in March, Veronica and husband, Brandon, went to Hawaii in April. Because Brandon’s father grew up in Hawaii, luckily, the pair have connections there and have been going for the last 12 years as a couple. This time around was Veronica’s first experience in Maui, where she, as an avid golfer, was stoked to have played at Kapalua’s Plantation Course, one of the most majestic—and challenging—golf courses in the world. Veronica had an amazing time playing there despite the extremely challenging changes in elevation and blustery conditions.

Also on that trip, Veronica and Brandon did something called E-foiling. Picture a surfboard with a submerged boomerang operated by electric power and there you have E-foiling. It’s catching on in the surfing world but Veronica and Brandon tried it out for the first time in the placid water of Oahu’s Turtle Bay, where she says she also enjoyed her one daily indulgence: a Mai Tai.

On the business side of things in 2022, things are on the up and up. Veronica has expanded her operations on the East Coast. Her West Caldwell, NJ storefront increased in size, allowing her to take on more orders in the NYC metro area and beyond. She’s even contemplating expanding her San Diego-based warehouse.

And before the year is up, Veronica says she plans on starting her second cookbook, which she promises will be less restrictive than her recipes in Making Cleansing Easier.

Unfortunately, because of the economic climate and inflation, 2022 was the first time in 12 years of running ChefV.com that Veronica and Brandon saw no choice but to raise prices, albeit modestly.

The good news, says Veronica, is that the new prices will not affect legacy or current Green Drink subscribers. And Chef V’s Green Drink plan will remain highly affordable at approximately $7 per day for new customers.

“At farmer’s markets in the San Diego and NYC area, it’s pretty common for juices to cost $10 or even $12 a bottle and they’re not even certified organic like Chef V Green Drink,” says Veronica.

So what’s in store for Veronica in the second half of 2022? Stay tuned…

How Does “V” Reboot Her Mind & Body? Cleansing Lessons From ChefV.com’s Founder

Through her email newsletters and blog posts, Chef V has helped thousands of customers by providing useful tips and tricks on how to prepare for a cleanse and what to do during before and after the cleanse to maximize success and long-term healthy habits. Now it’s time to turn the tables and find out how “V” (Veronica) cleanses…

You might assume that someone who literally wrote the book on Making Cleansing Easier frequently does a cleanse. But Veronica Kress, the “V” in Chef V, admits to only doing a full-blown cleanse about once a year.

Why only once a year?

Well, when you practice what you preach and do a mini cleanse every day, you don’t need to purify yourself that often. Having an Organic Green Drink every morning on an empty stomach is a daily religious rite of passage for V. “Each one of us naturally cleanses every night while we’re sleeping,” V explains, adding, “And when I have a Green Drink for breakfast after drinking some pure water, I’m prolonging the process.

But on the rare occasions, she feels she’s in a rut and experiencing cravings for junk, it’s time for V to get her cleanse on!

How Does V Know When To Do A Cleanse? 

“I know when I need to do a full cleanse if I’m at a party and have a couple Doritos and then suddenly I’m craving the whole bag and other junk food.”

V reveals an intimate detail that the last time she did a cleanse was summer 2021. The reason why she chose to do it? In the hopes of getting pregnant. “I’ve had several customers tell me that after they did a ChefV cleanse, they became pregnant so I thought I might as well try too,” V laughs.

But there was another reason that V did her last full cleanse that didn’t have anything to do with procreation. “People may think I’m this perfect saint of nutrition but I’m not. Before that last cleanse, I had family in town and we did a lot of wine tasting,” V explains.

What is V’s Motivation For Doing A Cleanse?

Most people do a cleanse with the singular goal of losing weight. V says that even though weight loss isn’t her primary goal, she will lose 3-5 pounds after doing a 3 day cleanse. But the primary reason V does a cleanse—besides purging the urge to eat junk—is to sharpen her mental clarity.

“If you’re frequently craving unhealthy foods, brain fog usually accompanies the cravings,” V says.

In addition, V is motivated to do a cleanse because she realizes the plethora of benefits that accompany it, including improved sleep quality and clearer skin.

V emphasizes the amazing power that a brief cleanse has in resetting the taste buds. If you’re frequently craving starchy carbs and chemicals even a short cleanse has the potential to restore the appreciation for the natural sweetness of fruit. “When you stop eating foods with synthetic chemicals and added sugars, berries will taste amazing and then you won’t crave the bad stuff,” she says.

V’s Favorite Cleanse

In choosing between ChefV.com’s cleanse options, V says she’s partial to the 3 day cleanse because it’s the most doable.

But a 3 day cleanse isn’t really just a 3 day cleanse, V explains. That’s because the pre-cleanse phase is crucial. V says that the number of days she does a pre-cleanse depends on how her diet has been. If she’s done more wine tasting than usual or indulged in her favorite other vice—french fries—V will pre-cleanse for at least 3 days.

V’s pre-cleanse instructions are crystal clear with the 1-day, 3-day and 5-day options. Basically, V provides a list of foods to eat and to avoid before the cleanse, which is more calorie-restricted, begins.

How V Preps For A Cleanse

There’s no point in doing a cleanse if you’re not going to pre-cleanse in order to properly prepare your body, V says. “Why spend all this time and money if you’re not going to do it right?” she asks.

And while some of the “Don’t Eat This” foods on the pre-cleanse list may seem obvious, V avoids certain seemingly healthy foods leading up to the start of the official cleanse. For example, bananas are a no-no because of the high amount of sugar. Grapefruit contains an enzyme that actually slows phase 1 detoxification in the liver.

V also avoids strawberries, even organic ones, because they may contain a high amount of pesticides. Same deal goes for grapes and then there’s tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers, all of which are in the nightshade family. V avoids nightshades leading up to the cleanse because they may promote inflammation, especially if there’s already excessive inflammation in the body.

But the most important foods V avoids in the days leading up to her cleanse—and the immediate days after the cleanse is over—are anything with gluten; dairy products, red meat, caffeine and alcohol.

V says she decided to make caffeine a no-no on the pre-cleanse list because it takes a lot of energy for the body to detoxify from caffeine. But the good news is that she has helped thousands of people overcome their caffeine addiction. “They feel amazing afterwards,” she says.

below, click image to download pdf of includes and excludes

Why V Created The Pre-Cleanse Phase

So how did V come up with the idea of a pre-cleanse phase in the first place? Was it the certified nutritional therapy course she took? Nope. She was inspired to create it when a few customers walked into her former commercial kitchen in San Diego and said, “We’re going to Burger King for our last meal before the cleanse!”

V emphasizes that lots of people still don’t realize the importance of the pre-cleanse phase. If you go from filling up your car’s gas tank with sugar and then all of a sudden fill it up with the proper fuel, your car will still run like crap.

So later that night after the Burger King fiasco, V researched everything she could find about gut healing and cleansing, including what foods to eat and not to eat. The pre-cleanse instructional materials that are provided to every ChefV.com cleanse customer was soon after completed!

In addition to properly preparing your body for the cleanse, the pre-cleanse phase, V says, helps her customers typically lose 5 pounds. “The pre-cleanse phase can be just as successful as the cleanse phase.”

What V Does If She Has Cravings During A Cleanse

V doesn’t like to use the word “cheating” when it comes to experiencing cravings during a cleanse. It’s too much of a negative connotation. V likes positive reinforcements instead. Which is why V employs the concept of “intuitive eating” when her brain tells her that she’s hungry during the cleanse phase.

Instead of giving in to cravings for unhealthy snacks, V says that she’ll have a tiny bit of healthy fats like a teaspoon of coconut oil and a slice of avocado added to her Detox soup.

“The tiny amount of avocado felt so indulgent. I admit that I did feel like I was cheating a little bit, but I was making a wise decision by listening to my body.”

V also says that during the cleanse phase, one way to satisfy a craving without ruining the benefits is to puree or blend an extra veggie juice. Eating lots of cooked food, even healthy foods like low-starch veggies takes a lot of energy for the body to digest. For this reason, V says to eat a liquid lunch or dinner—if your body is really telling you that it’s hungry. Having a handful of nuts, berries, and a few carrot sticks and hummus won’t sabotage your success either.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself during the cleanse phase,” V says.

Veronica and Brandon in Hawaii

Taking A Risk: How Veronica Kress Overcame Fear & Doubt To Expand Chef V

Would you take this leap of faith?

In a multi-billion juice market that’s completely over-saturated and dominated by corporate Goliaths like Odwalla, Naked Juice and Bolthouse Farms, you decide to enter the market with only a slingshot to tackle the giants being a recipe for a green veggie drink that a few dozen clients in the San Diego area are addicted to.

In an interview with CanvasRebel.com, a leading forum for small business entrepreneurs, the face of ChefV.com, Veronica Wheat Kress, talks about the giant leaps of faith she took to start and expand her business.

First, the challenge was to launch a business that was already insanely competitive. Before founding ChefV.com, Veronica was a private chef for clients in the San Diego area. Her ultra low-sugar recipe for Organic Green Drink with seven leafy greens quickly gained in popularity beyond her chef client list.

So why not launch a healthy Green Drink business? Veronica gives credit to the audacious idea to her supportive husband, Brandon, who would eventually help her run  ChefV.com as the CFO.

It’s not easy starting any business. But especially not one with a ton of competition. Juice bars were becoming as ubiquitous as coffee shops; independent and large-chain juice storefronts were seemingly sprouting on every corner.

So rather than squeeze into a crowded marketplace, Veronica, like any entrepreneur worth their salt, saw a unique opportunity.

Bring healthy juice to the people. By offering the convenience of raw, low-sugar, high nutrient-density green veggie juice home delivery, Veronica found a niche. With juice home delivery, customers no longer have to spend time shopping for produce. And no time wasted chopping up veggies and cleaning the blender.

Despite the innovative idea, Veronica realized that if you build it, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will come. In order to scale up a business that has both an online component and a brick-and-mortar storefront, Veronica and Brandon took the risk of spending a significant chunk of their savings on SEO and securing a high-end production facility that doubled as a juice bar to build a local, grass-roots following.

opening a chef v delivery

Veronica expanded her business from Green Drink only to include single- and multi-day cleanses as well as a 21 day detox program with vegan protein shakes and soups.

Once success was achieved in San Diego, the next risk was to replicate the achievement in other nearby high-urban-density areas such as Orange County and Los Angeles. Done and done. From there, in order to expand the client base and better serve customers located on the East Coast, Veronica and Brandon packed their bags for New York City.

Using nothing but instinct and sheer guts and determination, Veronica and Brandon found a commercial kitchen and secured an organic produce vendor before noon on the very first morning in NYC. They also found a tiny apartment and an even smaller kitchen, all 200 square-feet of it.

The move to the Big Apple greatly expanded ChefV.com’s customer base. But as a result of the growth, Veronica quickly outgrew her kitchen. So another risk was taken when she relocated her NYC commercial kitchen to a 800 square foot facility. But after 5 years, the walls started to close in once again; it was time once again to expand.

Having no clue where to relocate, and once again using instinct rather than being bogged down by statistical analysis, Veronica decided to move outside of NYC to a town in New Jersey she had never even heard of before, West Caldwell. “We couldn’t have picked a better location had we tried,” says Veronica of the move. The affluent area is within striking distance to NYC but because of having more room for a new facility, Veronica was able to launch a wildly successful storefront that features almost two dozen bowls, smoothies and juices, helping her garner a large following in the NYC metro area.

From launching a Green Drink delivery business and securing 100 customers within one month, to expanding and securing dependable delivery drivers and new production facilities, Veronica has been guided by her passion for natural health and her desire to serve the greater good by supplying home delivery of nutrient-and-probiotic-rich Green Drinks, cleanses, vegan recipes and more.

When you follow your heart—and your gut—it makes taking risks easier.

“It’s not all fun and games but at the end of the day when I read glowing customer emails talking about their health transformations, it reminds me of my higher purpose,” says Veronica.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.