We had the good fortune of connecting with Mario & Cecilia Prins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mario & Cecilia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
First and foremost, we wanted ownership. We wanted to own our own business and pivot away from relying on corporations and other people to provide income for our family. We are entrepreneurial at heart, but when the pandemic hit, and business began to shut down, we very quickly realized how essential our new business idea was.
Due to the systematic injustices, black and brown people have had “limited access” to healthy food options within our communities, which plays a significant role in increasing risk for chronic disease, causing pre-existing conditions. Even now, we live in what some would consider an affluent black community, and yet it’s practically a food desert, with very few healthy options nearby. It gets even scarcer the further into the black and brown communities you go. This sparked the idea for us to start “Prins Wellness”. For the past few years, we’ve crafted & consumed juice for our own personal use. During the pandemic, we made it a point to step up our juice intake and overall diet. At the time, it was imperative that everyone in the household (Mario, Cecilia & Hudson), especially our 6 year old son, Hudson, consumed more good and less bad. What started out as an Instagram page where we invited people to follow along on our wellness journey while preaching the gospel of exercising and the power of juicing, due to an overwhelming response, very quickly turned into a juice line. We are now providing an actual product, hoping to give people in our community an opportunity to start their mornings drinking fresh organic juice, putting “more good” into their bodies.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Prins Wellness is a company focused on educating people on the power of juicing and exercise. We are currently selling organic, “whole” fruit and green juices, paying close attention to food combinations to ensure our consumers are getting the maximum benefit out of every sip. What sets us apart from a lot of the other juice companies out there right now is that our juice contains the “whole fruit and vegetable”. Meaning, you are getting the flesh and the fiber from the fruits and vegetables without being pressed. There’s no right or wrong way to do it – there are actually benefits to each method. But we do believe in the importance of fiber in the juice, which tends to leave you feeling much more satisfied, as well as helps to rid the body of wastes. The fiber also contains much of the antioxidants from the fruit that your body needs.
Our company grew authentically. Consuming juice daily is how we’ve been living for the last few years. We began stepping up or juice intake during the pandemic to ensure we were fortifying our bodies. That said, the shift in starting the business was almost seamless. We simply started to bottle what we were consuming.
We are both still currently employed: Cecilia is an advertising executive (Partnerships & Legal, Director) and Mario is a music executive (VP of Creative Services), with a 6 year old son. Balancing work/life while building a new brand has been a true test in multi-tasking. There have been some challenges, but we are beyond passionate about our mission to help educate people. Ultimately, we’ve created a business where nothing goes to waste! Whatever we don’t sell, we drink!
We are proud and excited about the feedback we’ve been receiving thus far about our juices. To hear that we’ve helped people through some rough moments (helping people with their recovery, etc) through our juices lets us know we are on the right track. We can’t wait to see where this business will take us in the years to come.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First and foremost, we’d take them to our house in the desert (LaQuinta, CA). It’s such a beautiful and inspiring place. We go there as often as we can to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to a much more relaxed and peaceful environment. @thecasarubio
Once we had our desert kick, we’d bring them back to LA, and go for a hike at Kenneth Hahn Park, which is in our neighborhood. It boasts some of the best views of the city, while getting fresh air and working up a sweat.
Next, we’d take them on a tour of some of our favorite restaurants with great vegan options. Some of our favorites are:
Grilled Fraiche – @grilledfraiche
Post & Beam – @postandbeamla
Simply Wholesome – @simplywholesome
Poppy + Rose – @poppyandrosela
Gracias Madres – @graciasmadresocal
After we eat, we always take our friends to A Simple Bar (@asimplebar), an awesome establishment in Hollywood, where Mario Djs (disc jokey) on Saturdays for perfectly crafted cocktails and musical vibes.
For those who are into the outdoors, we love camping in the SoCal mountains. One of our favorite spots is Buckhorn Campground. It is secluded within the Angeles National Forest, and we spend our time hiking and sitting around the campfire.
Finally, we can’t let anyone leave the city before spending a day at Bruce’s Beach in Manhattan Beach. This was the only black-owned beach/resort in 1912, that has since become an important Los Angeles landmark. We usually spend the day rollerskating and bike riding before setting up on the beach, with some Prins Wellness juices!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many people that contributed to our success, and helped us get the courage to launch Prins Wellness.
Our cousin, Dr. Aris Latham, Worldwide Master of Ra Vegan Culinary Arts (Sunfired Foods), has been such a huge inspiration. He’s helped us heighten our juice creativity, and expand our knowledge on the power of raw foods. We just returned from his juice retreat in Portobelo, Panama, and look forward to our next visit this coming July 2021.
We most definitely wouldn’t have even started a juice line if it weren’t for our friend Shara Prophet, who is also our Hypnotherapy coach, who helped us to reach true enlightenment, reaffirming the path we were on, paving the way for us to pivot and start this company. Truly wouldn’t have taken the leap without her guidance.
Our friend and VP of Digital + eCommerce, Jessica Claire Potts, for taking the time to meet with us and answer the many questions we had about how to increase our digital presence, while not being afraid to just “put it all out there”. She’s always available for many conversations, and always gives the absolute best advice!
Our friend Jan Livingston, Co-Founder of Gray Whale Gin has been a wealth of knowledge! We reached out to her when we first decided to embark on the juice business for some insight on how to get it off the ground. She has been a true mentor and supporter of our brand, and we can’t thank her enough.
Our brother Darrell Prins, Web Designer, who has been essential in helping us design our website and helped our creative vision to life. He’s always available to make suggestions and ensure that our brand looks it’s very best!
The amazing co-founders, Carmen Dianne & Kara Still, who have started an incredible business called Prosperity Market. Prosperity Market is a farmers market on wheels and a food truck in one! They feature black farmers, food producers, and chefs and we travel throughout Los Angeles conveniently bringing a curated farmers market experience to you! If it weren’t for our first meeting, we likely wouldn’t have launched Prins Wellness as fast as we did. We are eternally grateful to them! They are currently accepting donations to help fund the build of the food truck!
And last, but certainly not least, we need to shout out our families. They’ve been our support through it all, and have prayed for us and encouraged us to keep pushing! Chaz Harvey, and Fredrica & Mario Prins Sr.
Product shots – Jean Marie @jeanmariebiele Cecilia & Mario photo – Darrell Prins @darrelthedesigner