Startup Juice Company to Open Albemarle Facility

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A startup company is bottling up central Virginia's farm-fresh flavors. The organic juice producer LUMI is firing up its assembly line at a new high-tech facility in Albemarle County.

A graduate of the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business co-founded LUMI juice with two professors in April. The company found a facility on Broadway Street in August. Ten weeks later, fresh juice is flowing from its assembly line.

LUMI is producing 100 percent organic, cold-pressed juices using a high-pressure processing machine instead of pasteurization. The $700,000 machine's extreme water pressure kills bad bacteria without destroying the nutrients from the raw fruits and vegetables.

LUMI juice is bottling eight juices with names like Piedmont Pineapple, Belmont Beet, and Wahoo Orange.

"You get the same fresh-squeezed flavor after this is fully processed with an extended shelf life and also the nutrients and vitamins of what it is in its raw produce state," said Hillary Lewis, a founder of LUMI. "Pasteurization isn't able to do that for you, so it gives the consumer an additional benefit."

The company expects to hire five employees right now with plans to add 10 to 15 more workers within six months.

LUMI stands for "Love U Mean It." The company wants its drinkers to love themselves with healthy juice.

Bottles should hit select stores in central Virginia within the next few weeks.