Why This Longtime Pharmacist Made the Jump to the Juice Business

“It’s very American to say, ‘What can I take for this?’ But if it was in your diet, you wouldn’t have to ask that question at all."

Doc Bakers Farmulations juice | Photo via Instagram

Doc Bakers Farmulations juice | Photo via Instagram

One of Doc Bakers Farmulations’ popular juices around this time of year is the pollenSHIELD, made with organic mango, orange, blueberry, cherry and raspberry. Why is it called the pollenSHIELD, you ask? Well, as Angelo Greco, owner and juicer at the Doylestown juice and plant-based food spot, explains, all of these fruits help to lower histamine levels in the body. “If you’re exposed to something that gives you a histamine response, there’s a threshold where you’ll begin to sneeze and so on,” he says. So, the idea is, ingesting these foods that lower your histamine levels lowers the chances of you reaching that threshold when you step outside your door and are confronted with a pollen-filled breeze.

And good news for everyone who is rubbing their eyes as we speak: The shop, which has been open since 2013, recently began delivering their concoctions to Philly.

Greco, who grew up watching his father work in the pharmacy owned by their family and who worked in the pharmacy field himself for over 30 years, says his first drug in a pharmacy was Coca-Cola. This is worthy of a chuckle considering, after spending a large chunk of his life working in pharmacies like the one where he first got a taste of Coca-Cola, he now spends his days creating good-for-you cold-pressed juices, with health being the first priority — then taste. (Fear not, though: They still taste great.)

In Greco’s opinion, using organic produce plays a large part when it comes to those health benefits. As he explains, “When you concentrate on nutrition, you also concentrate on any chemicals in the product.” He is adamant about steering clear of pesticides, using all organic produce, much of it local, in the shop’s juices and food. In fact, he feels so strongly about not using produce contaminated with pesticides that, even as a vegan himself who is all about plant-based raw food, he says, “We believe it’s healthier for people to eat organic meat rather than conventional produce. You probably get more risk than benefit from conventional produce. Chemicals are stealth; they can build up and you don’t know why you got sick.”

You can tell Greco has the mind of a pharmacist when he talks about his process for coming up with juices. “We formulate for function first, with consideration to taste,” he says. “When we formulate a juice, we think, What is the intention of this juice? We are really purpose-driven and think, What is this juice for? What will people be using this juice for? What are its benefits?”

So, what does the end result of that process look like? Well, the shop offers everything from juices that function to suppress appetite – that one is a concoction called cinnaTRIM, loaded with cantaloupe, cinnamon and mushroom — to juices to aid inflammation and digestion to shots for mental clarity and mood, and more.

But don’t get it twisted: While his juice philosophy very much represents the food-as-medicine mantra, Greco isn’t anti-pharmacy. He still practices pharmacy as a consultant and says, “Even though I do this now, I still believe pharmacy has a place.” He just believes many health issues can be prevented with food. As he explains, when a health problem arises, “It’s very American to say, ‘What can I take for this?’ But if it was in your diet, you wouldn’t have to ask that question at all because that problem wouldn’t arise. If you maintain health with food, these issues don’t come up. It’s like taking your car to a garage. It’s about your perspective of who is in charge of your health care. It’s really you — you are in charge of your health care. And what you put in your mouth determines that.” 

If you’re interested in getting your hands on some of Greco’s juices, you can learn more about Doc Bakers Farmulations and see what they’ve got to offer (if you’re looking for suggestions, a few of my favorites include the enRICH, and the sweetGREEN), here.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly — here’s how: