Your Neighbor, the Entrepreneur: Lianna Sugarman

Lianna3Who is answering these questions?
Lianna Sugarman, Founder and Chief Blending Officer of LuliTonix.

Elevator pitch?
Food is the greatest ally we have in our quest for wellness, fitness and health, and also one of the joys of life. Our organic raw blends—both our Green line, and our just-launched CHIA Superfood Nutmilk line—always serve both functions of being absolutely, uncompromisingly made of the best raw organic unprocessed ingredients, while simultaneously being absolutely delicious and crave-able (not just palatable).

Intriguing! Tell us more.
Too many of us have adversarial relationships toward food, which don’t serve us well. We convince ourselves that “healthy” foods are virtuous and boring and foods we crave are sexy but bad. So when we nurture our cravings for what we want, those foods tend to diminish our vigor, our energy and our health. And being “good” leaves us unsatisfied. Our goal, and what drives us, is to do away with the toxicity of that tension. Both with our CHIA Superfood nutmilks and our Green blends we believe that everything we take in should serve us not only by healing, cleansing, rebuilding and fortifying us from the cellular level up, but also by tantalizing and satisfying our taste buds. Every ingredient is RAW, organic, and is added to best serve you, delight you, and make your body (and your day!) even more amazing.

When was it founded? Where did the idea come from?
Technically launched fall 2012, but was in the works long before that—at the time Tribeca in particular was a wasteland when it came to juice. At best you could get some HPP (high pressure processed to extend shelf life) green juice at Whole Foods. I’m a big believer in whole foods and the importance of fiber (not sexy but important!) and I found by creating super green blends (blended not pressed, so as to retain the fiber so important for health, detoxification and energy and to prevent detrimental blood sugar spikes) I totally changed my cravings and felt so much better. Friends and family who felt the benefits and loved the taste forced me to create this company. There was a real hole in the market.

Our new CHIA line also comes from a hole in the market—whole food, totally nurturing strengthening Raw CHIA Superfood blends. CHIA is a true athletic-and-all-around-wellness wonderfood. (Side note: even our cat eats chia!) The blends are filled with various health amplifying superfoods that are just amazing—Turmeric, Cacao, Maca, Ginger, Hemp in easy grab-and-go sizes. Perfect as a meal replacement, pre- or post-workout or snack. Oh yeah, and we have one with cold brew organic coffee. Just because!

Why the name LuliTonix?
Luli was my family childhood nickname, one I hadn’t used in years, and starting this company was such a leap in the unknown, something adults often are scared to do. The name buoyed my confidence and reminds me of being a child, when limits don’t exist and all is possible.

Who else was involved?
From inception: My fiancé, Arnold, a hard-ass/previously anti-green juice/marketing and “natural” wine guy who became obsessed with the product has been my partner from the start. Also my friend Ashley who was my biggest supporter early on was an amazing recipe taster and cheerleader. Now I have a small but pretty great crew, from Paige, my all around Kick Ass Rock Star “Vice Blendy,” to my kitchen stars, and everyone’s favorite delivery guy, Sean, Mehdi and Angelo.

How big is LuliTonix now?
We are carried at Mulberry & Vine and Lyons Den Power Yoga in the neighborhood, and a number of other locations outside the area, and have some cool partnerships and more locations coming up! We have a large private cleanse delivery which is really popular as well. We’re growing fast! So… bigger than we were yesterday but nowhere near as tomorrow!

Where is it headquartered?
Our production is in Long Island City but we are headquartered out of my house or any place with wi-fi.

How and where you do see it growing?
We are looking for the new retail partners, as well as appropriate retail for a LuliTonix store/pop up in someone else’s store to expand our lines and start incorporating raw treats, custom designed tinctures, etc. Our new CHIA line specifically we are moving into wider distribution. So basically world domination more or less ;-)

Does living in Tribeca inspire the company in any way?
Everyone is so athletic-minded, fit and always moving around here, and I love that! It keeps me motivated both personally and as a company. And I always find living by the water so inspiring in general. There’s always movement, always change.

Previously in this series:
••• Grace Lee, Nine Naturals
••• Offir Gutelzon, Keepy
••• Lisa Ridd, Smitten Films

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  1. So glad Eytan posted this..I just moved to Tribeca, am a health/ beauty expert and have been eager to explore the area for some great health finds! Will definitely be checking your products out!