J. Luce Foundation Partners Up with Ambrosia Beverages

What Kind of Company Pairs Up With Young Global Leaders on Roosevelt Island?

Updated 3 years ago David Stone
Nick Oleng, CEO and Founder, UJI Smoothies
Nick Oleng, CEO and Founder, UJI Smoothies
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

What kind of company can find happiness with an energized group of idealistic leaders nurtured by the J. Luce Foundation?

I’m barely inside the Manhattan Park Theater Club for the J. Luce Foundation Young Global Leaders Awards for five minutes when Israel Santana approaches me, waving a bottle in his hand.

Tall, thin and always in motion, Santana is one of the leaders about to be honored tonight, but he has other business on his mind.

“All you have to do is pose for a picture and post ‘UJI Smoothie’ on Facebook, and you get a free bottle,” he tells me.

Always a sucker for freebies, even sight unseen, I pose while Santana snaps a picture with my iPhone and hands me a free bottle, which I have to set aside because, well… because smoothies, even the best smoothies, do not blend well with red wine.

I’ll enjoy it tomorrow.

I take for granted that the smoothies, a product from Ambrosia Beverages, will be creatively innovative and memorable. I take it for granted because everything connected with Jim Luce’s foundation is that way, including its founder.

So, What Are UJI Smoothies and Why Should I Care About Them?

“Growing up in Kenya,” recalls CEO Nick Oleng’, “I enjoyed the many benefits of a wholesome breakfast made with nutrient-packed grains like millet and sorghum. When I moved to the US and started working in New York City, my busy lifestyle couldn’t afford me the time I needed to make the same type of breakfast my mother used to make. It was this need that drove me to think of bottling grain based smoothies.”

Oleng’ works as an investment quantitative analyst at AB Global after stints with the Vanguard Group and Goldman Sachs.

“Cuisine is an integral part of any culture, and grains have always been central to this. Through this, I learned about quinoa, chia, amaranth and many other grains from all over the world,” he adds.

Although you can find numerous suggestions online for adding grains to smoothies, Ambrosia Beverages stands alone with its already prepared UJI Smoothies.

Benefits of Grain Based Smoothies

Grain based, porridge style foods, like oatmeal, have been around for a long time, but what UJI Smoothies offer is different in significant ways.

First, they make it easy to carry them with you. That matters because portability expands the benefits available in improved nutrition.

The other important benefit is that the grains offered are of higher recognized nutritional content than most traditional foods.

Quinoa, which Ambrosia blends with mixed berries to create a tasty smoothie, is considered so significant that the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations declared 2013 “the International Year of the Quinoa.”

Other flavors include Millet + Mango, Chia + Citrus and Oats + Pina Colada, proving again that good nutrition can be delicious.

The answer to my question about what kind of company gets involved in supporting the J. Luce Foundation’s Young Global Leaders was answered as expected: an innovative company, like none other, that combines good works with smart business practices.

Where can you buy them? Click here for a list of New York City locations.

 

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