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Local Karlen Thyne Opens Pura Vida: A New Juice Bar at The River Valley Club

Mar 09, 2016 06:49PM ● By Gabrielle Varela
Karlen Thyne’s family business was transplanted from Claremont to Lebanon, New Hampshire’s The River Valley Club (RVC)  to provide smoothies made with fresh juices and bright, organic local ingredients. RVC is Lebanon, NH's prime fitness facility, the River Valley Club. The juice bar, however is located at the front and is not members only.

Strawberries may be uncommon in winter, but that is the joy of Pura Vida’s menu that consistently stays fresh, tropical, and vibrant. Many ingredients known to grow in warmer climates still appear with old-school techniques of freezing or dehydrating organic ingredients bought locally from farms in the Upper Valley.

The name, Pura Vida—a Costa Rican saying that translates to “pure life”—is the philosophy behind the fruits and vegetables that have no GMOs, no trans fats, and no high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, or preservatives. It also reflects owner Karlen Thyne’s philosophy to bring these pure ingredients “back to life” to fuel an adventurous lifestyle.

Thyne attributes his dedication to pure, organic foods to his upbringing in Costa Rica, and he admits that when he came to the United States, he was confused and surprised by the ingredients he saw on food labels. “These are not real things that people are consuming,” he says.

Pura Vida’s approach is to start here and hopefully expand into a health-food café, not just a juice bar. Karlen partnered with RVC based on their common goal—to spread knowledge that not only is exercise important but also how you feed yourself. Pura Vida was created to offer better health to the members of RVC and to the community. The shop, located in the RVC, opened its doors in July 2015.

Trends like juicing and social media have helped smoothies make the transition from a fruity milkshake alternative for mid-mall snacking to a bright, nutritious beverage—in the process shedding the unhealthy associations to become a trendy, nutritious breakfast or post-workout snack. Blogs are filled with inventive combinations and social media hashtags like #smoothiechallenge, #smoothiequeen ,and #smoothieaddict have made it easy and popular to share the nutritious benefits of smoothies for a healthy lifestyle.

And they aren’t just for adults—every member of the family can come build their own smoothie, learn what’s involved in a healthy lifestyle, and enjoy a healthy snack for on-the-go lifestyles. Now, creamy chocolate and peanut butter become guilt free.

Pura Vida’s most popular drink, the Green Giant, makes drinking kale not only manageable but also alluring with its inventive mixture of juicy crushed pineapple, sweet coconut, spinach, kale, lemon, and banana. For something more familiar, try fruit blends like Strawberry Slam and Hawaiian Harvest.

 “My goal is to provide more of everything simple and clean to people,” says Thyne.

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