Ten Things We Learned From This New York Times Profile Of Moon Juice Founder Amanda Chantal Bacon
Today is a very good day, because the upper middle class trend blog formerly known as The New York Times has gifted us with a 4,000-plus word profile of Moon Juice founder, wellness innovator and Silver Lake shaman incarnate Amanda Chantal Bacon. Thank you, universe (as someone who believes in the universe as a benevolent power that personally grants you parking spaces and joy, as opposed to just a haphazard and unimaginably violent entity, would say).
The 34-year-old lifestyle guru wafts in and out of light-filled rooms wearing wispy things while an iPhone-toting assistant taps away, just as you would imagine. Angelenos have long known Bacon's high-end juices and her signature $25 bags of raw almonds from the trio of Moon Juice stores across the city, but she went mega-viral after penning a daily food diary for Elle detailing a diet that may or may not cost $709.75 per moonrise. But the internet backlash after that insane food diary has actually been GREAT for Bacon. Like the magical being that she is, she harnessed its power to grow her #brand. "She expanded her business, published a cookbook, spoke at conferences and appeared in Vogue. As her fame has rippled outward, so has her influence," according to the New York Times. Now, we are offered even more insight into her world and, thank god, at least the writer seems to be very much in on the joke (and is often quite funny herself).
Without further ado, here are 10 things we learned from Molly Young's in-depth profile.
Her house is exactly as you'd picture it, but more so:
I met Bacon on the West Side of Los Angeles, where she lives in a 4,000-square-foot home concealed from the street by plants and stairs and a patio containing a Japanese soaking tub, a string of prayer flags, a trio of scooters (belonging to her son, Rohan) and a tiny metropolis of painted rocks (also Rohan)... The front door stood open, and Bacon sailed around in the kitchen ahead. An assistant sat at the countertop typing on an iPhone. I am accustomed to New York City kitchens the size of a bathtub, but this one was majestic by any standard. Every surface stretched gleamingly into the distance: the countertops, the professional range, the island with its basket of gourds, French press and sticks of burning Frankincense.
Amanda Chantal Bacon stopped eating gluten at age four after a chance encounter with an Indian Ayurvedic doctor at a downtown health food store set her on her life's path. We are not making this up:
As a housekeeper vacuumed nearby, Bacon kicked into her origin story. Growing up in New York City, she was a sickly child (“bronchial stuff”) whose parents took her to doctors (“I got pumped through the Western-medicine chain”) without satisfactory results (“Of course nothing helped”). One day she went shopping with her family at a downtown health-food store, where, the story goes, an Ayurvedic doctor visiting from India overheard Bacon coughing. The doctor came over and posed some questions (“Very typical Ayurvedic ones, like ‘How often do you poop?’ ”) and took the child’s pulse. After examining Bacon’s tongue, the man provided her mother with a list of forbidden foods: cow’s milk, wheat and white sugar, among others. Bacon stopped eating gluten at age 4 and became a vegetarian at around 7.
After her very own "Eat, Pray, Love" period, Bacon got her start in the L.A. food world working for seminal chef Suzanne Goin. After moving to Italy at age 18 and discovering in Florence, as one does, that food was her calling, Bacon traveled for a few years and then attended culinary school in Vermont. She emailed Goin for a job after graduation, and then "hopped on a plane and moved into a garage three blocks from one of Goin’s restaurants, where she hand-whisked aioli and pounded salsa verde with a mortar and pestle until her biceps ached." Young reports that Bacon opened her first store in early 2012 "having absorbed lessons of entrepreneurship from Goin."
The name "Moon Juice" just dropped from the universe. Honestly, this sentence duo is the least surprising thing in the entire profile: “'It really is not my name,' she explained, when I asked where the phrase Moon Juice came from. 'It just dropped down from the universe.'” What is surprising, however, is that that is the ONLY time the word "universe" appears in the entire thing.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones sells some of the same supplements as Moon Juice does on his Infowars website. If the single use of the word universe was the least surprising detail, this was hands down the most surprising one.
The definition of turning one's focus "inward" actually includes a marketing plan. Direct quotation, presented without further comment:
Bacon turned her focus inward, toward marketing the herbal remedies she’d been incorporating into her diet for years. In 2014, the company added the line of jarred herb powders that now includes Spirit Dust, Beauty Dust, Power Dust, Brain Dust, Dream Dust and Sex Dust.
The "Dusts," and not the juice, were actually the tipping point for Bacon's business. (Thank the universe that she turned that focus inward!) Unlike her juices, the Dusts became Moon Juice's "scalable" product—they could be packaged and shipped, faced no competition from big-time companies moving into the juice market, and "could be marketed as a beauty supplement and sold in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue."
Bacon's interactions with her housekeeper are why everyone hates white women (including me, a white woman). Bacon unfurls herself from a stool and eats cloudlike "fairy food" while she finger-combs her hair and incense curls out the window "in velvety puffs." Meanwhile, her wispy, white garments are collected by another woman who asks Bacon in Spanish whether said ethereal garment is clean or dirty (Bacon presumably sweats so little and lives so delicately that it would be impossible to tell if the clothing article had already been worn). The employer then answers in Spanish with "a smile" and the "gentle sound of laundry progress" emerges, unseen, from around a corner. There is nothing more gentle than the sound of other people doing household labor when you smile nicely and don't have to see them doing it, amirite?
You've been pronouncing "guru" wrong all your life, which is just more evidence that you'll never be one. Bacon pronounces it “goo-doo,” in what Young presumes is the authentic manner. Please, Molly Young, please give us the full sentence in which Amanda Chantal Bacon used the word guru. Was it self-reflexive? Ironic? The masses need to know.
Moon Juice products are "literally ancient herbs" and absolutely not "something Amanda made up out of thin air." This is according to the company’s in-house herbalist, Blaire Edwards, who relays this information at the Melrose Moon Juice location where Bacon is wearing white denim overalls and Céline sunglasses and sampling new formulas. Bacon also insists on dragging the sample setup out of earshot of current customers because: "I feel like customers enjoying our current formulas don’t need to hear about the new formulas. It could cause anxiety.”