Why entrepreneurs are suddenly finding the beauty in ugly produce

Two college-age entrepreneurs have settled on juice as a “pretty good vehicle for addressing food waste,” creating a purpose for the most misshapen specimens. Georgetown University students Philip Wong, 22, and Ann Yang, 21, launched Misfit Juicery at Mess Hall in the fall as a solution for perfectly good produce going to waste. No one has to know, after all, that the carrot was crooked before it was cold-pressed into liquid.

Winning $6,000 in pitch competitions last year thrust them into business, even as they were still building their supply chain for pockmarked apples and off-color kale to fill their bottles.

“Since we’ve had such a strong response from people in D.C., we’re going to be aggressive about finding more places for seconds and surplus,” said Wong, who has filled in with some “firsts” during the transition.

He graduated this month and is focusing on the business; Yang will graduate next year.

The pair already is squeezing out up to 700 bottles of juice a week for distribution throughout the city, sourcing many of the misfits through local produce deliverer From the Farmer.