B.C. producers juice up CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos

Tabletree black cherry juice | B.C. producers and juice makers 
sell to Canadian Football League coach for use as an anti-inflammatory

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Matt Reilly is known for running the ball in the face of unlikely odds.

Will a shot of cherry juice from a Creston, B.C., company help protect him from injury and heal his bruises?

Eskimos head coach Chris Jones may have that in mind.

Tabletree Enterprises co-owners Gary and Susan Snow, who make the juice, said Jones has recently bought enough Tabletree Black Cherry Juice to supply his players with about two ounces per day.

That’s the literal meaning of the term “juiced” when it comes to professional athletes.

The Snows said they hope the sale will open new markets for their juice in the world of professional sports.

“It’s very exciting,” Susan Snow said after the deal was announced Oct. 9.

“Chris Jones called us. He, being innovative, found that one of the teams, Auburn University, their players were using cherry juice and they are using it as an anti-inflammatory. He looked for a Canadian source and he found us.”

Rose Phillip, senior director of communications for the Eskimos, said there is no formal sales deal with the team.

The Snows said Jones himself made the purchase rather than the football organization.

Cherry juice is said to have natural medicinal properties, although the Snows cannot make any official claims to that effect on their product labels.

Instead, they cite anecdotal evidence that their juice helps reduce aches and pains.

The Eskimos have three games left in the regular CFL season and were second in the league standings as of Oct. 10.

The Snows said Jones has enough cherry juice to last through this season and into the next.

“I’m not a big football fan, but now I am,” said Snow, adding her husband will also be cheering for the Eskimos this year.

Snow said she and Gary delivered the juice in person, and Jones gave them a tour of Commonwealth Stadium, which included the view from the gridiron.

“It was kind of surreal and exciting all at the same time.”

Tabletree cherry juice won top prize in 2012 at the World Juice conference in Barcelona, Spain, and the company’s apple juice placed second in the same competition last year.

Those awards, plus attention from professional football, have increased the company’s profile, but expansion plans have been stifled by lack of financing.

“What we did wrong is that we looked at financial institutions first,” she said.

“We should have been looking to private investors. There is so much going on with the company right now. It has to go to the next step.”

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