Fresh Celebrates 20 Years
By Cheryl Fenton
Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg in the Fresh store on Newbury Street
Rarely can a city stake claim on something the rest of the country loves so dearly, but the locally grown brand Fresh, a staple of Boston’s beauty scene from its start, turns 20 this year. And it all began with a chat between cofounders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg at St. Cloud, a longsince shuttered restaurant on the corner of Tremont and Clarendon.
“While we were sitting there, I said to Alina, ‘That [corner] would be a wonderful place to open Fresh,’” says Glazman, a lifelong beauty junkie and South End resident, of the store’s original Tremont location. “It just felt right.”
Opened in 1991, the store had a novel concept: an open environment that encouraged customers to touch and smell at their own pace. “We wanted people to get caught up and explore,” explains Roytberg.
|Fresh Seaberry Exfoliating Soap, part of the new fall collection|
At a time when Irish Spring was bubbling in most baths, the company’s first products, opulent soaps hand-wrapped by the partners in gorgeous paper, forever changed Boston’s take on cleansing. “It was time to break people’s rules,” says Glazman. “They embraced the beauty world we put in front of them.” Over the years, Fresh’s line grew to represent a world traveler’s journal: Body scrubs, facial cleansers and lotions boast exotic ingredients like Umbrian clay, Japanese sake, soy and the brand’s signature sugar. This fall sees the launch of the Seaberry Bodycare Collection, which contains sea-buckthorn oil, an antiinflammatory first used by Glazman as a child living in Eastern Siberia.
As for the anniversary, the couple feels thankful, like the proud parents they are. “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” says Roytberg. “Our children were born after we opened the store, so Fresh was our first child of collaboration. When people praise the brand, this is the part that you never get tired of.”
To commemorate the occasion, the brand is releasing a limited-edition Fresh Turns 20 set containing mini versions of favorites Soy Face Cleanser, Twilight Freshface Glow, Sugar Honey Lip Treatment and Firebird Mascara, as well as introducing its Sugar Passion Lip Treatment—a sheer red tint that represents two decades of passion.
“What makes us fight through challenges is passion,” says Roytberg, “so it made sense in the 20th year to reflect that.”
Although their main offices have moved to NYC, the pair still calls Boston home and the city remains in their minds as the “big city, small town” that began it all. “The dynamic of the clientele here really represents who the Fresh customer is,” says Roytberg. “Someone educated, well traveled, cultured and curious.” 121 Newbury St.