Wondering how to start a juice bar?
Juice It Up! is great solution for Oregon mom, who wanted her own healthy, family-friendly business
When Brooklynn Lorenzen and her husband Grant Murphy learned they were having their first baby, Lorenzen knew it was time for a career change. The Hillsboro, OR, mother-to-be was marketing shoes for Nike, and with a new baby on the way, it was time to find a vocation that would allow her the flexibility to raise her family and have a fulfilling career.
She and Murphy, a State Farm agent who runs his own agency, are both committed to living healthy lifestyles, so they were searching for a business that would dovetail with their values. As they looked into how to start a juice bar, they realized how much work went into creating recipes and building a brand from scratch. But with a franchise, they had access to an established, proven business model with built-in support from a stable and growing brand. They found exactly what they were looking for in Juice It Up! This is Lorenzen’s story.
When did you become a Juice It Up! franchisee?
We opened our store in March of 2015.
What did you like about the Juice It Up! opportunity?
All the inspiration came from having my first child, my daughter, Jeter. When you’re a new mom with a sleeping baby in the car, you’ll do anything not to wake her up. We were looking for a drive-thru concept with healthy options. We live an active, healthy lifestyle together, so finding something that’s both nutritious and tasty was important to us. There were places with healthy options, and there were places with drive-thrus, but I realized there weren’t any that fit both of those needs out here. That’s really what started this whole thing for us.
We’re a suburb of Portland, and within Portland city limits there are more places to find healthy smoothies and juices. But we live in the suburbs, and we don’t have options. Jamba Juice has lots of smoothies, but aren’t necessarily offering the type of raw juices we wanted. Our vision was to have a business that really focused on health-centric raw juices because we felt that is the future of the industry. And we also wanted to make sure to offer a wide assortment of smoothies for kids and athletes and to help consumers transition into juicing.
So, you have one unit open now. How are things going? Are you able to meet your business goals?
It’s going well. Every day we’re growing, and we continue to grow even during our slow season. We’re building a brand in this area from the ground up. It’s a lot different than starting a store in California, where Juice It Up! already has a brand presence.
It’s my responsibility to introduce this concept to the market, which means cold-calling on businesses, gyms and schools, attending and sampling our product at events, creating a presence on numerous social media platforms, etc. But I have to be in the store a lot because I need to be the face of the brand, building and maintaining long-standing relationships with my customers. You can get a juice or smoothie anywhere, but we want to differentiate Juice It Up! with our relationships with customers and a premium consumer experience. That’s the top priority. And to be honest, I also can’t afford to replace myself in the shop at this point, so it’s a lot to balance. In 2017, I hope to do even more relationship-building outside of the shop. As an Area Developer with the goal of opening two more stores in the next few years, establishing and maintaining the brand name and building relationships in the community is essential.
How important is your franchise location?
The Streets of Tanasbourne in Hillsboro is a major shopping area. People do most of their errands here. Our store is located on the intersection with the highest car count in the county, and it’s where we wanted to be. We’ve got great visibility here to help build our brand presence. Right after you get off the freeway, you see where we are. We get a lot of people traveling to and from the coast and neighboring towns.
What made you decide to become a Juice It Up! franchisee? Why did you invest in this franchise as opposed to another juice franchise?
We definitely considered other brands. We did our due diligence with Planet Smoothie. We looked into Jamba Juice and Robeks, and we saw what their product offerings were and investigated where they were going. Then I met the Balboa corporate team (Balboa Brands is the management company of the Juice It Up! brand). Honestly, the product was what really got us excited — especially the Fusion drinks. There’s been criticism about the nutritional value of both raw juices and smoothies, and Juice It Up! found a solution to these criticisms with the Fusions (a medium Raw Fusion packs in an entire pound of 100% raw vegetables and fruits). This showed me that Balboa is paying attention to the consumer and they are capable of evolving with the future of the market. Both of which, in my opinion, are essential to surviving in this space.
How do you feel about the direction of this brand?
They see where this industry is headed and they’re on top of it. I feel like Juice It Up! is doing that better than anyone else. They are definitely on the forefront of the industry.
What do you like best about owning your own Juice It Up?
Honestly the product, for me and my family. I’m a juice girl, 100%. I wholeheartedly believe in the health benefits of this product. We can cater to people who want to live healthier lifestyles and who need a convenient option they can take on the go. The product itself has changed my life. I plan on living to be 150 — and a healthy and vibrant 150! I have my daughter, Jeter, who’s 3 1/2 and a son, Kaimin, who’s 18 months. My daughter is already getting wheatgrass shots with an orange juice chaser; she knows all about the benefits of celery and cucumber juice and the like. And, of course, both of them love the smoothies.
How does HQ help you? What are some of the most valuable things they do to support you?
I went through the process of trying to figure out whether I wanted to do this on my own, and one of the benefits I saw with opening a Juice It Up! franchise as opposed to opening a juice and smoothie business on my own was the recipes themselves. Our (Research and Development) Food Scientist, Noah Burgess, is awesome. I hit him up for nutritional info all the time, and that’s definitely the most valuable help. They’ve also been pretty helpful in providing marketing material for my individual store. They have 100 locations, but again, I’m trying to build the Juice It Up! brand out here, with a very limited budget, so I definitely ask for their assistance. So far, they’ve been willing to help as much as they can.
Why are you necessary as a brand? What do you bring to the table?
I think every day, we’re helping establish and create relationships with our customers and educating them on how nutrition can change their lives and what our specific products can do for them. I want to bring innovation and health through food to our community. And I’m genuinely proud of our product offerings. That’s very important to me. There are a lot of other types of products and services we could be selling, which would honestly make more money, but nothing that I could genuinely feel good about giving to consumers. We’re trying to help people and families and create a pleasant customer experience without intimidation or guilt. Now that I’m a parent, I want other parents to have the knowledge to teach their kids for generations to come. After all, what’s the fun of living to 150 alone?!
Learn more about Juice It Up!
If you’re passionate about healthy living but you’re just not sure how to start a juice bar, let Juice It Up! help. We’ll send you a password for our Juice It Up! Franchise Information Center, where you can inspect our financial information, including average earnings and startup costs, read Q&As with longtime franchisees, review tutorials for first-time franchise buyers and more.