Juice Truck Presses Forward by Opening a Storefront
After tooling around the Milwaukee area for a year in a trailer known as the Juiced! Mobile Juice Bar, pressing juices-to-order at events, Jason Lannoch is expanding his operation with a retail storefront. The fixed location of Juiced! opened on April 2.
Juiced! offers a menu of seven 16-ounce “power juices” to go, in addition to bulk quantities and a “power cleanse” pack of six juices per day. “It’s healthy ‘fast food’ because it’s in a bottle. You can grab one, it’s super quick, and we even deliver,” says Lannoch, who employs two people, a barista and a bicycle courier.
Intuit Small Business Blog recently spoke with Lannoch about how he got started and what prompted him to expand his mobile business into a traditional storefront.
ISBB: What inspired you to open a juice bar?
Lannoch: I started to get really passionate about juicing in 2011, the summer before I opened the juice truck. All I was doing was juicing, and I wanted to share it with people. I cannot imagine a nicer customer base. For some reason, people who are into their bodies are really nice people. Part of my job is to educate people about juicing. I actually just held a class here and plan to do more.
What did you add to your business model when opening the bar?
We moved from a centrifugal juicer to cold press. With a centrifugal juicer, you’re not getting as many nutrients to start, and you have to drink it right away. You couldn’t do cleansing before, because it’s a lesser form of juice. Now we make fresh batches every morning. People can buy in bulk. Shelf life is four to five days, and there’s no degradation of nutrients because there’s no heat. Eventually, we want to start wholesaling and offer juice packages to corporations to stock their fridges and give discounts on employee insurance just like going to the gym.
What was your biggest challenge in making the transition?
Regulations. It’s a completely new system. Working out the logistics. Everything from building out the space to securing permits to getting labeling.
How do you use Facebook to keep customers engaged?
We offer promotions. I respond personally to every request and question. One customer suggested we have a loyalty program, and I did it. It’s about making sure every customer feels special, because it’s such a personalized service, especially cleanses. Because we’re local, our prices are a lot better. Up until now, people in Milwaukee who wanted to cleanse had to get the bottled juices from Chicago or New York City.
Are mobile businesses a viable alternative for small-business owners who struggle to obtain enough capital?
I would definitely recommend anybody who wants to get into a business to start with a mobile one. It’s a good way to test your product. People out on the street are pretty honest. You get your motivation, and you get your capital. I see a lot of my regulars coming in here now.
How do you creatively market your business?
We do a lot of social media marketing and pointing people to our website and partnering with local gyms. Snap Fitness members get 5 percent off if they show their ID.
Kristine Hansen is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.