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Apr 6, 2015 10:38 EST

OH! Juice – Lettuce Juice!: Building a production kitchen to meet our consumer demand for our local, organic, cold-pressed juices

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 6, 2015

OH! Juice – Lettuce Juice!

by Hanna Gregor & Anna Duff

Building a production kitchen to meet our consumer demand for our local, organic, cold-pressed juices!

About this project

Kind Words from the Press & Our Backers:

OlivePR: “At Olive, we are so honored to be able to work alongside Hanna and the OH! Juice team. They truly are a business that is leaving an impact on people’s lives and we love sharing their story and illuminating the greatness of OH! Juice for the world to see.”

CBGW: “The ownership and management of Carlsbad Gateway Center is excited to welcome OH! Juice and Hanna Gregor as the newest member of our high-end specialty food community here at our business park. Hanna’s enthusiasm and dedication to her exceptional product line truly enhances our vision to grow a local collection of entrepreneurs offering top quality, wholesome food product.”

The Dailey Method: “We couldn’t ask for a better partner than OH! Juice. The combination of their knowledge in nutrition and their premium juices with our variety of fitness classes offers our collective client base a one stop shop for all of their health and wellness needs.”

The vision of OH! Juice was clear from the start, we knew if our core values shaped our decision making we would end up with a product people loved and truly needed. OH! Juice is off to a great start with a popular product line, loyal following and dedicated team, but now it’s time to continue our success by expanding and reaching a larger demographic with a stable infrastructure!

Starting off in the local farmer’s markets we only hoped that people were going to love our nutritionally designed organic juices and the education to go along with them. It turns out that people in San Diego were looking for just that; a product that didn’t cut any corners with educators to assist through all of the confusing “claims” of other products.

In the beginning when there were limited staff there were nights when we didn’t think we were going to get out of the kitchen alive. We said things out loud we didn’t mean, we tripped, fell, and dropped many juices due to exhaustion. This journey has certainly tested our physical demand as well as our mental toughness.

With the little to no money in our pockets you can imagine the stress, to keep everyone on payroll and to keep the customer’s juice flowing. Doubts and worry try to trump our thoughts constantly, but we have to push that all aside to keep going. Being vulnerable and asking for help is a very difficult thing but we’ve had no other choice but to be resourceful and find what OH! Juice needs to thrive.

This happened at 4 a.m. before deliveries, GOOD MORNING!
This happened at 4 a.m. before deliveries, GOOD MORNING!

Meet Hanna: At the start of this campaign Hanna turned 26 years old and has already accomplished a lot so early by starting OH! Juice and leading the juice industry in San Diego. She is determined to keep growing by helping those around her accomplish their goals too. Graduating from The Pennsylvania State University in 2012 with a B.S in Nutritional Sciences gave Hanna the education the juice industry so desperately needed. Her taste for quality and competitive edge insures that each bottle is the best it can be. Hanna’s vision is fueled by the results and testimonials she receives from her clients and can’t wait to distribute her juices into as many new hands as possible.

Meet Anna: Anna is actively pursuing a personal state of Chidananda, a state of blissful consciousness, through the incorporation of organic diet, yoga, meditation, and continuous education. Earning her B.S. in Nutritional Science from The Pennsylvania State University expanded her understanding of what it takes to make the finest juice on the planet. OH! Juice has allowed Anna to share her knowledge with others so that they might attain their ideal self. Her extensive experience with a clean lifestyle, along with world travel and culinary arts allow her to provide a unique perspective and help shape the vision of the OH! Juice team.

HPP (high pressure pasteurization) is a new technology that bigger companies looking to grow fast through higher profits are using to extend their shelf life. Investors say plastic bottles equal more immediate profits but we say glass bottles are what the consumer appreciates and demands. They say HPP will make our juices last longer, meaning more profits but we say HPP is misleading; our customers want juices that are truly raw, vibrant, and freshly made within hours of their purchase.

We are trying to create a business that will survive the marketing trend of juicing with all of the misleading propaganda and provide a product that provides consumers with what they need, with juice that yields the results that they expect.

"The longer the shelf life, the shorter yours!"
“The longer the shelf life, the shorter yours!”

Many investors approach us because they fall in love with the branding, the creators behind it, or they see the trend in juicing and health on the rise. This puts us in a tight spot; causing us to contemplate our mission, values and the burning energy inside. In the end we know we have to respectfully decline these offers with confidence, knowing we’ll find the right type of support that will take OH! Juice in the direction that is best for the health of our clients, the environment, and our souls.

Cover of Discover SD as the "Leading Ladies of Juice"
Cover of Discover SD as the “Leading Ladies of Juice”

Now that we’ve stuck to our plan and created a truly amazing product we have clients who can’t get enough juice and want it on a more regular basis. With school loans over our heads, and a small chance for a business loan this early in the game we naturally can’t afford a storefront with the high overhead and initial costs, but that’s okay because this financial roadblock has lead us to be innovative and distribute our juices in other ways then the traditional storefront model.

We teamed up with The Dailey Method San Diego who turned out to be a crucial partnership to OH! Juice. They allowed us to house our refrigerator full of juice and serve as a micro-storefront so our clients could have a pick up option for juices outside of the weekend farmer’s markets.

As far as we’ve come, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible with OH! Juice. We plan to expand our product line and cater to a larger demographic and range of health needs. We need your help to take it further, and make our vision a reality. Pledge money will go towards the following:

Private Production Facility

First things first, we need to lease our own private production facility! This will allow the freedom to produce during the hours most humans like to work. We currently work late at night, in the freezing cold (winter) or the blazing heat (summer). We’ve faced theft and damage in our current shared kitchen and it’s time for us to have our own space to thrive.

A couples months ago an opportunity for a wonderful space was presented to us. At first we restricted ourselves and the company by saying it wasn’t in OH!’s near future and worried about the money that would go into the buildout of the kitchen. But then the gears started turning and we realized that timing will always be an excuse and that we had to make a leap and rise to the challenges ahead. Carlsbad Gateway Center believes in our vision because they signed a lease with us after patiently waiting 3 long months to save up everything we had for the down payment (school loans will just have to wait!)  We signed knowing it was time to take it to the next level, we signed because we want to make 10x more juice, we signed because we can’t wait to show you what we have in store..

Thankfully a talented and local architect generously scrambled to help us design plans for the new space and now we’re off to the races! We have pulled together all the resources we could in order to get this project started and now we need your help to finish it by furnishing it!

NEW FACILITY DESIGN, please OH! please!
NEW FACILITY DESIGN, please OH! please!

Inside we will need the following to be compliant and up to health code:

  •  2, 3-compartment sinks- $3-5,000, Craigslist or Webstaurant
  • 2 hand washing sink- $400, Webstaurant
  • Walk-in cooler- $12,000
  • 96 ft of commercial grade racks w/ wheels- $2,000, Webstaurant
  • 50 ft of stainless steel prepping tables- $3,000, Craigslist & Webstaurant
  • FRP (type of wall layering for easy wiping)- $1,500 + Installation, $500, Home Depot
  • Mop sink- $250
  • Secret piece of machinery that we would not like to expose to competitors- $4,000
  • Bottling equipment- $3,500
  • Water Heater- $1,800
  • Office furniture, Employee lockers, etc.- $1,100
  • Display Cases for the Juices – $4,300

Transportation

Secondly, we will need a reliable source of transportation. We currently deliver in an old astro van that isn’t insulated, we use coolers and lots of ice to keep the juices cold as we make the deliveries. This makes for a very physically demanding day as well as an inefficient system due to the heavy loading coolers and the lapsed time of preparing deliveries out of the back of the van. The van is old and gives us problems every month creating unnecessary money issues. We will find a dependable insulated van that keeps the juices cold and dry without ice, more room so we don’t have to bungee cord strap everything down and better gas mileage to reach all of San Diego.

Potential options below:

  • Chevrolet Express, 2009, 15,876 miles, $20,995
  • Chevrolet Express, 2013, 16,316 miles, $35,850
  • GMC Savana, 2014, 254 miles, $34,550
  • Ford E250, 2013, 7,500 miles, $33,500

Local Delivery

We want to be San Diego’s New Age Milkman and deliver weekly six packs and cleanses right to your door in insulated carriers so you have FRESH, ORGANIC, COLD-PRESSED, RAW juice all week long!  Do you remember getting fresh milk in glass bottles delivered right to your doorstep? Well its 2015 and it’s time we bring back a little old school convenience with some new age health involved. Leave your empties and get fresh refills, sounds like you have no more excuses to not take care of yourself!

Shipping

With the completion of the new production facility we will roll out shipping to our clients on a regional level and then sooner after nationally once we meet a consistent amount of orders to keep the rates low. With custom insulated boxes, dividers and ice packs we’ve found a way to get cold-pressed juice in glass shipped in a speedy transition right to your door. That means whether you desire a monthly cleanse or a weekly fulfillment, you will receive it fresh and in an efficient cost effective way.

Transparent Production Facility & Tasting Room

We want to share the experience of juicing with you through our one of a kind tasting room! Instead of going to a brewery or wine cellar to detect the notes of different spirits, make a healthy decision to visits the Country’s first interactive kitchen. Imagine sitting down to the bar where all you find are healthy tonic shots, green juice and healthy happy hour appetizers while watching everything made right in front of you.  We want to create a space where people can come take care of themselves while learning more about the process of juicing and the benefits of incorporating more organic whole foods. This visually stimulating experience will be energizing and eventful for all ages.

In It To Win It!

We’ve saved up over the last 8 months at the markets and with our own personal savings to buy the following:

  • 3 double door fridges- $8,000, Craigslist & Webstaurant online store
  • Juicers- $35,000, Ebay & GoodNature
  • Kitchen small ware- $8,500, SD Restaurant Supply
  • Coolers- $1,050 Lowes, Home Depot
  • Marketing Material- EZ Up tents, tables, banners, decor etc. – $4,800
  • 2003 Astro Van- $4,000, Good Ol’ Craigslist

The truth of the matter is that we save and save, we keep putting money back into the company, almost 80k has come out of pocket to attend the markets and get the machinery needed to simply provide juice for the community, but it took us month after month to do so. We’ve deferred school loans and made many personal sacrifices and now we’ve hit a roadblock that can’t wait another year for us to save. This is why we really need everyone to help us reach economies of scale so we aren’t forced to give up on how far we’ve come ourselves.

Education is very important to us at OH! Juice. We want our clients to make informed decisions around their purchases and be in the know about what they are putting into their bodies. Nutrition and health are often ignored and given very little attention in our country. Sadly this has lead to a sick, tired over weight population who feels defeated.  We know this can all be reduced by a good diet and regular exercise. Learning and knowing about the benefits of cold-pressed juicing and the healing capabilities of all the different nutrients that come in our juices motivates our clients more than if they were to buy it off a shelf.

Help us by sharing OH! Juice with any and everyone!

Know someone who would be just as stoked as you are about OH! Juice? Share our campaign with them through the “Share this project” button at the top or below. Sharing is caring!

Aside from the mental and physical demands, there’s something deep down that tells us it’s not over, with our expertise we believe it’s our jobs to provide what the people need. We couldn’t imagine our clients lives without our products and services, waking up to check our emails and not reading the messages that say we’ve changed their lives, we couldn’t imagine saying good-bye to OH! Juice and everyone who is a part of it. Please help us reach our goals and spread the benefits of a genuine product that won’t compromise it’s core values for dollar signs! Anything you can do to help us stay afloat and thrive is greatly appreciated!

Sold out, but we want to make more!
Sold out, but we want to make more!

Risks and challenges

Obstacle 1: We’ve always have had to throttle sales because people fell in love so quickly with the product and what it did for them that we gained immediate traction. Since then we’ve been solely focused on building the infrastructure around the model to sustain our current level of demand. After the infrastructure is built (kitchen, machinery and van) we will then need to switch gears into sales! We’ve been reworking our current sales manuals, but we will need to use our leadership and coaching skills to pass down the knowledge we carry to our employees. Honestly sales come very natural for both Anna and I because we believe in the product, know it inside in out, are great with people, and only sell the right thing to the buyer.

The challenge will be hiring and training the right people for our team. We’ve employed 2-3 sales reps in the last 8 months but there was never a tight watch on them because again sales kind of just walked through the door for us, now we will need to refine everyones techniques and lead by example for our current and new employees. We’re confident that the strong infrastructure will free up time in the kitchen and will allow us to concentrate more heavily then we already do on current customer out reach and acquiring new clients-can’t wait!!!!

We currently work with a PR agency, Olive PR Solutions. They have been one of the best things that has happened to us since we’ve started, they had an interest in our juice and were willing to do TRADE to develop a relationship. I know they will be excited to hear that they can do what they do best and let the floodgates open, where as before we had them helping with branding holding back not on exposure to throttle the sales to a level at which we could handle.

Obstacle 2: I can see ourselves facing expansion in 3 quarters after we fund our project and seeing the opportunity to open our 2nd location. This first project’s model is so tight and has a lot of traction already that once the infrastructure is there our model will look even better to expand. As young entrepreneurs we will need to face the legalities, juggling, and managing our first business AND opening our second OH! Juice!

We are very resourceful and believe that we will be able to do this simply because we are in it to win it, we are not the type of entrepreneurs who want to hit a hockey puck model and go lay on a beach somewhere, we know for the next 10 plus years it’s going to be hard work day in and day out. This mindset is the foundation to multitask with high spirits and start sharing our knowledge and recipes around juicing and healthy food to other parts of the country! We have strict core values and by no means plan to compromise those for a franchise or to just open as many as we can, we have a clear vision and each of its own will be just as local and meet the high standards of quality as our first OH! Juice.

Contact Information:

Hanna Gregor & Anna Duff

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