Ideas Cultivated in Thailand Become a Reality as Locally Sourced, Cold Pressed Juice Business Starts Inside a Quaint Cafe in Virginia Beach, VA!
So let’s start with you. Are you from this local area?
I am a Virginia Beach native who graduated from the University of Virginia with a love for international studies. While working for an online learning and translation company in Los Angeles, I was inspired to learn more. With only a backpack and a one way ticket to Thailand, I found my love for all things fresh, local, and crunchy.
Every morning on my way to teach English in Khoa Lak, I would stop by the local smoothie and juice shop. And by local smoothie and juice shop, I mean a small hut run by a Thai lady who made the best smoothies and juice from local fruits and vegetables. I woke up happy, healthy, and energized every day. I immediately called my sister to tell her I had figured out life and wanted to own a juice shop.
In 2017, I moved back to Virginia Beach to start the Crunchy Carrot, a cold pressed business.
Why did you choose this line of business?
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What made you decide to start your own business vs. working for somebody else? When did you begin your business?
Starting a business is a tough thing to do! What inspired you to keep going as you were getting it off the ground?
Some days I would come exhausted and covered in vegetables and would question if I really wanted to be in the food industry. And then I would receive a text or email from a client that would make my day worth it. After one particularly exhausting day, I received this text “I am determined not to be without your juice. I’m a believer. I plan it in my budget now! When I’m out of town, you’ll know.” She orders 5 juices every week and can’t go a week without it. It’s texts like these that make it all worth it for me.
When would you really say your business went from a concept to actually functional?
The idea started in Thailand and no one thought I was serious. I’m not even sure I thought I was going to be able to pull it off and make it my full-time job. One week after being home, the idea came to fruition. I was at a family dinner and made a comment to my mom’s friend about being able to make fresh, local juice for less than she was currently paying ($12 bottle) and she said sign me up. She became my first client and monthly subscriber.
Looking back, what was the most difficult challenge you had to face?
Cold-pressed juice is labor intensive. The most difficult challenge was finding the most efficient way to juice hundreds of pounds of produce while still keeping everything fresh. I finally invested in an amazing industrial Goodnature juicer and that has helped a lot. I want to offer the highest quality juice that is made fresh so doing that and still having a life was the biggest challenge : )
What do you enjoy the most about the Virginia Beach communities your business takes care of?
Every day I am amazed by the love and support from the community in Virginia Beach. One of my regular clients came to pick up juice and saw how much I had to make and decided to just start helping.
If a potential customer has to pick from 3 different businesses providing what you provide, what would make your company really stand out, and they choose your company over the others?
I partner with local farmers and that makes a big difference. You can taste the difference in our Beet Street when I use beets from Cromwell produce. They are so sweet and full of flavor. I have yet to try a beet juice that tastes like mine.
Has internet technology played a big part in your growth, and making your company more successful?
Yes. Friends posting about Crunchy Carrot on Facebook and Instagram have brought a lot of referral business.
Where do you see your business going forward in 2019?
I would love to grow my subscription service which provides clients weekly juice deliveries at a discounted price. I also just finished my 200 hour yoga teacher training and would like to start incorporating yoga into my business. I am working on programs that will help calm and restore the body from the inside out.
Thinking back to day one, can you think of anything you may have done differently to overcome challenges and to meet your business goals in a more efficient amount of time?
No. Every challenge and mistake taught me a lesson or at least made for a good story : )
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
I am launching a new product line, Crunchy Hydration. This new product line will feature Adaptogenic Herbal Waters. I would really like to grow this part of the business as well as my subscription service for Crunchy Carrot.
What is the best way for our readers to connect with your team and to take advantage of what your company has to offer?
Readers can order and pay online at crunchycarrotvb.com and the website explains all our juice and cleanse offerings! They can also use our messenger bot to receive coupons, more information, and links to all upcoming events.