Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Landon Eckles, co-founder and CEO of Clean Juice, explains how this image represents his business.
Clean Juice is the first and only USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise. Our mission is to become the world's most plentiful juice bar, allowing everyone access to easy, on-the-go organic products, while maintaining the 'local' juice bar feel to the individual communities we serve. While serving juices, smoothies, acai bowls and some "bites," we hope to provide the perfect nutrition that comes only from enjoying organic food, along with a warm and welcoming environment to every guest that walks in our door.
We founded Clean Juice in 2015, after my wife's decade-long love affair with blending and juicing collided with my 10 years of business experience. We always wanted to have a big and healthy family, which was one of the main reasons why I decided to leave my position as a managing partner at my previous company.
Being more flexible and wanting to be more involved in our kids' lives, Kat and I decided to start a business together. When planning to open a juice bar, we researched other franchise options and quickly realized that none were up to the standards that we desired in a business. Certified organic produce was a non-negotiable for us, and 'when we can' or 'sometimes' were not phrases we would accept. We also wanted to create a special guest experience, as we believe in the power of juicing for a healthy body, but also mind and spirit.
We spent a year developing the menu and flagship store, which launched in the Lake Norman area of Charlotte, NC, in June of 2015. In its first calendar year we did sales upwards of $1.1 million, which helped us to launch 3 additional corporate stores. We now have close to 50 executed agreements for new store openings.
Clean Juice's mission statement is our favorite Bible verse, 3 John 1:2: "Dear Friend, I hope all is well with you, and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." The above photo shows the Clean Juice team from one of our stores coming together to pack brown bag lunches. These lunches were handed out to children who go home and have no food in their house and would otherwise eat nothing until breakfast at school the next morning. By coming together as a team to help the community around us, Clean Juice reminds its employees that it is about far more than the juice and the health of our bodies. It's about using our resources to serve the communities around us.
Our biggest challenge is keeping up with the interest that is coming in regarding new franchise opportunities. We are very fortunate that Clean Juice has become so instantly popular and successful, and as a growing brand, we know how important it is to honor the franchisees that have signed on. We don't take this lightly and we work tirelessly to continue to develop our processes and our brand so that our franchisees can be as successful and happy as we have been as Clean Juice owners.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Nicole Taylor.