In 2012, we created a brand. After making a list of everything that we didn’t want this brand to be, we were left with a clear vision on how we would differentiate this brand. The brand would become a beverage company. JUICE!
Gone would be granola, yoga, farm yard, mom and pop, reclaimed wood and all the other trappings that the word juice conjures up. We would be different. We cared about functional, delicious flavors, just as much as we did the fonts used and the shape of our bottle. That would need to be ours. We would need to own it. Ushered in would be a philosophy of less is more. Clean, simple, and honest, our juices and branding would be Unconventional. We believed that retail stores would be the best vehicle to spread our message.
JSH stands for one thing: simplicity. When you see it, it makes sense. White space, room to breathe, thoughtfully presented, possibly fashionable, but above all else, incredible tasting beverages and desirable packaging. The pain-staking time spent over 12 months to create JSH, led to us opening our first flagship store in Los Angeles and a small production kitchen. I can still remember looking at the kitchen, and thinking it was too big. It was 2000 SQ FT. I quickly changed my view, as by the end of year 2 we were bursting at the seams.
Our roots were in retail. That was the plan. Open as many stores as possible. This was 2014. In 2015, we opened 9 stores in 12 months. Our stores were elevated. Chic. Well designed. Our staff would have intense product knowledge and be able to help customers at a different level than our competition. The stores became the center of our universe. And they were fantastic to look at, shop and make your daily ritual.
In 2015, we noticed a shift in consumer habits in our stores, and within the juice category. The buzz for cleansing was fading. The desire to dine on juice for 3 days in a row was just not as popular as it was years prior.
At the same time, we were getting large in-coming inquiries to carry our juices from cafes, hotels, local natural grocery, business and industry. However, this was not very interesting to us back then. We sold un-pasteurized juices, in glass, exclusively in our stores. Our response to inquiries was that we would take their details and contact them if things changed.
Change they did. We had a list of over 300 companies that wanted our juices.This sparked a light bulb moment for JSH. If customers were shifting away from cleansing, maybe it’s better to be available in those situations where you do something every day. Like buy a coffee. This was the thought that lit the fire.
We would manufacture a custom 15oz bottle, to be an exact copy of our glass bottle. We turned to the dark side! We went with HPP. Which ended up being the light. This gave us shelf life, and a real shot at selling our juices to folks that wanted to offer us in their shops.
In late 2015, with 13 retail stores open, we made 300 phone calls. Each and every potential customer was pleased to hear that we would now be able to sell them our juices. This was staggering for us. It was the start of what the company is today. We generated more than $2MM from those calls, on a run rate basis, within a few months and grew to own a 25,000 SQ FT manufacturing facility, 9 retail stores, wholesale accounts in over half the states in the US, roughly 3,000 doors and revenues of $10MM.
I am of so proud of what JSH has achieved in just 4 short years. The beverage industry is exhilarating, challenging, and fascinating. We have loved being part of it. However, the beverage industry is also changing. Change is the one constant you can rely on and the one thing that must be embraced. It is with sorrow but, having embraced change, also with confidence and optimism, that I am announcing the closure of JSH.
This public letter serves our goal of transparency to our customers, wholesale and consumers alike. We’ve shared in this vision with you all. Financially, creatively, emotionally.
I would like to specifically thank the investors that have supported the company for the past 5 years. From angel investors who believed in the vision before we even sold a juice to a small handful of incredibly loyal individuals whose tireless financial support has helped a small Los Angeles based juice company become a nationally recognized beverage brand. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have worked with some of the most talented people I’ve encountered in my professional life. JSH was built on their creativity and passion. It’s been an honor to work alongside each and every one of you.
This letter has been incredibly difficult to write, as JSH has been my baby for more than 5 years. I am truly humbled by the unwavering support from our customers, in wholesale, retail, and online. This has been the hardest decision of my life. I realize this will come as a shock to many of you, it’s still a shock for me.
Juice Served Here