On our three month-iversary
As the snow starts to melt and the first red-winged blackbirds appear, spring seems to be peeping cautiously over the horizon. I’ve been taking some time to catch up on paperwork, think and reflect and I just realized that it was only three months ago that we opened and sold our first bottles of juice.
Opening a juice company in the middle of an Ontario winter is a typical contrarian move for me, but it’s given me time to do some experimenting, see what works and what doesn’t and pivot/make adjustments while we’re starting up.
My biggest early challenge has been the constraint of offering a product with a short lifespan. It became clear quite quickly that making batches of juice that sat in the fridge for three days and then had to be discarded was not a path to success.
This bugged me for a couple of months until I figured out that the obvious solution was to freeze the juice as soon as it was made. Immediately freezing the juice is a game changer and allows us to scale; we can have more product made and on hand in the freezer and there’s no waste. Once defrosted, the juice tastes pretty much the same as freshly-made chilled juice and it's just as nutritious. And, since we all like to live in a both/and universe, I am happy to continue to make fresh juice to order for those who prefer it. Win-win!
You’ll notice that I’m doing a lot of small, incremental changes pretty much all the time. This is how I’m running this business. I’m borrowing from the Lean Startup business model which specifies lots of early experimentation, inexpensive tests of ideas and pivots to adjust or course-correct.
You’ll have seen various experiments with new trial products, some of which were launched and some which 'died on the vine'. I intend to continue in this mode, with new experimental products introduced for testing regularly. If you have ideas for something you’d like from us, let me know. I’m very interested in what you would like to see from us. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to the studio and we can chat about it.
Thank you for sticking with us while we worked out the kinks and enjoy the spring!