Starting a juice brand seems to be on everybody’s to-do list these days. But, from the idea to the final product, there is a list of steps that many decide never to take.
The market might seem overcrowded, but there is pace for local small brands to flourish everywhere. Find out how, Vesela, founder of Go Gusto went from a simple idea to launching a successful brand of cold-pressed juices in Luxembourg.
Vesela what did you do before launching Go Gusto ?
I came to Luxembourg to complete my Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Luxembourg as I wanted to learn and prepare better for the initial stages of starting a business. Before Go Gusto I was working in the marketing field – in a marketing agency in Milan, and later in Luxembourg in the marketing department of a financial services company.
When did you start Go Gusto and what motivated you to launch your own brand of juices?
Go Gusto was created in March last year and we officially introduced our juices in Luxembourg in June 2014. In the recent years I became very interested in food and the impact it has on our health and wellbeing. I started reading a lot of books about nutrition and decided to complete a course in nutrition to understand better how the body works and how it digests and absorbs the food we eat. I realized how little fruits and vegetables I was consuming, so I started making green smoothies and juices in the morning. After a few weeks I could already feel the difference in the way I felt. I was less bloated, moody and my body started craving more healthy whole foods. It does take some time to make your own smoothie or juice every morning, and after a quick research I saw that no one in Luxembourg was offering healthy cold-pressed juices. This is how we came up with the idea for Go Gusto – offering healthy and tasty juices for those who realize the importance of good food for their health and well-being, but are too busy making them every morning.
How do you compete with major juice brands?
Currently in Luxembourg there is no one else making cold-pressed juices the way we do. The normal juice that you can buy from the supermarkets is made from concentrate and is pasteurized. It has very little if any nutrients and is full of added sugar. Most of the juice that is sold as fresh or healthy is made by centrifugal juicers, which introduce heat and oxygen from the spinning motor, and destroy the living enzymes and some of the vitamins before you even get to drink the juice. I am quite certain that we will see more companies offering cold-pressed juices in the future, and I would be glad to see this happening, as people get more conscious about the food they eat. Our strategy is to deliver the healthiest and tastiest juice you can find and to educate people about the benefits of drinking our fresh cold-pressed juices.
What was the initial investment?
We started the company really lean – we put all our savings in it, and had some help from friends and family. We literally started with the absolute minimum and have been working hard ever since then to grow the company, so we can improve and get better at what we do.
How many people work for you today?
In the beginning it was just me doing everything – from running the business, to juicing, delivering, networking and staying in touch with suppliers and clients. I am happy to say that we have been growing in the past few months, and now I have three people helping me with the production of the juices.
How do you come up with the recipes?
I research about each ingredient and its compatibility with the other ingredients in the juice, and on the overall effect each juice can have on our health. This is how we came up with our categories – Go Beauty, Go Energy, Go Power and Go Detox – they represent the qualities of the ingredients in the juices. Then I work on finding combinations with other fruits and vegetables that are compatible from digestive point of view but that also together create a pleasant taste. I also want to make sure I put more vegetables in the juices than fruits. It takes me a lot of trial and error until I find the combinations that work best, are high in nutrition but are also very tasty.
What was one challenge that you had to face while starting your company and how did you get over it?
Our juicing machine came two weeks later than expected and we had already set a launch date for the business, and have invited a lot of people and media to try our juices. We had to use small cold-press machines to make all our juices and literally have been making the juice for the launch for 24 hours. There was simply no way we would postpone the launch of Go Gusto. It was difficult but we managed in the end.
Who do you see as an innovator in your industry and why?
For me this is Dr. Norman Walker. He was the pioneer in the field of vegetable juicing and nutritional health and has created the Norwalk hydraulic press juicer. He is also one of the pioneers of the raw food movement.
What is your advice for somebody wanting to start a healthy beverage company?
Find the right balance between good taste and nutritious ingredients. People still think that healthy food or drinks taste plain and boring. This is so far from the truth! Healthy foods and drinks can give you so much joy and pleasure; you just have to try to combine them in innovative ways to create a unique and pleasant taste.
What was the best life and business advice someone has ever given you and why does it resonates with you?
“Fear exists only in your mind. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” I don’t remember if somebody told me this or if I read it somewhere, but it stuck with me.
What are the three main things you learned while running Go Gusto?
- Plan everything as detailed as you possibly can, and be prepared that nothing will go according to that plan.
- The joy of seeing a happy client is impossible to define in monetary terms.
- Love and passion in your work will make you happier in your life.
What are the future plans of Go Gusto ?
We are planning on launching a few new juices and detox packages, and are certainly having some plans for additional products, which for now I will keep to myself. 🙂 Of course I would be happy seeing Go Gusto growing outside of Luxembourg, but this will be something we will focus on only after we are firmly established in Luxembourg.
What is your daily routine and productivity trick?
Honoring myself with small breaks is a great way to keep the productivity intact.
Morning routine : shower and a glass of warm water with lemon juice followed by 30 minute yoga practice
Work schedule : different every day
Favorite breakfast : green smoothie or granola with almond milk
Favorite Lunch : some steamed veggies with quinoa, or a poached egg with avocado.
Favorite workout : yoga and HIIT
Evening routine before going to bed : writing a “To Do” List for the next day and reading a book.