Local juicery spreading Good Vibes in west central Florida
By: Brandy Schaeffer (brandy.schaeffer)
From the juice craze that has taken the health community by storm, to #strawgate2018 that sparked an ecologically minded conversation about the world’s plastic consumption – three FLocal Locals have remained on top of the trends with both our health and planet in mind. Taylor, Nathan and Kathleen came together three years ago to create a business that would yield fulfillment to both their dreams and lifestyles, with the hope of extending the message of wellness to the locals of Pinellas County. FLocal was able to sit down with the owners of Good Vibes Juice Co. to talk health, environment and community
FLocal: Let’s take it from the top! How did this journey begin?
Taylor: It all started about six years ago. Nathan and I had been working together at the Hyatt on Clearwater Beach and became good friends. I have always been into sports and health, and so has Nate, so it was a perfect fit for both of us once we began brainstorming. It was about three years in the making, but intuition and timing lead us to the business venture of opening up our own juice company. In the very early stages when Good
Nathan: Vibes was just an idea, I moved out to California for a temporary change of scene. I landed a job at a local juice bar where Kathleen happened to be the manager, we immediately hit it off and not long after that, we got married. Good Vibes was becoming more of a reality back home, and after numerous conversations with Taylor, Kathleen and I decided it was a good time to move back to put all of our energy into the business.
FLocal: What year did you move back and decide to open up shop? This month is actually our three-year anniversary!
Kathleen: This month is actually our 3-year anniversary! We opened our doors at the Largo location (1708 Missouri Ave North) on August 22, 2015!
FLocal: That’s amazing, congratulations! Perfect timing for this interview!
Kathleen: Thank you! WE MADE IT!
FLocal: So, Largo was your first location, but you opened a second storefront in Dunedin. When did you see that your business was taking off and when did you know you wanted to branch out with new locations?
Kathleen: Part of the plan from the beginning was to have a few different stores in the local area. Dunedin was an idea about a year after opening in Largo. Tampa and St. Pete each had a few juice companies, and we were hearing a lot from our customers that Largo was too far for them to travel to. Dunedin just spoke to us, and it has been open now for a year and a half!
FLocal: Do you have any plans to open another location in the near future?
Taylor: We would always like to branch out and continue the growth. We definitely want to hone in on these stores and put forth all of our energy into growing them to be the best they can be. But of course, that conversation is always on the table. It would have to just feel right.
Kathleen: We don’t have a set location or a set time. When it’s right, it will present itself to us.
FLocal: I love that outlook. So, for your juices and acai bowls, where do you gather your ingredients?
Taylor: Everything we use is 100% organic. We use a Florida local, organic, wholesale distributer to gather our produce. We work as much as we can with farmers in our area and are really honing in on using everything we can in as small of a radius as possible.
FLocal: That’s so awesome to hear. We are all about local! At the beginning you spoke about your passion for health and why a juice company was the right path for you, but why cold press? For those who may not know, what are the benefits of cold press versus non-cold press juice?
Nathan: We use a cold press juicer because it extracts the highest amount of nutrients and living enzymes possible. A non-cold press juicer will heat up and oxidize produce as it extracts juice, and a lot of nutrition is lost in the process! Cold pressing does the opposite, preserving all the good stuff for your consumption. We’re all about yielding the healthiest juice possible, and that requires using the best produce we can, cold pressing, and always bottling in glass.
Kathleen: Yes, we always bottle in glass so we are not contributing to environmental waste, and because storing food in plastic is toxic! Health and environmental integrity are the driving factors behind our business decisions.
FLocal: Your Dunedin location is where I found my stainless-steel straw that I love and use so much! I was so excited to see them on display.
Kathleen: We love them!
Nathan: We try to do everything as sustainably as possible and try to leave a small footprint with everything we do. For instance, we save produce scraps and juice pulp for compost use, whether that be for our own gardens, our customers’ gardens, even our local produce suppliers. We save pineapple tops and bases of celery and romaine lettuce to start new growth. Anything we can reuse and capitalize on, we do.
FLocal: I love it. So, who comes up with these delicious recipes?
Nathan:Initially it was just us three, trial and error, making and mixing a bunch of different juices and seeing what we liked the best. We would let friends and family try them and pick out the best ones from there. The original menu was our collaboration, but over the years our employees and customers have had their input on things, and we love listening to different ideas. We love getting feedback from customers!
Taylor: We like listening to the concoctions they have thought of and if we love it, we run with it. We also run specials throughout the year, using seasonal produce. One of our most popular seasonal juices is about to hit shelves – Top Cider, tastes like pumpkin pie!
FLocal: What is the fan favorite of the summer months?
Kathleen: The Melonhead! Watermelon, apple and lime – so refreshing! It’s the perfect summertime drink.
Nathan: Our number-one seller year-round is definitely The Reefer; everybody loves that one. It’s a great mix of healthy greens and sweetness.
Taylor: Another cool drink that we have right now is the Black Sea. We mix our organic, raw coconut water with activated charcoal. It’s great for detoxification and cleansing.
FLocal: That’s a hot health trend right now! How do the activated charcoal drinks work?
Taylor: Activated charcoal in itself is very porous and acts like a magnet to toxins in the stomach and small intestine. It’s great for stomach bugs, food poisoning, hangovers, and general toxin removal when needed. We add a pinch of cayenne pepper in the Black Sea to further alkalize cells, getting them to release those toxins for the charcoal to grab onto.
Nathan: We go down to Jupiter (where Taylor is from) to harvest coconuts and we use those raw, Florida coconuts for all of our coconut-based bottled drinks, Black Sea included. The coconut water goes straight from the tree to the bottle you purchase! We love using these local vendors any chance we get for everything in the business. We are very community-oriented and want to see our community thrive.
FLocal: Are you involved in any community organizations?
Kathleen: We are really involved in Dunedin as a local merchant and we do a ton of local networking, partnering with other local businesses to create events promoting community engagement. We are partners with Suncoast Rise Above Plastics Coalition, and we meet their standard to be qualified as an Ocean Friendly Business.
Taylor: We were actually the first Ocean Friendly Business in Largo. On top of our glass bottles, all of the consumables we use in-house like straws, bowls, smoothie cups and lids are 100% compostable and derived from plant-based materials.
FLocal: Do you host any health or environment-themed events at either of your locations?
Kathleen: Yes! You can keep up with current events on our website and social media. We have health professionals come in and educate about their specialties, pop-up plant-based chefs who prepare food buffets, we’ve even hosted yoga instructors who provide free or discounted yoga sessions. We are always collaborating with local health-minded companies!
FLocal: I definitely want in on the next yoga session! Well, I am so excited to have found you all and your business. An organic shop with everything you need- it’s perfect! Thank you for opening, sticking by your standard and providing everybody here with an opportunity for great health. From all of us, thank you!
Nathan: Absolutely! We just want to keep spreading the message, getting the word out and giving people a chance to be healthy.
- Historic Downtown Dunedin – 200 Main Street Suite 108 Dunedin, FL 34698 (At the corner of Alt 19/ Edgewater Drive & Main Street)
- Phone Number: 727.754.8515
- Monday – Friday: 7am – 7pm
- Saturday: 8am – 6pm
- Sunday: 8am – 6pm
- Largo – 1708 Missouri Ave N Largo, FL 33770
- Phone Number: 727.314.4188
- Monday – Friday: 8am – 6pm
- Saturday: 9am – 5pm
- Sunday: 9am – 3pm
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