Getting Back to Basics in the Health Market

July 15, 2021
Barbara Castiglia

Food is serious business. Now, on The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia will invite insiders on the front lines of food to share their expertise, strategies, and forecasts for navigating the ever-changing restaurant industry.

 

On this episode of The Main Course, Host Barbara Castiglia talked with Steve Schulze, the Founder of Nékter Juice Bar, a juice bar that is at the forefront of the juice cleanse revolution with cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and acai bowls. The duo talked about surviving the pandemic, Schulze’s path to launching the juice bar, and their plans for expansion.

When Steve Schulze and his wife Alexis started Nékter Juice Bar in 2010, neither of them had ever had a job in the restaurant space, not even as a waiter. They went into it with little experience, but they saw an opportunity in the $2.2 billion a year industry.

“If I go back to the beginning stages of it, I was working out and going to the legacy brands, The Jambas and the Smoothie Kings, thinking I was eating healthy. Low and behold, I came to find out that a lot of those had become glorified Dairy Queens.” – Steve Schulze

Schulze is referring to the added sugar that’s added in some of these legacy juice bar brands.  Around the time Nékter launched, there was a seismic shift in how people viewed health and wellness. Consumers were buying into more whole foods, viewing food as medicine, and there was a proliferation of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. When he started looking at the juice bar category, he had just left the infomercial world where he was selling juice cleanses.

When the economy tanked in 2008, it was hard to get an infomercial show produced. He started thinking about other ventures and decided to reinvent the juice bar space similar to Starbucks reinventing the coffee space in the early 1990s.

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