Having More Compassion For Small Businesses.
You may have noticed that the prices of many things have gone up significantly within the last year. When I started my juice bar business, my goal was to make healthy on-the-go food "affordable". After 1.5 years in operation, I have come to realize that is not possible. Our business would fail, and we would have to close our doors. The only way it would work is if we have a subsidized model. We would have shops in higher-income communities subsidize the cost of those in the lower-income communities. However, we are a bootstrapped, small business, and we cannot do that at this moment. Although that would be a dream come true for me. :)
The margins in the restaurant industry are thin, so one really cannot budge on the prices because of that. If we do, we have to find ways to budge on labor prices, inventory, etc. So, it would be at the expense of other people. If you've ever worked in the restaurant industry, you know that it is labor-intensive. It is hard work. Workers in this industry really deserve to get paid living wages. Where am I going with this? Well, the next time you go to your local restaurant, remember that what you buy is made by a human being, not a machine. It is made by someone else's physical hands. That explains the cost of the product. You have to factor in time, cost of inventory, etc. It could take someone 5 minutes or 5 hours to make a product.
For example, it takes 1 hour to make about 12-20 juices at our juice bar. That includes washing, prepping, cutting, bottling, etc. Imagine how much more a machine at a factory could produce in 1 hour. Probably 500 or so. What is the difference? Because they can mass produce, they can sell them at a lower price(between $3-5). Also, larger companies have scientists work on a consistent flavor so that you get the same taste each time. By then, you will probably have a very processed product. Have you ever looked at the shelf life of your juice? It may expire in the next 2 months, 2 years? The amount of live enzymes in that juice or packaged food is depleted by that point. The nutrient content is low. That is another thing to keep in mind. "Pasteurized juices have been heated to high temperatures for a short time to kill any bacteria or other microorganisms that may be present". At our juice shop, we make everything fresh. That is why sometimes the flavors can be off if the produce is out of season. We don't use prepackaged smoothie flavors that would create the same taste. Although it would be ideal for the customer because everyone loves consistency, but would it be healthy?
Our juices cost about $6.50 for 12 oz , and soon we will have to increase our prices to be able to cover our costs. To continue offering affordable prices, we are thinking of offering a program for families that are on the low-income side so they can continue to get their favorite juices. Cold pressed juices made by your local juice bar range from $6-12. That is because of the cost of labor, product, etc.
We are grateful for your continued support. We hope that you have more compassion for small businesses because they have small teams. Usually, one owner does it all day in and day out. So, the next time you think about leaving a bad review, we hope you understand that we are giving it our all as a small business, and try our hardest every day to provide you with the best possible service. It is best if you talk to the owner directly to see how they can better serve you in the future. Also, a big thank you to my staff, that continues to show up every day. We wouldn't be here without you. Being a small business owner really teaches you a lot on a mental, physical, spiritual level.