College athlete chooses Juice It Up!
Here’s one ‘zee who figures Portland, Oregon, is ripe for more juice-bar competition. A former marketer for Nike shoes, she plans to take on a local chain and the national giant, Jamba Juice, with a three-store deal.
A former college basketball player, Brooklynn Lorenzen spent the past seven years working in Nike’s footwear division, most recently overseeing marketing for the still insanely popular Michael Jordan line of shoes at the athletic giant’s headquarters in suburban Portland, Oregon.
After the birth of her first child, Lorenzen wanted greater ownership over her daily life and future, and began exploring various health-centric franchise opportunities that suited her healthy lifestyle. After months of research and due diligence, she partnered with Juice It Up!, a raw juice and smoothie bar, to bring the nearly 10-year-old concept to her home in Portland, the Irvine, California-based concept’s first foray into the Pacific Northwest.
Founded in 1995, Juice It Up! opened its first franchise location in 1998. The chain has 82 locations in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and has reported month-over-month sales growth for the past two years as it launches its latest expansion phase.
“I have to have passion and believe in anything I take part in, otherwise it’s not really worth pursuing,” Lorenzen said of her career change. “Eating right and fitness have always been central parts of my life, and the nutritional aspect of juicing has a big appeal to me.”
Her husband, Grant, owns a State Farm insurance agency, but opening the first of a planned trio of Juice It Up! franchises in suburban Portland will be Lorenzen’s first foray into business ownership.
With the Portland area’s reputation for healthy and progressive living, Lorenzen saw an opportunity to bring an additional raw juice and smoothie competitor to a marketplace dominated by local chain Kure Juice Bar, and national chain Jamba Juice.
“In the Portland metro area, Jamba Juice is the only household name that exists, although we have some very successful local businesses,” she said. “In the suburbs, which is where we live, Jamba doesn’t really have competition, and we felt like there’s a definite opportunity.”
Lorenzen’s first Juice It Up! location will be in the Streets of Tanasbourne shopping center, 15 minutes west of downtown Portland. If all goes according to plan, it will open in late February or early March. The subsequent two locations have not been finalized, but are slated to be in northwest Portland or the western suburbs.
Her initial locations will be traditional brick-and-mortar, although she wants to develop a drive-thru concept, and has discussed the idea with the franchisor. She is hunting for the proper spot that could accommodate a drive-thru component.
Lorenzen likes that Juice It Up! offers its franchisees autonomy, as well as corporate support to monitor the industry and react to current trends. On the consumer side, she enjoys the shops’ youthful, energetic and health-conscious vibe, as well as products that she says are healthier than comparable raw juice stores.
“The lifestyle we lead up here is very health-centric,” she says about Portland. “We have a healthy but educated group of consumers who are wanting and demanding more nutritional foods.”