As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful Service Business,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Reed.
After spending years in a corporate environment, Lisa Reed was ready for a meaningful change in her life. In 2011, she began pressing fresh green juice for her family and friends, and as word spread and requests started pouring in, she knew she was onto something. She quickly outgrew her home kitchen and opened a juice bar — and Garden of Flavor was born.
As a Certified Holistic Educator, Raw Food Chef, and Plant Based Nutritionist, Lisa is uniquely suited to harness the healing powers of food, creating functional blends that give her customers the healthy foods and nutrients they need.
Now you’ll find Garden of Flavor juices and energy elixirs in your favorite stores across the country including Whole Foods nationwide.
Today, Garden of Flavor continues to juice fresh organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries daily inside its own refrigerated, GFSI certified facility, using many of the same recipes Lisa perfected at the original juice shop. Lisa personally tastes every batch of juice before sending it to their retailers to be sure it meets her very high standards, and is worthy of the Garden of Flavor label. Lisa and her team look forward to juicing for you for many years to come!
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I have always had a passion for the way that unique flavors and ingredients combine, and my true talent is in the creation of recipes. My mother taught me how to garden and cook from the original Rodale cookbook. I grew up with an interest in healthy eating. After school every day, I made dinner for everyone because that’s what I loved to do. As I matured and began experimenting with different juice recipes at home, I began educating myself on the true art of juicing. After a stint in the corporate world, and juicing for friends and family, I decided to open my own juice bar and from there we’ve grown!
What was the “Aha Moment” that led you to think of the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
My mother developed a form of cancer that western medicine could no longer treat. I began taking trips with her to different natural, holistic medicine clinics from Mexico to West Palm Beach, Florida and even Germany. The main treatment all the programs had in common was juicing of raw, organic vegetables. That experience stayed with me along with the healing power of cold pressed juice and that evolved into the company I have today, Garden of Flavor.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Oh there have been many! I received a call from a buyer at the local grocery store chain, telling me he wanted to offer our juices at his stores. He explained that he wanted one case of each recipe at all the stores. So, in the morning we went to work and juiced all day and the next morning I sent my son Clay on the road to deliver while I decided to celebrate with a pedicure! Just as I was enjoying the lovely scent of eucalyptus my phone rang only to hear the very angry voice of the buyer letting me know that there was a process and I could not deliver without a proper purchase order and to go back and pick up any juice I had delivered. The lesson learned was to listen carefully and ask questions even when you are midst of excitement.
Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
I came to juice through the works of Dr. Norman Walker, who taught me to use carefully selected combinations of organic vegetables and fruits to alleviate the symptoms of a wide range of ailments. I was hooked in no time. My kitchen became a laboratory and my neighbors/family/customers, the “test subjects”. Sinus infections? Chronic bronchitis? Try goji berry, pineapple and mint. Acid reflux? Try a heavy green tonic. Aches and pains? Muscle soreness? Turmeric and ginger. Next thing I knew, I was showing up on porches three times a week to make sure each of my neighbors had their personal blend. There is nothing more rewarding than to help others feel their best and even now, I love when customers call and ask for advice or to thank us for making such wonderful juice.
What do you do to articulate or demonstrate your company’s values to your employees and to your customers?
Since I work with organic, perishable vegetables, my team includes everyone involved in the supply chain — from the farmer who grows the produce to the team members pressing the juice. Each member of the team shares the same passion for superior quality and they believe that quality is within the juice we produce. Many members or our team have been with us for over 5 years and have consequently turned into dedicated juice drinkers. Garden of Flavor shares this love for juicing by posting videos of our production process on social media, educating our customers on the benefits of the different berries and greens we use, as well as the farms where the produce is grown.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
For us, our main focus and number one priority is the quality of our products and delighting our customers. If our customers are happy, we are happy!
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
There have been times when I sat on a case of cucumbers and cried. Building a brand is hard work, especially in the competitive category that is refrigerated beverages. Having my son Clay as a partner has kept me going as well as the rest of the team. I consider everyone I work with my family. I don’t want to let them down; they truly care about Garden of Flavor, as shown by their hard work and dedication. Another motivation is the customers, who have come to depend on our products. A good night sleep and a bottle of green juice is usually what inspires me to get up, put back on my big girl juicing jeans, and start a new day!
So, how are things going today? How did your values lead to your eventual success?
Garden of Flavor is a strong, sought after brand. We recently launched in many new regions of Whole Foods Market and customers are loving our juices with superfoods such as Turmeric, Aronia Berries and Probiotic Cultures. Staying true to our value of superior quality has helped us during the pandemic because consumers are seeking out product’s nutritional support, convenience, and delicious taste.
Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a founder or CEO should know in order to create a very successful service based business? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Know your customer — You need to understand your customers lifestyle and what is important to them. You must work around their schedule and understand you are in business to serve them.
- Develop a product or service that customers need or want — Juicers are often given as Christmas gifts and one of the most available products on Ebay after Christmas. Juicing is time consuming and messy, therefore customers enjoy the luxury of a bottle of juice they don’t have to make themselves.
- Innovate and Stay Fresh — Delight and surprise your customers, give them a reason to tell their friends and family about you.
- Know your numbers — This is the backbone of your business. Numbers don’t lie, they are your reality check.
- Diversify your offerings — When you begin to see success, you will get noticed and others will copy what you are doing. By diversifying your offerings, you can attract a broader audience interested in your products or services.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
When I first began making juice, Mark Sandridge of Sandridge Foods was a terrific resource helping me figure out the ins and outs of food manufacturing. He has always been a mentor and a leader in the field. Also, Les Gyerman from Heinen’s Foods walked me through the process of selling into retail, everything from obtaining a UPC code to waiting for an order before I delivered!
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I truly believe that we are what we eat and if people understood this, our country would be a better place. In the United States people who live in the most impoverished areas have the highest levels of obesity and therefore the highest rates of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol leading to all sorts of long term medical conditions. My goal is to create a cookbook — The Loving Garden, featuring 30 healthy, inexpensive dinner recipes with beautiful photographs of the finished dish. The Loving Garden would be presented to patients along with a blender and food processor instead of prescriptions when they visit their health care provider..
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Facebook — @gardenofflavor
Instagram — @gardenofflavor
Website — gardenofflavor.com
LinkedIn — Link