Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Buttery.
Hi Susan, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Since the age of six years old, I have always wanted to own a restaurant. At the age of 24, fresh outta college from FSU, I did just that. I have been a small business owner in Orlando since 1995. I owned and operated the restaurant/bar called Po’boys from ’95-2002. In 2003, I purchased a full liquor license and changed the name of my place to Crooked Bayou. We specialized in cajun cuisine and nightly entertainment. I successfully sold my bar at the end of 2010 and took 1 1/2 years off to travel and enjoy life. At this time, I began juicing daily at home. I gave up meat/dairy by 2009 and never did caffeine drinks, so when I started juicing, I loved the natural “pick me up” the juices gave me. I was a regular customer at Orlando Power Yoga and became good friends with the owner, Kelly Senn. She knew of my love for juicing, and we joked about how cool it would be to open up a juice bar next to her busy yoga studio. In April of 2012, Kelly called me and told me the hair salon owner next door to OPY was selling. I grabbed my checkbook and the rest is history. Juice Bar opened in Dec. 2012 and we have seen much success as being one of the few juice bars that make made to order juices.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has been virtually a smooth road since we opened in 2012. It’s always tough going through the “change of use” permit at city hall. But I have opened several businesses in Orlando, and I knew how to properly navigate the system and get open in a timely manner. Some small business owners end up paying a lot in rent before they actually open their doors, and I am glad it only took me seven months to get my operation up and running. When more juice/smoothie bars began opening in 2014, I decided to expand my business by investing in a big cold pressed machine so we could offer daily cleanses and to go juices that would last more than an hour. This move also enabled me to sell our juices off-site at other places such as Market on South, Eola General, and Bynx. Covid has been a very tough road to navigate. Much worse than owning a business during the three hurricanes of 2004. The PPP loan and the Orange County CARES act definitely helped, but our sales are down 45-50% compared to last year. However, we are hanging in there, and as long as I can keep paying my staff and myself, we will continue to survive. Survival during this time is all about adaptation and we have adapted to covid by taking orders at the window and bringing the products to our customers at the front door. We want to keep everyone safe and healthy, and I am happy to report no one on our team has contracted the virus during this time.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We are one of the only juice spots in Orlando that offers fresh, made to order juices and wellness shots. You can pick any ingredients from our list and create your own juice. Not many juice bars allow that feature. Our daily juices cleanse are a big hit, and most people will do a three-day juice cleanse. I think our juice recipes are some of the best around and if you don’t like the juice you ordered, we will make you another one although this rarely happens. We also offer some minimal but delicious, healthy snacks such as our protein power balls, gluten-free vegan chia muffins, veggie fold ups, and a spicy kale hummus snack pack. I am also proud that other local, small business owners want to carry my product in their shops. Orlando is a small tight-knit community of wonderful Main Street districts, and it’s nice to see many businesses supporting other businesses in this city.
What matters most to you? Why?
Customer service and quality product offerings are the two most important things to my staff and me. If you can’t provide these two items, there really is no need to open your business. I also pride myself on the fact that I respect and take care of my staff. If you treat your staff properly, they will always give back 100% to your business.
- 16 oz made to order juice $7.75
- 12 oz made to order juice $6.25
- Daily juice cleanse $50
- Protein Power Balls $1.50
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: http://juicebarorlando.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juicebarorlando/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/juice-bar-orlando?osq=juice+bar