Being conscious with your diets doesn’t always mean you ignore the taste and only have vegetables on your plate. If you’re smart enough then you’ll realize that healthy food can be tasty too by mixing a wide variety of ingredients right from vegetables, fruits, essence, seeds, sauce, and cooking style. Offering one of those options to the health-conscious segment is Roshita Rayamajhi through her juice brand: Ju- C fresh from the press.
A former chairperson at Astitwoh Nepal, former officer at Red Cross Society Nepal and an international law lecturer at a law college, Roshita takes on numerous roles including a fitness instructor. In this article, find out how Roshita has been managing Ju-C and the story behind opening it.
1. Can you please introduce yourself and your company? What’s the story behind starting it?
I’ve always been a fitness enthusiast and that led me to take up registered exercise professional classes while I was in the UK around 2015. Thereafter, I upgraded to a fitness nutrition course and got certified as a nutritionist. However, I’m a recent post-graduate in law and literature.
Ju-C is something I wanted to start out in Kathmandu because there was a clear demand for such a product from a health-conscious group. The kinds of juices found in the market were either high in preservatives and had less fruit content or fresh juices that weren’t fulfilling. So, using my nutrition knowledge, I came up with health drinks that are both tasty and fulfilling and are made by mixing fruits, vegetables, seeds, and other necessary nutrients for our body. Some people assume that the fructose diet helps in maintaining body weight and basically, staying fit but that is a wrong understanding. Consuming only fruits actually affects our digestive enzymes which can lead to serious health issues. So, Ju-C offers juices with a proper mix of ingredients necessary to sustain the human body.
Although I had thought about this idea in 2016, I couldn’t start it because of the unavailability of a proper cold pressed machine to make the juices. So, I had to stall it for later. In 2019, after looking up various vendors online, I got a cold-pressed machine in April 2019 and have been making fresh, healthy juices ever since. These juices are sugar and preservatives free and can be consumed to replace a full meal.
2. When did you start out? Is it legally registered?
While I started ideating around 2016, Ju-C came into operations in April 2019 and got legally registered in June 2019 under the name “Fresh shelf food and beverage”. Ju-C fresh from the press is one of our health brands under that company.
3. Can people buy per bottle or do you only offer cleanse packages?
Ju-C offers both per bottle and in packages. Price per bottle is in the range of Rs. 250-350, which is like spending for one meal. Since one bottle of Ju-C is equivalent to a one-time meal, this is an optimum price given the amount of ingredients mixed with it. For cleanse packages, you can look up here. For now, we have these juice cleanses- basic cleanse, beauty cleanse, advance cleanse, cleanse for fitness enthusiasts and the green cleanse.
While some of our clients subscribe for 2-3 months and tell us the dates for the cleanse, some buy per bottle. In Nepal, most of them subscribe for Tuesday since they fast on this day, rest tell us to send whenever we think is best.
4. Do you have a physical store or is it online?
Yes! We have a store at Baluwatar but most sales are made online through our delivery partner.
5. Are there any health blogs or channels that you follow to stay updated with health and nutrition?
I actually have my own channel- The Fitologist, which has more than 75k subscribers as of now. Through the channel, we promote health, nutrition, and teach exercises right from beginners to advanced level.
6. Is everything self-invested? Has Ju-C break even?
Yes, with help and support from my family, everything has been self-invested at Ju-C although I’m currently looking for investors to cover the larger market. Right now, the shelf life of the juices are 3 days since no preservatives are used. I’ll need to invest in a machine that increases the shelf life but that’ll be very huge. There’s no such machine in Nepal and even in India, there are only a few of those machines even when it has so many juice companies.
We’ve already break even as of now because the investment wasn’t too much.
7. What were the challenges while starting out? What are the challenges now?
Lack of awareness among people regarding health drinks would be one of the challenges while starting out. When I used to tell this idea to other people, they used to say that there’s already a lot of juice available in the market when I was talking about health drinks. Next would be lack of a cold-pressed machine to kickstart my venture. Currently, one major challenge I am facing is regarding the shelf life of the juices which is only 3 days so I haven’t been able to reach out to the wider audience.
8. As the Nepali community is getting more conscious about their health, and a lot of juice companies are starting out too, how will you differentiate yourself?
Firstly, all of Ju-C’s operations are done right here in Nepal, from sourcing raw materials from local farmers to making the juice and packaging them. All of the recipes are my own and are done by calculating macros of each product as I am a certified nutritionist and know what the human body requires. With Ju-C, there is no compromise on health and nutrition. Plus, we add a lot of vegetables and other items and isn’t fructose high. So, it’s very fulfilling so that people do not feel hungry. I think that’s how I have been differentiating my company.
9. Your business sounds like it’s seasonal. Is that the case or you also get orders in winter?
While summer brings in new customers, winter passes by pertaining to orders from loyal customers or subscribers.
10. How are you coping with the lockdown? Are you planning on new recipes? Conducting more research?
There’s no order for sure and no production too. I’m planning to do some things after lockdown like introducing salads, gummy bears and other products. Likewise, our social media presence is really low so I’m planning to work on that as well.
11. Where do you get your raw materials from? Are the fruits and vegetables organic?
All of my products aren’t organic but they’re pesticides free and I source them from different local farmers and True farm. I also have a farm of my own so I get some raw materials from there too.
Regarding bottles, we got glass bottles initially but they kept breaking during delivery and were not available in bulk. So, one of my partners imported high-quality recyclable plastic bottles. I wasn’t very convinced at first but after knowing that they’re recyclable, I agreed to use these glasses.
Nevertheless, we still have the option for glass bottles if people want that but subscribers are prioritized for that.
12. In one of your Facebook posts, I saw that you were coming up with gummy bears? Has that happened? If not, when do you plan to launch them?
Actually, I made these gummy bears from the pulp that is left after juice is made. I didn’t want to waste what could be consumed so I came up with this idea. While I haven’t been able to introduce it in the market, I have given some around to friends and families for tasting and the reviews have been quite good. I’m still figuring out packaging options for this so it’ll take some time. Along with gummy bears, I’m also currently ideating on salads.
For more information about Ju-C, please check out their Facebook page here or connect with Roshita directly at firstname.lastname@example.org