Clean Juice, the first and only USDA-certified organic juice bar in the United States, has opened its first Central Florida location in Winter Park and has five more slated for Greater Orlando.
The company opened two weeks ago in Winter Park Village, and has a second regional opening expected at Oviedo on the Park in First Quarter 2018, said Alex Bisbee, associate with SRS Real Estate Partners and representative for Clean Juice in its local leases.
Contracts also have been signed to put Clean Juice bars in Windermere Village, opening in Summer 2018, and Lake Nona Town Center in Summer 2019, Bisbee said. Negotiations are underway for identified locations in Lake Mary and Dr. Phillips, and SRS is looking for two other suitable sites elsewhere in the region.
Altogether, the Charlotte-based juice and smoothie company wants to open 25 to 30 stores in Florida by the end of 2019, said Brennan Kerr, Clean Juice's real estate manager. Those include a total of seven sites in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, four in Jacksonville and at least one each in the Sarasota and Naples areas.
Kerr said Clean Juice's founders, Kat and Landon Eckles, have been vacationing with their kids at Walt Disney World for years and are familiar with the Orlando area.
"From visiting here, we knew it was a great area for our concept," he told GrowthSpotter.
The Eckles opened their first juice bar in Charlotte in 2015. The idea of using all FDA-certified organic products for juices and light meals was a big hit, generating $1.1 million in profits after the first year, according to a May 2017 article in Franchising USA magazine. Now the company is looking to open 400 juice bars in the next five years.
Desirable neighborhoods share common demographics: a growing population that's relatively young, affluent and focused on healthy living. In choosing specific locations, the company looks for adequate parking, visibility from the road and good ingress and egress, Kerr said.
"A lot of people want to get in get out with their smoothie," he said.
Also important is co-tenancy with boutique fitness centers such as Cycle Bar, Orangetheory Fitness, Pilates and LA Fitness. Bisbee noted that there is a boutique cycling studio, Cycle Bar, in Winter Park's Lakeside Crossing not far from the newly opened Clean Juice bar.
"Winter Park is blanketed with multiple yoga studios," he added.
Clean Juice bars in the Central Florida area will be a mix of franchises and corporate-owned stores, Bisbee said. The company generally requires a storefront of 1,000 to 1,500 square feet, with 1,250 square feet being the optimum.
Depending on condition of the rental space, it costs between $160,000 and $220,000 to outfit a new store not including equipment. Equipment averages about $160,000, Kerr said.
Much of the company's success is due to how people are treated when they come in a Clean Juice bar and transparency in the juicing process, said Kerr, which is done in full view of the customers so they can see the fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and berries going into the product.
"Everything that goes into a Clean Juice smoothie is listed on the board," Kerr said. "It all goes back to the transparency of process, so people know what they're putting in their bodies."
The company is looking to open 400 juice bars in the next five years. The states targeted for new juice bars this year and in 2018 are Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan, with more to be added.