HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Central Virginia is blooming with creativity. Good Morning Richmond is featuring innovative startups and products that are #MadeInRVA.
This week, 8News reporter Evanne Armour goes behind the scenes of Ginger Juice Co. to see how it works to fulfill its mission “to nourish the souls of [its] consumers with all natural juice.”
The Ginger Juice Backstory
When Erin Powell’s son, Sayer, wouldn’t eat his fruit and vegetables, she had to get creative. She started sneaking them into juice.
Soon, what she was doing in her own kitchen, she started doing for Richmond.
Powell has run Ginger Juice Co. since September 2014. She specializes in cold-pressed juice.
“We’re Richmond’s only cold-pressed juice company,” she said.
That means no heat is applied during the production process.
“Which is the best way to conserve the most amount of nutrients,” Powell said.
In every bottle of Ginger Juice, Powell packs in two-and-a-half pounds of produce.
Despite the company’s name, ginger is only found in two of the 11 recipes she sells. The name Ginger Juice actually comes from her inspiration — her son, who has bright red hair.
Making it happen
Powell started selling her concoctions at the South of the James and St. Stephens farmers markets. Then, more than 100 people contributed to her Kickstarter campaign, raising thousands of dollars to help expand her operation.
Now, she has a shop in the Village Shopping Center in the West End.
“Two years ago I didn’t think Ginger Juice was really a possibility, but it’s been a great journey,” she said. “Richmond has been incredible. The city in general is very supportive of entrepreneurs.”
Powell says she’s always wanted to run a business. She has a background in franchising and an interest in the restaurant and food industry.
She traveled a lot for her previous job and said she noticed other major cities had juice bars.
“On the west coast they’re literally on every street corner. It’s almost like Starbucks.”
She saw a void in Richmond and decided she could fill it.
“For two years I balanced a full-time job, being a single mom and starting a business. I always get asked, ‘How do you do it?’ And my answer is, ‘I didn’t.'”
Powell is quick to thank the Richmond community for its support, the farmers she works with, her Kickstarter donors and her eight employees.
Powell says she’s looking to higher even more employees. In the last few weeks, her reach has grown.
She opened up two new locations — one on The Canal outside Casa del Barco and the other in Short Pump Town Center next to Crate and Barrel.
She’s added four people to her team to support those kiosks.
Powell says she has her eyes on other markets, too.
“We’ve done really well being by the University of Richmond, so I think we’d do well in Harrisonburg by JMU, I think we’d do well in Blacksburg by Virginia Tech, Williamsburg by William and Mary,” she said. “There are expansion plans with this kiosk model.”
Her advice to budding entrepreneurs in RVA?
“Don’t give up. Find out what you’re good at, and find people that can support you for the things you’re not good at,” she said. “The Richmond community is super embracive of startups and I’ve been floored by the number of people who’ve reached out and wanted to help.”
If you know of an interesting product or idea that was #MadeInRVA and should be featured, email us the details at iReport8@wric.com.