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From juice shack to statewide legend, JuiceLand CEO reveals what's next for the Austin brand

hook (center) fundraised for Seedling Mentor Program for months through the "Feel Good, Do Good" program. (Matt Shook)

Like many local businesses across the country, the last two years have been a rollercoaster ride for JuiceLand. As it emerges from the pandemic, JuiceLand has come out stronger than ever as it vows to keep Austin local as a core value.

After landing in Austin in 1996, JuiceLand CEO Matt Shook found his paradise at the “heart chakra of North America:” Barton Springs Pool. After a swim one day in 2001, Shook applied for a part-time job at the nearby Juice Joint and ended up inheriting the business two years later to save it from closing due to unpaid rent.

(Matt Shook)

Starting with one location on Barton Springs Road under the name "Daily Juice" in 2003, JuiceLand has since grown to 33 locations with two on the way and made $29 million in revenue in 2019. Forget any thoughts you had about the chain going national—San Antonio doesn’t even have a JuiceLand yet—as Shook told Austonia he's currently focused on making Austin, Houston and Dallas a better place, one smoothie at a time.

In addition to using recycled or compostable packaging, organic produce, offering 10% discounts to cyclists, hosting bands like Blackillac on its unconventional rooftop stage, and supporting smaller local brands like Clean Cause—which Shook proudly said JuiceLand was the first retail partner for—charity is very important to the company.

One of the ways JuiceLand is tackling that goal is through its “Feel Good, Do Good” program–which has been running since 2014–highlighting a seasonal monthly drink that donates half the profits to a revolving Texas nonprofit. For example, if you order a pineapple spinach mint agua fresca by March 31, 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Refugee Services of Texas.

Shook said JuiceLand frequently raises funds for Casa Marianella as well, which also helps relocate people who are new to America.

“I think we've partnered with them four times over the years so they probably are the one we partner with the most,” Shook said. “What better an American value than welcoming someone to our country and helping them get on their feet? JuiceLand’s core value of welcoming really aligns with those two nonprofits.”

After ACL, festival-goers were able to see more live music on the roof of Juiceland's Barton Springs location. (Sonia Garcia/ Austonia)

Possibly the closest to his heart, Shook has been a Seedling Mentor since 2020 and now sits on the board of directors. Through the program, which connects an adult mentor to a child with a parent incarcerated in their area, the mentor meets with their child for 30 minutes per week.

JuiceLand raised $20,000 for Seedling last year and the benefits of volunteerism are passed on to the employees, who are incentivized to become mentors. Shook said at least 22 JuiceLand employees are mentors and he meets his 12-year-old mentee every week to throw a football together.

“When I was a kid that's all I ever wanted to do was throw and catch a football, so it's just kind of like something to look forward to not just for him but also for me,” Shook said. “There's a lot of science behind a child that has a mentor that is scientifically, data-driven, proven to be more likely to show up for school, graduate school and be successful in life.”

After closing a few locations during the pandemic, JuiceLand is ramping back up with plans to open two more locations, one in Dallas and the other in Round Rock, at 2800 S. I-35, opening in the next month or two.


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