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.
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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The 40-hour workweek has reigned since around the time of the Great Depression. But a new schedule gaining steam could lead some companies to throw out the practice of having employees clock in five days a week.
Promising results are coming out halfway into a six-month trial of four-day workweeks in the U.K. with 35 out of 41 companies responding to a recent survey saying they were “likely” or “very likely” to continue the reduced week after the pilot ends.
The trial, which began in June, is run by nonprofit 4 Day Week Global, think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University. It involves 3,300 workers across 72 companies who are trying out one paid day off per week between Monday and Friday.
During the four-day week, 34% of companies reported that productivity “improved slightly” and 15% say it “improved significantly.”
With the survey indicating that a four-day workweek could have some perks for companies and employees alike, will Austin join in on the trend?
On job searching tools like LinkedIn and Indeed, some jobs based in Central Texas are boasting a four-day work week. And Coltech Global, a recruiting firm based in London with a growing presence in Austin, began the four-day work week about a year ago.
Jessica Sutcliffe, a staffing consultant at Coltech, joined the company to help grow the U.S. market. She says due to the time difference between the U.S. team and the UK one, the company implemented a four-day week.
"I’ve found it very beneficial as it allows time to rest and complete life admin, whilst also enjoying life, travel and be able to come back to work rested/fulfilled outside of work, which ultimately helps focus inside of those core work hours," Sutcliffe said via email.
In an Instagram post, Coltech said that not only are employees feeling the benefits of being more refreshed in the mornings, having reduced illness and a less stressed atmosphere, but it’s also improving their carbon footprint since there’s less time spent traveling to the office and using energy.
Niki Jorgensen, director of service operations at human resources service provider Insperity, noted similar factors driving companies to make the change to a reduced work week.
“The most significant benefit for a company to adopt the four-day workweek is the improvement of employee morale,” Jorgensen told Austonia via email. “Over the past two years, numerous studies have shown employees think a four-day workweek reduces stress and burnout. With reduced stress and burnout comes improved employee engagement.”
And while Austin is already drawing in plenty of workers who are in their early careers, a four-day week may help companies stand out to that bracket’s top talent even more.
“Companies can leverage this to make their company more appealing, especially to younger generations who strongly consider factors outside of compensation when choosing employment,” Jorgensen said.
She went on to offer a few tips for making a smooth transition to a four-day week like setting expectations and staggering coverage so that it’s still possible to see clients five days a week. Also, employers should be flexible. She says some employees may not be able to get 40 hours of work done in a shorter week due to responsibilities like childcare, so employers should consider how they can still accomplish their duties.
Before ditching the 40-hour workweek though, it can help to take a temperature check to see if an extra day off is the right fit for the workplace.
“Do not implement a flexible schedule such as the four-day workweek if business owners and managers cannot commit to the level of trust and flexibility needed to ensure the schedule’s success,” Jorgensen said.
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Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!