From shack to $29 million legend, JuiceLand remains philanthropic

Like many local businesses across the country, the past two years have been a rollercoaster ride for JuiceLand. JuiceLand has emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever as it promises to keep Austin local as a core value.

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

(Matt shook)

Beginning with one location on Barton Springs Road called Daily Juice in 2003, JuiceLand has since grown to 33 locations, two of which are in the pipeline $29 million in sales in 2019. Forget any worries you had about the chain going statewide — San Antonio doesn’t even have a JuiceLand yet — as Shook Austria said his current focus is on making Austin, Houston and Dallas a better place, one smoothie after smoothie.

As well as using recycled or compostable packaging, organic products, 10% discounts for cyclists, hosting bands like Blackillac on its unconventional rooftop stage and supporting smaller local brands like Clean Cause – for which Shook proudly said JuiceLand was the first retail partner – Charity is very important to the company.

One of the ways JuiceLand addresses this goal is through its “Feel good, do good” program.— which has been running since 2014 — highlights a seasonal monthly drink that donates half of profits to a revolving nonprofit in Texas. For example, order a Pineapple Spinach Mint Agua Fresca through March 31, 50% of proceeds will be donated to Refugee Services of Texas.

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

“I think we’ve worked with them four times over the years, so they’re probably the ones we work with the most,” Shook said. “What better American value than to welcome someone to our country and help them get on their feet.” JuiceLand’s core value of being welcome really aligns with these two nonprofits.”

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

Shook, who may be closest to him, has been a seedling mentor since 2020 and now sits on the board. Through the program, which connects an adult mentor with a child whose parent is incarcerated near them, the mentor meets with their child 30 minutes a week.

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

“When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was throw a football and catch it, so it’s just something to look forward to, not just for him but for me, too,” Shook said. “There’s a lot of science behind a kid who has a mentor who is scientific, data-driven, and has been shown to be more likely to get into school, graduate school, and be more successful in life.”

After closing some locations during the pandemic, JuiceLand is ramping up again and plans to open two more locations, one in Dallas and the other at Round Rock, 2800 S. I-35, which will open in the next month or two.

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