When longtime Lake Elsinore residents Tony and Chris Kelley took over the Juice It UP! on Central Avenue, they knew they would need to make some dramatic changes to boost sales.
Their fresh business model paid off as the store, ranked 19th in the franchise system in December 2011, rose to number one in four short months.
“People thought we were a little crazy for taking on an under-performing juice shop in a down economy, but we made it work,” said Chris.
The partners attribute their success to a blend of community involvement and hands-on management.
“We do not believe in print advertising,” said Tony. “Every dime of our marketing and advertising budget goes to participating in local events and giving back to the community.”
It is a strategy that has paid off.
The Juice It UP! location supports 14 local schools with after school smoothie sales. One dollar from every smoothie sold on campus goes back to the host school, resulting in over $1,300 in donations so far this year.
“The schools are so grateful for our support and the families have become our regulars,” said Chris. “It’s a win-win.”
The partners have lived and worked in Lake Elsinore for over 15 years, so supporting the community they call home feels natural.
When Elsinore First Assembly asked Juice It Up! to participate in its annual outreach block party, the Kelleys quickly agreed.
Pastor Allen Thaler and his staff were thankful for the support.
“The Juice It UP! team came down and set up shop,” said Thaler, noting that the Kelley’s donated over 1,200 eight-ounce smoothies and passed out thousands of coupons. “Over 2,000 attended the event, so they were a phenomenal blessing to so many people. I will be begging them to come back next year.”
The Kelleys knew that they would need a great team to run the shop in the hands-on style that they require, so they decided to keep it in the family. Tony’s brother Derek is the general manager and his sister-in-law Dorothy is the catering manager.
“We love our walk-in guests, but the catering division is the back bone of our business,” said Chris. “In addition to corporate and charity events, we are proud to offer our smoothies at the Storm Stadium. It seems the fans enjoy having a fresh and healthy option.”
Success has inspired the Kelleys to grow their franchise, first to Canyon Hills and then Menifee.
“Many of the schools that we support are in Menifee and Perris, so it makes sense to expand our footprint in that direction,” said Chris. “Canyon Hills will be open in a few weeks and from the number of people who have stopped by during construction, we are confident that it is going to be a huge hit.”
Juice It UP! is located at 29261 Central Avenue in Lake Elsinore.
Corie Maue is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.