How do you juggle two different continents, two kids and a juice business?
Having two back to back seasons can be really full on. My husband runs Passion 4 Laughter and I run Passion 4 Juice. We work as a team. It is a bit of a juggle but that is true of any business owner and parent right! We just happen to juggle in different countries. Plus it gives me an excuse to go home and escape the UK winter. Our second son was born in the middle of the Edinburgh Fringe. Joe was doing shows and much of running the juice bar, I was running the juice bar too – it was full on. We have slowed down a bit now with kids and tend to do only 1 or 2 big gigs a month. I am also studying nutrition as I am keen to learn more about the healing power of food and juice. Joe is constantly improving skills; presently juggling ping pong balls with his mouth and creating huge bubbles. We both redesigned our lives to live our passion. This will be the 23rd summer in a row! The kids chose well. They love being on the road! Live in vehicles help as we always have our home with us and we are always together. One way we juggle all this is using lists! Then we fit the ‘All the things list’ into the diary and we know as long as we do all those things then all the things will get done!
What makes your juices unique?
We like to make our juices pokey, zingy and strong. We use lots of ginger, lemon, lime and other healing herbs. The juices are all fresh pressed and made to order so nothing sits around. The enzymes are active, the juice is alive with energy and you can feel the difference. It is not heat treated or pasteurized. Just fruit, veg and herbs pressed in front of you. We try and get as much organic, local and seasonal as possible.
What exactly is the daily Joe Juice clown show?
This is our way of combining our passions. Joe loves making people laugh and I love inspiring people to be healthy. The Joe Juice Show is edutainment – it will make you laugh and think. Joe chooses volunteers and uses a whip to crack celery out of the hand of a small child; he pokes his entire body through a child’s tennis racket as he talks about sugar being one of the oldest rackets in the world! Joe uses highly impressive circus tricks to carry the meaningful points we want to convey…. 100% fresh produce means no heat treatment, it contains the natural enzymes which aid digestion; juice is medicinal; a fresh wholefood diet is good for us. Joe rides a 7 ft unicycle and juggles the Great Aussie Thirst Quencher and other juice ingredients from the menu. We now have a new finale involving our children too. Joe and our two sons make a human star using acro-balance. The final image conveys health, family togetherness, fun, and risk. Joe is also planning to introduce mouth juggling ping pong balls into the show as an image of how plastic our processed foods have become. It is a lot of fun, while also making people think. The show runs for about 40 minutes, happens on the ‘street’ outside the juice bar and is usually just before and after lunch. We then give everyone who watched the show a special discount voucher to use at the juice bar. It is our way of making people stop, laugh, think and interact! Laughter and juice are the best medicine.
Funniest thing that’s happened while trading?
That is a tough one as there are so many funny stories. When Joe works the queue the banter and jokes are thick and fast. We ask people’s name as they order. Nearly every name creates some point of improvisation. People come back time and time again just for the banter! It is the rich tapestry of people we meet along the way that makes it all worth it. We meet many characters in all sorts of states. We had a guy come into the juice bar at a bush ‘doof’ in Australia unable to walk he was so high, and then we saw them again a year later with a suit and tie at the Fringe. We remembered his name and had a laugh about how high he was last time we saw him. One guy (pic of cucumber man attached) at Glastonbury once was totally covered in mud and came and got some cucumber slices for his eyes. A few minutes later he put his head down on the bar and fell asleep for about 20 minutes. We get so many characters and we are always up for some fun. One guy last year was called Shaun, so we called him Shaun the sheep. He came in again on Monday morning looking very delicate – we remembered him, called him shaun the sheep and he nearly cried he was so touched to be remembered – he got a juice and a hug and felt much better. We often help performers stay healthy and have had a few private juice bar performances. All the staff doing the wombat wobble was pretty funny!
What advice would you give a fellow mobile caterer?
I love how we all help each other out. If you borrow something, please return it. The amount of rakes, hammers, scissors, pick axes, and sledge hammers that have gone missing over the years is a bit annoying. I always say ‘its a boomerang – please make sure it comes back’. Joe has now learnt to take the persons hat, or sunglasses, so that they will definitely bring our kit back. He learnt that one a few years ago from a Bristol man at BoomTown Fayre. Also take care of your stuff especially on the last night of a festival and even the pack up night after most people have left. This is when you let your guard down, you are tired and this is when things happen. Stuff goes missing! Also double check the legal documents, especially insurance. We lost everything 2 years ago when vandals burnt out our live in vehicle. An 18 month insurance battle followed – tedious and exhausting!
How has the industry changed during the 12 years that you’ve been trading?
I think the amount of wholesome, healthy, allergy friendly food is awesome. Caterers are so creative with amazing taste sensations. The biggest change for me has been the number of people coming in and ordering veggie juice. Especially middle aged men. 12 years ago I would have a bloke come up and say ‘what is this? Oh a juice bar! Err I will have an orange juice’. Now they come straight up and ask for the detox special with beetroot, carrot, apple, celery and ginger. It is a massive shift! It is no longer just the young girls interested in health. We used to only cater to around 2-5% of the population at a festival but now we have all ages and many more guys trying it out.
How does your NCASS membership help you?
NCASS is always on the end of the phone for advice, training, insurance and industry trends. The website has been excellent especially sending out standard documents. You have helped me a great deal every single year! Thanks.