Clean Juice, the first and only national USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise in the U.S., celebrated another successful year of growth with its entire Franchise Partner family during the company's annual Juice Jam event held at the Omni Champions Gate Resort in Orlando, FL, the brand's first in-person event since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The event welcomed approximately 300 Clean Juice family members including Franchise Partners, 60+ Vendor Partners, and the entire Clean Juice Home Office support team.
Though there were many memorable moments, the highlight of the three-day event was the presentation of multiple scholarships to store employees during the Awards Banquet. Clean Juice awarded $17,500 in scholarship funds including three $5K and five $500 scholarships to help Juiceristas offset the costs of postsecondary education. Two of the $5,000 winners including Daniel Bernharden (Lincoln, NE) and Rocco Lavarone (Tampa, FL) were invited to attend the event and be recognized on stage by co-Founders Kat and Landon Eckles.
A special live FaceTime call was arranged to celebrate the $5,000 Mission Trip Scholarship winner, Clara Mount (Houston, TX), who joined for a few minutes before departing on her Operation Mobilization trip to Africa. Operation Mobilization is a Christian missionary organization founded by George Verwer to mobilize young people to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by serving those in need through medical care, emergency relief, education, and job skills. Clara received a standing ovation from the attendees for her commitment to serve others and for being a shining example of Clean Juice's core values.
Store owners from each of the winning scholarship recipients were invited to the stage to share their positive experiences and personal celebrations of each winner. To cap off the Awards Banquet, a special video from Clean Juice's newly named National Ambassador, Tim Tebow, was played for the recipients.
"The Clean Juice brand has so much to be thankful for as we continue to grow and innovate at a record pace year after year," says Landon Eckles, CEO, Clean Juice. "We would definitely not be where we are today without the dedication of our Franchise Partners and Juiceristas like Daniel, Rocco, and Clara who continue to deliver our organic products with a smile and a servant's heart to millions of guests a year. This is what Juice Jam is all about and why we were so thrilled to do it in person in Florida."
Clean Juice heads into Q4 with a momentum that will mark another record-breaking year of substantial growth within the fast-casual/quick-service restaurant market. Through the end of August, the company's year-to-date same stores exceeded 16 percent from last year. Clean Juice proudly reported at Juice Jam that the company is on pace to see more than 1.1 million more guests in 2021. During the event, the company unveiled multiple new initiatives and products including new organic sandwiches, which will launch in October 2021.
"Menu innovation and seasonality was a key topic of discussion during our many breakout sessions with Franchise Partners," adds Eckles. "We are inspired by their passion to continue the Clean Juice tradition of developing new flavors and on-the-go menu items for our millions of guests including the launch of our new organic sandwich line menu item coming out very soon."
During the event, Franchise Partners were celebrated for being "Stars So Far," including Tauni Roberts, multi-store owner in Boise, ID, who was recognized for a "Year Over Year Increase" performance of 99.4 percent increase in sales from the previous year; "Best Guest Count Growth" award went to the Koessl family from Dallas, TX who saw a 182 percent increase from last year; and the "Quarters 4 Kids" cause marketing award went to Jessica Hose from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania who raised nearly $2500 for community programs geared toward enriching the lives of children through health, wellness, and nutritional programming.