His jersey is on his display and Landon says guests “definitely” realize it’s the “Tebow store.”
When asked if this is unit No. 1 of a potential fleet, Tebow nods at Landon and says, “hopefully.”
“I think there’s so much room and so much opportunity in the future to continue to grow to make this more available for people, to get to more stores,” he continues. “I would love to in the future after one, get to more, two, three, four, and continue to grow it. It’s not only something that I’m ambassador of, it’s something I use all the time.”
The sentiment covers Clean Juice’s wider ambitions, too. Landon says the brand hopes to serve 30 million guests some day. Eventually, 100 million, and beyond.
Through COVID, Clean Juice closed only one restaurant. Landon believes the reason dovetails with what’s also fueling expansion, and explains how a brand, relatively small in its category, could land a celebrity endorsement like Tebow. “It’s the passion of our owners,” Landon says. “They truly believe that when they open a Clean Juice in their community that they are making an impact and they’re serving food they can’t get anywhere else.”
Going back to Tebow’s first meeting with Clean Juice, he explained to the Eckles there were mega-watt offers out there from brands he couldn’t get behind. Clean Juice couldn’t touch the dollar figures, but it had a mission Tebow supported.
“Like we tell everyone who gets into franchising,” Landon says, “we have the team to teach you the rest. Start with the best. Start with what you care about it. There are 4,000 concepts you can be a franchisee of, so pick the one you care about.”
Tebow’s goal isn’t new to quick service. He wants to break down barriers to healthy food and widen accessibility. Tebow was on the chair of Florida’s governor’s council of physical fitness when he was in college at UF. He cites obesity studies and freely talks about nutrition.
Making his own juice, Tebow combines spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon, ginger, and turmeric. He generally loads up on protein and cycles through shots. Tebow “crushed” a couple of juices before taking the stage in August to surprise operators at Clean Juice’s annual “Juice Jam” conference, held in Charlotte.
But simply, just as the Eckles wanted to make a concept they’d feel good putting on the family table, Tebow felt the same about one he’d open franchises for. “There are a lot of places where you are saying, this is healthy, and they’re putting stuff in it. And I just think it’s really important that you build trust that what you say is accurate,” Tebow says.
Landon feels the same, which is why Clean Juice carries the organic banner. It’s an ethos that was never easy to execute and comes at a cost, especially as the brand expanded its menu in recent years to include sandwiches, salads, and wraps.