Ruby Jean’s Juicery keeps it fresh on Troost
If you live in KC or live to juice there is no doubt you’ve seen the background in an Instagram feed or Facebook story, a floral backdrop with green and orange swirls with photogenic “juicers” showing off their latest find. In some images you might see the kind face of Ruby Jean, smiling down on the photographer, supporting healthy eating and her grandson, Chris Goode the CEO and founder of Ruby Jean’s Juicery.
When Chris founded the company in 2015 he started with his personal savings and did much of painting, landscaping and other renovations himself. “We learned on the fly and I put every last dime into opening Ruby Jeans” said Chris.
His company was bootstrapped from the start and quickly growing. Chris knew he would need new equipment to expand his product line. Cold press juicers cost between $15,000 and $100,000 and this new equipment would create income for him to expand on his performance and “to-go” line.
“We get a lot of positive PR, and sat with a lot of banks,” said Chris, “but we didn’t think it was time” until Chris met Davin from AltCap at 1 Million Cups -- a startup event for entrepreneurs.
“Davin was at 1 Million Cups when I presented Ruby Jeans and he gave me his card,” says CEO Chris Goode. “Davin was instrumental in showing me the ropes, telling me how the process will go. We talked a lot. We still talk a lot. It’s like talking to a friend.”
AltCap assisted with a $25,000 microloan to allow the popular juicery to buy necessary equipment as the company expanded from a tiny building in Westport to Troost and their newest store in the Price Chopper at North Oak Trafficway and Barry Rd. Chris is expanding with licensees across the midwest and has a clear vision for the future.
“The vision is for me to become more of a facilitator and speaker after we have captured the Kansas City market and established a wholesale operation”, said Chris. “I see myself as more of a facilitator of leadership”
“I learned leadership from my father” continued Chris. “My dad is a serial entrepreneur and at a very early stage in my life I saw a black guy create his own path so it was not abstract for me”
His business focuses on his family and making sure that his community is healthy. Goode named his business for his late grandmother, Ruby Jean, who died at a young age from diabetes. Her image is a part of the brand, her face is on the mural in the Troost location, on signs, on the to-go bottles and helps to create a family-friendly authentic experience.
“Our purpose is to make people as healthy as possible and extend their life so that they can spend as much time as possible with their grandmothers,” Chris says. “My grandmother would have turned 80 years old this year, I would love to have hugged her and spent more time with her. So we take health and give it with a genuine approach.”
The company also is genuine when reaches out to the community. Ruby Jean’s Juicery hosts events at the Troost location and “Over the last few years I have spoken to a lot to urban youth,” Chris says. “We’ve been to Operation Breakthrough. We made a custom juice for the Kansas City Neighborhood Academy and made all cold-pressed juice from the things they had grown in their garden.”
Chris tries to inspire kids with his story. “It resonates with kids,” Chris says. “They think, ‘if he can do that and he wears Jordans then I can do it.’”