Tasneem Manjra, Co-Founder of Bushel Whole Blended Juices, gives us some great insight on her journey of building a juice startup.
LFL: Who are you and what is your food startup?
MANJRA: My name is Tasneem Manjra and I am Co-Founder of Bushel Whole Blended Juices. We create fresh, whole blended, fruit and vegetable juices.
Why did you decide to launch Bushel?
I used to blend juices for fun at home, and based on the enthusiasm and feedback we received from our family and friends, realized that there was a need for fresh fruit and vegetable juices on the Peninsula. That was when we decided to move forward with launching Bushel.
What shocked you the most about the food startup process?
The endless regulations that apply to all elements of the business: hiring, taxes, and of course the food itself.
What business tool/concept was the most eye-opening as you launched your startup?
Yelp. I would say that Yelp, even more so than our own website or Facebook, was crucial in helping us acquire new clients.
Which individual(s) were the most crucial as you grew from idea stage to pilot stage?
My husband and co-founder Faruk. He had the ability to provide consistently objective and logical feedback from idea-to-launch. As I look back now, that helped us get profitable very early.
What did you learn from your customers that surprised you?
Customers are incredibly passionate about high quality food, and will go to great lengths to get it. This tells me that people aren’t “used” to bad food as the supermarket may imply, and are constantly seeking options that are healthy and tasty.
What are your plans for growing Bushel?
We will continue to grow Bushel through catering orders, and are excited to launch a juice bar at a great Peninsula store in the next few weeks…details to follow on our Facebook page.
What advice do you have for food entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
Stay on top of everything! You will initially be your company’s everything: accountant, marketing, HR, operations, and maybe even designer – expect it, and handle these tasks well!
Anything else you would like readers to know?
Revenues don’t mean profits. Analyze and keep tabs of your revenues and expenses all the time – if things are getting out of control, figure out what levers to pull.