When Brittany Thaxton visited California when she was 23-years-old, she and husband Bryce Thaxton found inspiration in the health culture of juicing and the juice bars that they found on the coast. When they returned, Brittany Thaxton quit her job and began a Kickstarter campaign for Vive Juicery.
Brianne Koehler, general manager, has been working alongside Brittany and Bryce for a year and a half at Vive.
“People fell in love with the story, the passion and the heart behind [Vive], as well as the product,” said Koehler.
When they hit the Kickstarter goal, the couple picked up all the produce, juiced all the vegetables and fruits and hand delivered the final product by themselves for over six months.
“They hit their Kickstarter goal, they got their first cold-press machine and they wanted to make sure that they didn’t bring on employees until they could take really care of them,” said Koehler. “That’s something they’re passionate about, is making sure the culture stays really positive and they care of people who they bring onto their team.”
Two years later, Vive Juicery, fondly referred to as Vive, proudly serves cold-pressed juices in a variety of flavors, cleanses, nut milks and raw lattes, elixirs and shots all with health benefits.
“My goal and my mission with Vive is to be able to make a difference in my community, plain and simple,” said Brittany Thaxton. “Where it gets multifaceted is that we get to make an impact in our local agriculture community and we’re able to make a difference in individual people.”
With 24 employees, Brittany and Bryce have two locations in Sugar House and Downtown Salt Lake City and are involved with the Downtown Farmer’s Market and the Wheeler Farm Market.
“We have been really fortunate in getting into places where small local businesses are a huge part of the community and where they are really complementary, in places where gyms and juice go really well together,” said Koehler.
Vive created thirteen original recipes of cold-pressed juices, five specialty nut milks and raw lattes, four hydrators, and various elixirs and shots all in reusable glass bottles.
The kitchen staff spends 16 hours each day juicing for each recipe to stock stores and send juices out for delivery.
“There is so much that goes into juicing and creating this product,” said Koehler. “There are so many intricate processes and the kitchen is very much scheduled and processed. We are really strict and have specific processes to create a consistent product.”
Juice benefits range from using ginger for a headache cure to using charcoal for a fix for bloating. Each cure is also packed with 2-4 pounds of fruits and vegetables in the signature reusable glass bottles.
“What keeps people coming back to Vive is how they feel after they drink it,” said Koehler.
The store associates at Vive are taught when a new customer or first time juice drinker comes into the store the method of sales reflects benefits before taste and the health benefits are the first priority said Koehler.
“I can’t even tell you how many people come in and said ‘I really struggled eating vegetables and I was so unhealthy and I felt terrible and now I feel amazing.’ Or ‘I drink more water.’ Or ‘I picked up yoga.’ Or ‘I’m sleeping better at night and it’s making me a more kind mom,” said Thaxton. “When one person feels good, they show up better in all the other aspects of their life and it creates this circle effect. Vive is about making a different and we just do it through juice.”
Store associate, Stephanie Portocarrero, says she has become more health conscious since working at Vive and is seeing the juice’s effects.
“Before, I thought Jamba Juice was a healthy drink,” said Portocarrero. “Now learning about the cold-press and all of our produce is raw and sourced locally, instead of taking medicine when I feel bad, I do juice alternatives.”
Throughout the year and a half Koehler has worked at Vive, Koehler has seen a change in her body composition and her cravings.
“I used to only be able to drink our Daydream,” said Koehler. “Eventually, now I drink everything on our menu and everything tastes good. It’s fun to expand on the menu and watch our customers do the same.”
The positive environment at Vive has been crafted and curated by Thaxton in order to produce a product that is “pressed with love.”
“Where I feel like I thrive as an owner is that my whole goal is to find my employees strengths and being able to say what is possible for you and being able to put them in those positions to be able to thrive,” said Brittany Thaxton. “When my employees thrive, that’s when I know I’ve done a good job. Numbers aside, social media aside, if I can inspire the people that work here to make a difference that’s going to create a ripple effect that goes out into the community.”