We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassandra Troy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassandra, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My initial thought process was, how can I have access to cold pressed juice daily without having to buy/wash/prep all the produce, and clean the juicer filter!!! Kidding aside, after several years in the fashion biz, which I loved, I always felt my true calling was in the food industry inspiring people to live healthier lives through moderation, conscious eating, and making approachable great tasting food. So my thought process was, how can I pivot into a career that aligns with my life and passion while enriching my community.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
In 2013 my husband and I had the incredible opportunity to open a tiny 200 square foot juice shop in LA called Clover Juice. We opened our juice bar up with money we’d set aside for our wedding, along with some money loaned to us from friends and family. With zero experience in the food and beverage industry, we researched the how-to’s, asked restaurant owner friends a ton of questions and moved forward against all odds. We built Clover Juice for ourselves and to inspire health in our community, and never realized at that time just how big our community could and would grow. Our focus through the highs and lows was to never compromise on two things: the quality of our products and the support we bring to each and every partnership. In 2013 (and for several years to follow) we were asked to be the juice partner at Coachella. Throughout those years we also started to build a wholesale business which forced us to move our production into a larger kitchen to support the growth. In 2015 we welcomed our first son, West, and I navigated the challenge of new mama-hood and being a small business owner. In 2016 we struggled to keep up with some of the beverage giants in our industry and almost lost the business. It was then that we made the tough decision to close our retail shops and focus our passion and energy into our wholesale business. In 2017 at a breaking point, we landed a dream partnership who helped us regain confidence in our business. When we thought the worst was behind us, in 2018 due to a trademark conflict with Clover Dairy farms, we had to rebrand Clover to Little West. As difficult as this was, the new brand felt more like us than ever, especially that it was named after our son, West. What started as a tiny 200 square foot juice shop in LA became California’s premier juice company, partnering with hotel groups, high-end grocery chains, tech companies, and some of the best coffee and restaurant brands in the country. Most recently, and in the middle of the worldwide pandemic, we had the honor of launching as Whole Foods’ cold pressed juice partner. The small business roller coaster is still a daily ride, but we always find ways to enjoy it. What sets Little West apart is our product and passionate team. We source our produce from local farms and press the juice within 48 hours of harvest. Our blends are packed with vitamins and minerals thanks to 2-4 lbs of fruits and veggies in each bottle, and we never add sugar, preservatives or concentrates. To offset our companies carbon footprint we plant trees with EcoDrive, and we donate a percentage of all sales to Big Green Learning Gardens, to help kids learn about the importance of real food. My greatest career achievement has been surviving 8 years in one of the most competitive industries in the US. For having grace through the process, and for being selected as the juice partner for each of our cherished customers. My initial thought process behind starting a juice company was very small picture, but by doing what I love and being surrounded by a devoted team and inspiring support system, my thought process now is to work hard, keep growing, and most importantly enjoy the ride.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
California is such a magical wonderful place! Most of our time would be spent outdoors and my first suggestion would be to plan a coastal drive. The Central Coast is worth a two day trip – Wineries in San Luis Obispo & Paso Robles – Stay at the Avila La Fonda, which is a a hidden gem in Avila beach. Santa Monica – Lunch at Malibu Farm Cafe and hike one of the epic surrounding canyons. The ocean views are spectacular. Venice beach is known for it’s famous boardwalk, but is fun, but if you’re heading to Venice my vibe is walking along Abbott Kinney to shop and enjoy some of the wonderful local spots. Our favs are GJelina and Tasting Room. Hollywood – Lunch at the adorable Beachwood Cafe and hike up to the back side of the hollywood sign. You have panoramic views of all of LA (downtown to the beach), and even into the San Fernando valley mountains. Griffith Observatory on a clear evening to take in the views as night falls, and then enjoy the stars and maybe catch a show at the Hollywood Bowl. If you like to bicycle, grab a delicious Coffee at La Colombe in Frogtown and take the bike trail that’s right behind it. Safe travels!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First I must shoutout my husband and business partner Andrew for never giving up and for helping make the impossible possible on the daily. Several of our friends and family members were our first investors, and so without them none of this would have been possible. Our dear friends and owners of Modo Yoga LA believed in our vision and allowed us to sublease a space next to their flagship studio in LA, which is where we opened our first juicebar in 2013. We would be nowhere without our team, many of whom have worked with us for over 5 years. Growing a small business takes both grace and a ton of grit, and we’re so fortunate to be infinitely supported by our small and mighty LW team. Next and so very important, I must shoutout all the incredible west coast farmers who devote their lives to growing and harvesting the absolute best produce. Our product is only as good as the quality of the ingredients we use, and we’re so grateful for the partnerships we’ve built over the years. Last but no least, a huge shoutout to our customers!! We work tirelessly to make the highest quality and best tasting juice, and when a customer chooses Little West, they choose to support a small business doing it right. For them, we are eternally grateful.
Instagram: @casstroywalker @littlewest
Photos by Jessica Alexander @jessicajalexander