We had the good fortune of connecting with Cole Carson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cole, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Nothing worth having comes easy. I mean that in the sense of real long lasting fulfillment. Often in business, especially early on, you see these little moments of greatness. In those moments of greatness it’s tempting to let your guard down and cruise for awhile. I’ve found that when things are going great, that’s the time to execute further. You have to keep peddling even when you are going downhill because the next uphill climb is coming up. Not that you can’t enjoy and celebrate your successes but business is a long journey that isn’t for the faint of heart. We would all love instant results but I’ve found that the more adversity I’ve been able to overcome, the more fulfilled I become. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing your sacrifices add true value to your team and communities.
What should our readers know about your business?
Thrive Juice Lab is Southern California’s very own locally owned and operated all organic wellness café. Our menu is made entirely from 100% organic, gluten-free, and dairy free ingredients. Our juices are raw, UN-pasteurized, and cold pressed fresh at each location 7-days a week. Fresh soups and salads are made fresh by hand at each location along with our almond milk, plant based proteins, wellness shots and snack items. We freshly bake our own cookies, protein bites, and granola to top our delicious açaí, pitaya, and vegan ice cream bowls with. We aren’t reinventing juice but we are reinventing the approach. We take pride in working with local farms, local businesses, supporting our communities, and providing unparalleled customer service. Every time a customer walks through our doors we like to call it an interaction not a transaction. This is our opportunity to spread health, prosperity, and joy. I started in 2014 in Laguna Niguel, California. With the help of an amazing team we have expanded our operations to a second location in Newport Beach, California and are actively working on further expansion. I’d say I’m most proud of our contribution to our communities. Seeing our food and drinks add real value to the lives of our employees and customers is incredibly fulfilling. I’m excited to watch where the business goes from here and see our dedicated team have new opportunities for growth Was it easy? Absolutely not, it’s been hard fought blood, sweat, and tears! In 2014 I was working 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week living in an Airstream trailer in someone’s driveway. I had a vision though for what it could become and I kept that in the forefront of my mind every day as I worked to build the brand. We’ve been through floods, equipment failure of every kind, power outages, you name it and now staying afloat during a global pandemic. We went from one location with just 6 employees to over 40 employees across two locations and a 450% increase in business 6 years later. It’s been the greatest adventure of my life and I wouldn’t take back a single thing even if I could. I would say above all our success has been about persistence. I’ve found that in order to really grow in business and be a true presence in the marketplace you have to be relentless in your pursuit. Throughout my tenure in business I’ve seen quite a few start up companies come and go that in my opinion, shouldn’t have failed. When you have a strong passion for what you do and the tenacity to make it happen, it will happen. Early on in my career, I realized that if I want something, it’s up to me to go and get it. Going from employee to employer is quite a wake up call. When there is nobody above you to help bring projects to completion it puts you into a do or die scenario. It’s easy to procrastinate when there are safety nets around you but when your entire livelihood relies on your persistence and tenacity, that’s where the magic happens.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First stop would be to drop in at the Pacific Ridge Trailhead for a mountain bike ride showing them the view of Newport Coast and the Pacific Ocean. After that I’d take them for a cruise up the PCH starting with smoothies at Thrive Juice Lab in Laguna Niguel of course! We’d head up through Laguna Beach, Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach, and on up to Long Beach. A full day would be dedicated to the coves in Laguna Beach where we’d toss the football around jumping from cove to cove ending up at Woods Cove to relax on the beach. While in Newport Beach we’d make a quick pit stop at Bear Flag Fish Market for some burritos and then a quick pick me up coffee at Day Dream Surf shop where they serve a good friend of mine’s Sightglass Coffee. While in Newport hit ‘the wedge’ for some site seeing. Costa Mesa would take up a day or two of our time hitting up The Camp and the Lab for some Seabirds Vegan fare. For some of our other meals we’d have to stop by Outpost Kitchen and Gracias Madre in Newport Beach and Vibes cafe in Long Beach. While in Long Beach we’d check out the Queen Mary museum and then cruise around Belmont Shore.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents and their relentless support of my crazy career choice. I can’t imagine having gone through the hardships of starting and building a business without such a supportive, loving family. Having no business partners can be difficult when it comes to decision making. I’m so incredibly grateful to have parents willing to lend an ear, give feedback, and words of encouragement along the way. Secondly, I’d like to give a huge shout out to General Manager Dominique DeLoach. She has been with me since day one and has been a tremendous force for leadership and growth. Her awe-inspiring dedication to our brand and mission at Thrive Juice Lab has been nothing short of incredible. Last but not least our new General Manager Jacqueline Cherry. She recently joined our team and has shown incredible leadership, poise, commitment and enthusiasm. I couldn’t have done it without them!