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Green Brothers Juice Co. founder talks expansion plans after snagging latest spot in Charlotte

By   –  Senior Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal

Green Brothers Juice Co. has set its sights on expansion.

The homegrown juice and smoothie concept has signed a lease for an 840-square-foot spot in Sedgefield. It will be located at 2725 South Blvd. near Harris Teeter and is set to open in February.

Plans are for another location to open in the third quarter, says Josh Norris, owner.

He declined to provide specifics on that space.

The goal is to have five corporate locations in the Charlotte market by the end of 2021. Franchising is a possibility in the future. Norris says that would be a slow and selective process to maintain culture and quality.

“We really want to make sure we don’t make the mistakes a lot of franchises make,” he says.

He and brothers Jacob and Jason founded the concept after a trip to Texas — and noting the lack of similar juice concepts in Charlotte. Norris’ wife, Stephanie, has joined the company as well and helps with operational issues.

“There just wasn’t anything like it,” Norris says. “We really wanted health and wellness to be accessible. We wanted it to be reachable and something the average person would enjoy.”

Green Brothers builds on Norris’ passion for improved health and wellness. The former college soccer player says that was amplified through participation in endurance races, triathlons and Iron Man competitions.

“We really started dialing down on what we put in our body,” he says.

He’d also bring smoothies to his financial services job and soon found himself taking requests from co-workers to bring smoothies to team meetings. He took a job at a local smoothie company to learn from the business and gain experience in the food and beverage industry.

Green Brothers opened its first brick-and-mortar location in October 2014 in uptown. That location closed with the pandemic in March, and its future is uncertain, Norris says.

It has since added stores in Dilworth and in Foxcroft East in SouthPark. Green Brothers now has 43 employees.

Green Brothers’ goal is to create an environment that people are drawn to, while delivering an array of healthy products. That allows them to be the best version possible of themselves, he adds.

“I’m a strong believer most people don’t know how good their body is made to feel when you put the right ingredients in it,” Norris says.

The brand has weathered Covid-19 as sales have grown for online and app purchases to 55%, up from 15% pre-Covid. There’s been a 35% reduction in walk-in sales, but transactions have increased for those in-person sales.

Norris says it’s been a difficult year, particularly with the close of the uptown location. Green Brothers has remained nimble and adapted. For example, gluten-free granola is made in-house now versus being outsourced and has kept employees on payroll. The addition to bagged smoothies, where 10 of the most popular smoothies are prepared to-go for home preparation — minus the liquid — has helped.

“It’s looked extremely different as to where the sales are coming from,” Norris says.

Covid has changed the definition of health, shifting the focus from appearance to protection from illness and disease, Norris says. That has helped the brand weather Covid.

“People are realizing that the healthier they are, the safer they are from catching a life threatening illness,” Norris says.

Manor and Park is behind Green Brothers’ design. Gais Construction is the general contractor.

Josh Beaver with the Nichols Co. represents Green Brothers.

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