A Couple Provides Affordable, Fresh-Pressed Juice and Smoothie Bowls in St. Louis for All

 In Food, Interviews

Newlyweds and new parents Jordan and Kayla Bauer will soon open a brick-and-mortar juice and smoothie shop at 1000 S. Newstead, between The Grove and the Central West End in St. Louis. The past year has been a head-spinning one for the young couple: they got married, opened their business and had their daughter Juniper, now three months old, all in roughly 12 months.

Jordan works as a full-time designer for The Journey church, and Kayla had been working as a nanny before becoming a full-time business owner. Their serendipitous journey, born of passion, hard work and heart, led them to where they are now, mere weeks before the opening of Hello. A quick scroll through their Instagram feed shows the inner workings of the business, juice and smoothie-bowl recipes, plus behind-the-scenes images and videos of building out their new space.

We spoke with the ambitious couple about opening the business, riding life’s waves and creating a space where healthy food can be accessible to all.

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What led you to open a Hello?
Kayla: I’ve always dreamt of opening a juice bar. I have also had some health issues and found that juicing and healthy-eating habits helped me tremendously. I tend to be much more of a dreamer than a doer, which is where Jordan is really awesome. We were on our honeymoon in Hawaii sitting in a juice and smoothie shop, and we kept saying, “St. Louis needs a place like this.” Jordan started working on the branding for it right away, and now here we are a little over a year later, about to open.

Opening any new venture, especially a small business, carries a high level of risk. How have you navigated that?
Jordan: We had the idea, got connected to our landlord, began the brick-and-mortar buildout and planned to open all in about a year. We definitely didn’t think it would grow this quickly. We found the space on Newstead, hit it off with the developers, and now here we are. Construction has gone much faster than we could have ever dreamed. Since we’re in our mid-20s with big dreams and no money, most of the risk has been financial. But finding the right space, partnering with the right people and getting ready to open has been so life-affirming.

How does the menu set itself apart from other juice bars and smoothie shops with a similar concept?
Kayla: Jordan works more on the business side of things, but as far as the menu, that’s all me. I wanted to keep it super simple and cost-effective, because we want to keep our prices low enough so that everyone feels like they can afford fresh juice. So if we keep things simple with the juice ingredients, that means people who don’t juice often or tend to not like the taste will find themselves enjoying these juices. We’ll also be doing smoothies and smoothie bowls which allow me to play around creatively, with different recipes and ingredient pairings.

Jordan: With the menu, we’ve also really pushed to make sure there aren’t any add-ons or additional ingredients that dilute the purity of the fruits and vegetables—which can happen even if you have too much ice.

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I also love that you mentioned the goal of producing juice and healthy food that’s for everyone, not just people who can afford to shop at specialty stores. How have you pulled that off?
Kayla: To be honest, fruits and vegetables are really not that expensive—even when they’re really high-quality. We know how much it costs to make one juice, so we also know how much other places upcharge. Honestly, we’re just not charging as much. We’re still working out the details, but we want to keep it to somewhere around $6 for a 12-oz. juice. Obviously, we’d love to make a living and pay off our business loan, but our top priority is making this kind of food accessible. That’s why we started it all in the first place.

Jordan: It’s also our way of processing our frustration with the current food culture in general. We’re examining that main question of, “Why is good, responsibly grown food expensive?” It shouldn’t be. We want this to be a place where we do the opposite of what the food industry has been doing all these years.

You two have a lot going on right now. As far as balance, is it something you strive for, or is it largely unattainable?
Jordan: Right now, it’s pretty unattainable [laughs]. In hindsight, it’s definitely easier to see the seasons of your life more objectively—how some are difficult, and some are more effortless. When it’s harder, I think we try really hard to just accept it as it is, rather than trying to make it something that it’s not.

What has the experience of running a business with your partner been like? I imagine it opens up opportunities for both a uniquely deep connection and unique strain.
Kayla: For me, the most stressful part of this process was really when I was pregnant. I was really sick much of the time and didn’t feel well enough to do the juicing, and Jordan didn’t know as much about how to do it. But apart from that period, we work really well together. We share many of the same ideas and values about what we want the business to be.

Jordan: Right. And Juniper will be around the shop as well. That’s another unique aspect we’ll be embracing: We want it to be super kid-friendly for parents, babies and nursing mothers. We plan to have a full basement dedicated to kids, which will be a miniature version of what we have upstairs. We’ll have a little farmer’s market stand for the kids, with plastic fruit. We’re very excited about the aesthetic and the vibe, which will be an open, warm and comfortable place for families.

All images courtesy of Hello.

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