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Austin From Scratch: An Interview with Matt Shook, Founder of JuiceLand

Austin From Scratch is our favorite series on the blog and involves Owen (age 7) and Malia (age 5) interviewing local entrepreneurs who have created a thriving business here in the heart of Texas.  For this session, we sat down with Matt Shook, the Founder of JuiceLand.  We selected JuiceLand simply because they make the best smoothies and juices in the galaxy and they’re also a cool part of Austin’s health conscious culture.

When we arrived at JuiceLand for our interview, Matt was waiting with his two young daughters in tow.  And like any hard working entrepreneur, he was also greeting customers and ensuring the store was in order.  He invited us outside where things were quiet, but not before he could do a quick swipe of the floor with a broom.  I’m always impressed by an owner who’s not afraid to roll up their sleeves and do some of the dirty work.

Owen (our seven-year-old son)
What were your favorite things to do as a kid?

Matt (Matt Shook, Founder of JuiceLand)
My favorite thing to do as a kid was to go exploring.  So I’d ride my bike as far as possible and try to be home in time for by dinner.  And things have changed a lot since I was a kid but that’s what I used to do.  And I also liked to have my friends over at my clubhouse.

Owen
I like to ride my bike too…right daddy?  OK, next question.  How did you go about learning as a child?

Matt
I would just test the water and trial and error.  I would experiment.  And I learned a LOT from my peers.  I liked learning from older kids.  Older kids seemed to have a lot of insight in life.  So I learned from the older kids in my neighborhood.

Owen
When did you first know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Matt
I didn’t ever know it.  It just kind of happened.  It was natural.  I didn’t even really think about it.  But, I guess I could see it coming because I always wanted to be in control of things.  I always wanted to be the one that planned the party or planned the event or knew which direction to take.  So, I guess I never knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I knew I always wanted to be in control.

Owen
What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?

Matt
My favorite thing is the people I surround myself with…the good people I get to work with.  Surrounding yourself with good people makes for a good time.

Owen
What would you be doing if you weren’t running JuiceLand?

Matt
I would be my wife’s personal chef and housekeeper.  I’d be a stay at home dad because a stay-at-home parent is the hardest job in the world.

Owen
What is your favorite juice?

Matt
My favorite juice is pineapple-cherry-lemon-ginger with cayenne pepper and pomegranate seeds to chew on.  That’s my favorite juice.

Owen
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Matt
Well, my advice for young entrepreneurs would be to be careful.  Be careful, but if you do decide to do something go FULL SPEED AHEAD.  Be very cautious but once you decide to go in a certain direction…just don’t look back!

Malia (our five-year-old daughter)
How did you come up with this idea?

Matt
One time somebody gave me a fresh juice and it was apple-ginger and I thought, “Wow, this is amazing.  It’s so much better than anything I’ve ever had to eat or drink.”  So I started working at a juice bar…and I was just working there…and I realized I could do it better.  So, I came up with the idea only because I thought I could do it better.  And that’s how I came up with JuiceLand…by making an existing idea better!

Thank you Matt.  And now for one of those pineapple-cherry-lemon-ginger with cayenne pepper and pomegranate seed juices!

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