Glow Juicery was our first client as a community investment firm. To this day we are so grateful for that opportunity. But even more so, we are honoured to have been their partner in driving sustainable impact. Now we’re excited to share the story with you.
Where it all started
Glow Juicery first opened in 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta. Run by a local entrepreneur who had a vision for healthier people, Glow Juicery pioneered the juicing industry in Alberta. As they grew, so did the volume of donations they made to community groups and local non-profits. Glow’s founder needed more. She needed to see efficiency, and impact through her company’s donations. This is where we came in.
Where did we start?
Glow Juicery had a dream. A dream for change and impact. Many entrepreneurs have dreams just like this one, while we can’t always bring them to life, we aim to bring companies closer reaching them.
So what was Glow Juicery’s impact dream?
To one day, have juice therapy prescribed as a part of cancer treatment.
What did we do?
Well we did what any other rational person would do; we took a single step forward. Followed by another.
Glow Juicery had already begun a relationship with Ronald McDonald Houses; a home away from home for families with children facing critical illness. We knew families at Ronald McDonald House could benefit from juice, and we knew that there were children facing cancer staying at Ronald McDonald Houses. This is where we started. With a small committee made up of Glow’s founder, myself, two Ronald McDonald House staff members and a community stakeholder from the organic produce supplier, Organic Box (who later ended up generously co-supplying the program). We decided our collective mission would be to provide nutritional outlets for families facing critical illness. This is where the Juice with Love program was born.
Juice with Love
The program launched in February 2015. With the generous support of Nutrifaster, we were able to secure a commercial juicer for the program. The Organic Box stepped forward with a commitment to donate enough produce to juice 45 bottles per week. Their deliveries often consisted of two to five boxes of fresh organic produce. Glow Juicery committed to the donation of 45 bottles per week, which ensured essential convenience for families travelling back and forth to the hospital. The next part was tricky, we needed labour! Who was going to do all this juicing? Through SCIP, an Alberta funded program which provides bursaries to students who volunteer their time, we were able to hire Juicing Coordinators. These committed volunteers believed whole heartedly in the program and yielded unexpected outcomes- education. Many parents at Ronald McDonald House would return from the hospital after a long day; a new weight on their shoulders, fatigued and emotionally expended. The Juice with Love program provided these parents peace of mind and moments of sweet silence while their children were drawn to helping volunteers concoct the week’s juice blend. During this time, these children learned about the benefits of broccoli, and beets. They laughed, and took an interest in vegetables that most parents can only dream of. The parent’s once ready to retire for the evening, would grab a few bottles of juice to get them through the week and head off to put their children to bed.
Where are we today?
Two years later, Ronald McDonald House’s Juice with Love program is still running strong. Glow Juicery continues to donate bottles, and the Organic Box continues to donate produce. 5,000 bottles of green goodness later, this program is still volunteer operated and continues to make a difference in the lives of families facing critical illness.
What you can learn from this strategy
- When starting a program, have a mission. It keeps you on track to make a difference.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Work with existing partners and charities. When businesses, charities and volunteers come together, magic happens.
- Seek outcomes, not outputs. Outcomes are the change you make in other’s lives; outputs are metrics of your own productivity. If you’re not creating outcomes, head back to the drawing board.
Want to learn more? Don’t hesitate to ask. We love to help! Get in touch!
Founder, Purpose Collective