SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. – Sherman Oaks juice bar, Juice Budz is preparing to reopen on Wednesday, May 27.
Reopening a small business in a coronavirus climate comes with mixed emotions, and a different sort of preparation.
“Because it feels like we’re opening a new business with all these new rules, all these new guidelines,” explains co-founder Marco Anaya.
For many small business owners, their work is non-stop.
Since opening a juice and smoothie bar in 2016, Anaya has been here almost every day of the week. After shutting the store's doors on March 22, he hasn’t known what to do with himself.
He’s happy to be back behind the counter, overseeing the deep cleaning and store prep ahead of a highly anticipated re-launch.
Fortunately, Juice Budz was able to pivot while the storefront was forced to lock up.
Anaya, along with his two other founders, Ephraim Ponce and Anthony Espana, committed their collective energy to their kitchen and headquarters in Northridge. They ramped up they delivery services over the past two months, offering free shipping to locations they’ve never served before.
And to the joy of Juice Budz, their loyal customers didn’t falter.
“We were really shocked by the response we got,” said Anaya.
As they prepare to reopen, Anaya has boxes to check to make sure their operations are safe for staff and customers to return.
Things will look different though. The company had to release about 75 percent of their retail employees.
Among other precautions, once the doors are open Juice Budz will allow only one customer inside at a time.
They will continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery service.
“It is nerve-racking a little bit, but we’re confident our supporters and our community will continue to come out and support us,” Anaya said.
Once doors reopen, it’s hard to tell if anyone will show up, but the Juice Budz are hoping for the best, as they continue to pour their hearts into serving the product and the people they love.