Julie Harrigan, owner of the wildly successful Twist Juice Bar & Cafe in Rehoboth Beach, Del., first heard about juice bars and their growing popularity in New York City while she was still a student at the University of Delaware. Inspired by the healthful, quick and delicious options, she made it her mission to open her own juice bar somewhere along the beach in her home state.
With no prior entrepreneurial (or juice bar) experience, Julie did several things to prepare. She worked as a bartender at Rehoboth Beach and met several business owners who helped her gain an understanding of the local small business landscape. Then, she sought hands-on experience by working at an existing New York juice bar. Most importantly, she worked with SCORE mentor Jim Rivette to create a very detailed business plan designed to help her turn her small business dream into a reality.
Julie explains that Jim was instrumental in helping her launch: “Pulling from his years of professional experience, Jim helped me refine my vision, and created balance sheets for my initial forecasted sales figures. Being able to present such a clear and detailed business plan was key to gaining an SBA-backed loan to open my business.” That loan helped Julie find a perfect spot at Rehoboth Beach just one block from the boardwalk in 2016.
Now, in their seventh summer, Twist Juice Bar proudly offers healthy meals and a wide range of delicious all-natural, raw juices made with cold press machinery that retains all the vitamins, minerals and living enzymes of raw fruits or vegetables.
When it comes to advice for future Delaware business owners, Julie says: “Mentors are key to this process. Seek help and create a great business plan. That plan is not just something you do – it lays out what to expect, and how to get there.”