Fix Juice Co.
Fix Juice Co. is a locally owned, small business, located in Belle Meade’s Westgate Center. It’s conveniently located close to a few outdoor spaces and parks where local athletes and families alike can come grab a healthy snack and a juice. With a deep regard for organic growing practices, seasonal harvests and local suppliers, Fix Juice Co. is committed to using whole fruits and vegetables for handcrafted, cold-pressed juices and smoothies.
The environment has helped mold the business into a family friendly, health promoting atmosphere which has allowed the business to only sell organic, but grow organically and become a big part of the community.
Born and raised in Nashville, owner Kara Sharp came from an active family and grew up loving the outdoors. As a teenager, she asked for permission to transfer from her current school, where her family had roots, because she wanted the opportunity to play sports. At The Harpeth Hall School in Green Hills, she stayed involved in many activities before attending Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate degree and later law school. In college, Sharp developed a love for running that has only recently been altered when she had her first child about four months after Fix Juice Co. opened their doors.
Between the years she graduated from school and starting her own business, Sharp was a litigator at a local law firm. “I assumed everyone had a job they had to go to on a routine schedule,” she says. Personally, she always felt the need to take the avenue of what American society would call a real profession. After spending four years in law, she has kept her license current, but admits, “I realized I was living a very rushed lifestyle and it wasn’t near to my heart.”
“At the time, I was always trying to out-exercise a bad diet,” she continues. “It didn’t catch up with me until I spent too much time sitting down at a desk. I felt lethargic at work and I wasn’t alert.
When Sharp’s aunt was diagnosed with cancer, the family witnessed somewhat of a modern miracle. “We strongly believe [my aunt] survived longer than expected because she was eating organic and staying away from pesticides and processed food,” she explains. This also helped her realize, “I had to get my own diet back together.”
Sharp’s natural reaction to the health of her aunt was to listen to her inner lawyer. “There must be something to this whole diet thing,” she thought. Her aunt had proven that consuming nutritional components of organic food could make a huge difference on your body’s recovery and healing power. Sharp says the difference in natural, organic product is most commonly the soil. When the product is richer and absent of traditional and common pesticides and chemicals, the result is clean, positive health effects.
“Sometimes it takes a major event for health to hit you,” she admits. “With my aunt, I realized food can truly be your medicine.” Sharp has found the significance in including vegetables into her consumer’s daily diet. “It’s the one thing we need the most, but get the least of,” she admits. While there should always be balance in life, Sharp prides herself on owning a shop where you can come in and “drink your vegetables.”
It took about a year to put together her plan for a juice bar. In 2014, Sharp officially quit her job as a litigator and in December of 2015 opened up Fix Juice Co. Surprisingly, the catalyst for her idea was when her go-to healthy eatery, Calypso, closed its location in west Nashville. She says it threw off her routine and eventually made her recognize the need for a healthy option in the area. “It’s really hard to find healthy food on-the-go. I felt capable I could supply that need.”
“Starting a business from scratch wasn’t ideal though, so we tested our recipes on our friends before we did. We held tasting parties and spent hundreds of hours figuring out what we were going to include,” Sharp says.
Using her background in law, Sharp re-educated herself on how to start a small business. She had to learn how much produce to buy daily, how to use large equipment and what type of location she wanted to set up shop in. She continually discovered tiny details she hadn’t thought of before. Sharp remembers, “We asked advice from other owners outside of the area,” and credits, “a lot of trial and error and a lot of podcasts,” to furthering her business skills.
While one of Sharp’s major ideals is the removal of pesticides in her products, she also requires fresh ingredients and full transparency from her products and employees. “Every ingredient we can get from local farmers, we do. And everything is organic,” she says. She believes in running a transparent company because she wants customers to know exactly what they are getting.
Her willingness to be open and honest about her ingredients also creates a level of trust with her employees as well. Reviewers admit to being educated by the friendly staff and even call the store products a “mood-lifter.” But Sharp admits, “The cost [of produce] fluctuates and it isn’t cheap, but we want our customers to trust they will always get the best organic products available.”
From her encouragement of healthy eating on-the-go, to the dedication to social entrepreneurship, Sharp focuses on sustainability and joining the local community in its effort to create awareness, educate and inspire a healthy lifestyle. In addition to nutrient-dense juices and smoothies, she also offers healthy, locally made grab-and-go food items.
“I love the people we serve,” Sharp proclaims. “It’s what makes it all worth it at the end of the day.” Seeing the community come and go, watching friends grab a juice together, meeting mothers and children and seeing those children grow through the years, are just a few memories the shop has enjoyed. “Kind of like watching this idea in my head grow and now watching that business grow,” Sharp conveys. “People come in and tell their stories and I love hearing them!”
Starting a business is never easy, but Fix Juice Co. has found a balance and beauty from the company of others. Sharp expresses, “I could absolutely say I get to do what I love. And I took a huge risk on a personal interest of mine. It’s more work than I imagined but also a lot more rewarding than I ever thought.”