Young Entrepreneur of the YearBack to Winners
Sponsored by Custodian Data Centres & CXK
KEY PRODUCT/SERVICE: Fresh juice manufacturing
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 20
Alexandra Auger launched her juice making business from her parents’ garage. Three years later, the Juice Executive makes cold pressed juice products six days a week from more than 100 recipes at its 5,000sq ft plant in Lordswood, Chatham. It makes juice on a white label basis for many top brands and distributes nationwide via wholesale and foodservice.
The company is aiming for turnover of £1.2 million this year and make a net profit of £135,000 after a tough opening few years. Alexandra said: “Being in the manufacturing sector, we had significant capital investment in our first two years, and needed to invest in systems, processes and training for our team.
“We had a significant loss in the first year which we reduced significantly in our second year. Our priority for our third year is on the bottom line, and we are now able to benefit from increased purchasing power with our economies of scale.”
Alexandra launched the business aged 22 and acknowledges being a young woman is “somewhat unusual in the manufacturing industry”. She admits she had “very little experience in engineering or plant design” when she started the firm but has overcome the issues and helped other small scale businesses to succeed. “We provide solutions and economies of scale to smaller producers and brands, which in turn can help them on the right path to profitability and success.”
Staff enjoy free daily lunches and three employees have come through an apprenticeship scheme. Alexandra said: “I always do the best I can to be a flexible employer, as I strongly believe this can be the key to getting the best and most committed staff. “We have always offered flexible contracts to local mothers which are designed to work around the school hours of their children.” She added: “Our key objective is to grow and improve our reputation as the premium choice for cold pressed organic juice manufacturing in the UK.”