About us

Rocket Juice began out of a love for fresh, cold pressed juice and not having the time to do it. I believe juicing is an easy way get the nutritional benefits of eating loads of fruit and veg. I had my first juicer in 2004 and took it with me to the 7 different addresses I have lived in since. It has been replaced and upgraded twice. 

Pre-Rocket Juice, I went through a phase of giving juicers as presents: sharing the love?! It seemed a good idea at the time. I bestowed some on my bridesmaids. One of the juicers ended up in Uganda when my sister moved there. The fresh, seasonal produce she enjoyed made exceptional juice.

Before entering the juice world full time, I was working as a manager for a project with adults with learning disabilities. I had been doing similar work for 9 years and was up for trying something new. My housemate suggested that I sell juice and here begins the journey of Rocket Juice.  

Rocket Juice's picture story:

January 2015

 

Ridley Road Market in Hackney accepted my application to trade. I quit my job, set up my stall in my lounge and got friends over to critique the flavours. 

 

 
First day on the market stall was hard: it was cold and daunting. I was making the juice with my Slow Star juicer.  My favourite bits about the market were: the numerous conversations with passer-bys about favourite recipes, being looked after by other traders and the full immersion into community life in the heart of Hackney. 

 March 2015

It became clear that I needed to scale up in order to make and sell enough to earn a living.  I stopped doing the market stall and started selling at events and festivals. I spent a month applying for every event I came across and then accepted everything I was offered.

Rocket Juice needed a mobile home to spread the juice love. Sophisticated stalls were pricey so I opted for a DIY approach. With the help of my generous family who gave me their precious time and patience, we transformed this:

Into this:

 June 2015

 I needed a juicer that could produce loads of juice. This cold pressing monster, which we imported from america, looked like it could launch a rocket.

 

 

 I had a great run of events helped out by family and friends. 

Off to our first event: Ashby De La Zouch Food Festival. Excited and nervous. Hire van is all packed and ready to go. 

This was the view from the stall at Cardiff Color Festival: a playful, colourful party in a warehouse.

Tom enjoying Newport Food Festival:

Other highlights included: Bristol Harbour Festival, Abergavenny Food Festival, Canturbury Folk Festival, East Finchley Christmas Festival, Hornsey Town Hall Christmas Fayre, OYE Liverpool.

I needed to alter the business plan so that I was not making huge quantities of juice in a small space of time followed by quieter periods of no production. This leads me on to the next change of direction for Rocket Juice. 

 October 2015

 From cups to bottles- still fresh with no preservatives
With the majority of the events over, I could plough more time into making that switch from selling in cups to bottles. Doing this, with the idea that I will supply offices, gyms, cafes etc. I learnt lots about what can and cannot be on food labels, what health claims can be made, business addresses, websites, trademarks etc. 
I did a focus groups with friends to choose a bottle.

I tried to design the bottle labels

 

and then concluded I needed professional help. I did a mock up of the new designs and then stuck them on shop shelves to see them alongside the competition.  I learnt from this that Rocket Juice needed to scream 'fresh' as there would be no other juice on the shelves that was not processed in some way. At this point, Rocket Juice was just merging into the cold pressed juice category and was not shining out as different. 

  December 2015 

 Before my labels were finished, I got enquires about doing office deliveries. I did some make shift labels and grabbed the opportunity. 

 April 2016

 After a few months of being office based, action began again: we started selling online, became regulars at a few London based markets and did some sampling in local shops

May 2016

 In order to fulfill wholesale orders, we decided to rent a kitchen space in an industrial unit in Erith, just over the Dartford Crossing. It is a great space that we were able to set up as meets our needs. Our first order was 100 litres of beetroot juice. No problem!

June 2016

There was a fair amount of DIY to be done. You know that saying, 'Juice do it', well, I gave it a go. 

January 2017

 Eight months on from taking on the unit, the council came to inspect the kitchen. It went well. Having been inspected by 3 different boroughs, I conclude that Environmental Health does its best to support small businesses. The inspector checked over my paperwork and advised me to keep doing what I am doing. Becoming a manufacturer was a massive step up from being a caterer and selling at events and markets. 

May 2017

 A year on from becoming a juice manufacturer. There is lots to celebrate. As with any startup, there have been lows, uncertainties and looong days. That has come alongside many positives: learning new skills, drinking juice, collaborating with other businesses, having the freedom to choose my direction and using my creativity. There is lots to be thankful for and lots more adventure to come.