Guaranteed Irish member So Good Juice produce 100% organic wheatgrass juice, packed with over 100 nutrients, this superfood is a powerful cleanser and booster of the immune system.
Gerard Curran Owner of So Good Juice talks about the increased consumer interest in healthy organic food and drink, maintaining their supply chain during Covid-19, and why they decided to join Guaranteed Irish.
Can you give us a brief history of So Good Juice?
So Good Juice is a young, innovative family-run healthy juice company which has grown from our own passion for living healthy and after researching what was offered on the market we felt we should prepare our own juices so as we knew exactly what we were consuming with no added bulkers or fillers – just good wholesome juice. The brand you see today is a product of many years hard work and research. Health and wellness have been a focal point in our family’s routine and lifestyle choices. We are a local, young and innovative family run Juice Business.
Our fascination grew further from the years I spent injured with a serious back injury which prevented from playing GAA. The trauma dealing with the constant pain and adverse reactions to anti-inflammatory medicines forced our families desire to find natural alternatives. It was a light bulb moment for me seeing the impact nutrition can have on your life. A curious mind also runs in the family. From this point on we began to research and discover natural ingredients with anti -inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. From a family and friends style approach to product development we quickly identified a niche product with globally researched health benefits that has a strong demand base in the Island of Ireland. So Good Juice is based in Donegal and we employ four people including our two young sons of course!
What are the challenges that you face in your business and how do you work to overcome them particularly in the current climate?
We have a young family so our routine has been unpredictable to say the least! Our two young boys have been involved in almost every aspect of our business routine, especially this past few months during lockdown. We have to say it has been very rewarding and enjoyable being able to spend so much time as a family and showing the boys how we provide has been really special. We also appreciate how fortunate we have been to be able to continue to work during these times as have we seen the devastating effect the pandemic is having on businesses and will have in the near future.
Have you seen an increased demand for locally produced food/drink as a result of Covid?
Until now are home grown juices and their immense benefits as part of a healthy diet have been the best kept secret with only a selected few being able to avail of our produce.
However, it seems that the secret is out as the demand for our produce has grown enormously, particularly with health-conscious groups and individuals right across the country requesting information on where they can get hold of our produce – all based on word of mouth reports and positive feedback on the quality and benefit of our juices.
We actually began noticing before the events of Covid-19, a shift in terms of how people had already started to look more carefully at the foods they were consuming.
We have been attending festivals such as Thrive & Slow Food over the years and each time we notice how people have become more ‘tuned’ in to what they are consuming and the effects both positive & negative these have in terms of their decision making.
Covid-19 has definitely highlighted the importance of choosing locally produced food & drink over the so called ‘convenient’ fast food types. This has to be a good thing in the long run!
How has your supply chain infrastructure dealt with the increase in demand within the health food/drink sector?
It has been a lot of hard & long hours of work to be honest!
Because of the nature of what we do there is no fast solution. We have had to basically double what we grow and therefore this has a knock-on effect for each of the next steps of our processes.
We are blessed with the space to be able to achieve this so at least that side of things hasn’t been an issue for this.
And we are also grateful for having very loyal and understanding customers who totally backed us and understood that turnaround times were inevitably a bit longer.
What made you decide to become a member of Guaranteed Irish?
It made perfect sense. Guaranteed Irish promote homegrown businesses like So Good Juice to a wide audience and we no longer want to be the best kept secret from the North of the Country!
What can we expect for So Good Juice in the future and do you have plans to expand to other products?
We aim to continue providing a quality ‘homegrown’ product for everyone to experience. With the help from the likes of ‘GI’ we believe this can become a reality. As we said before ‘a curious mind runs in the family!’ So, we will continue to develop our products further.
Has being a member of Guaranteed Irish helped during Covid-19?
Most definitely it has cemented the confidence our customers already had in what we are doing. It also provides a reassurance to new customers that our product is recognised by ‘GI’ as this is the guidance or benchmark to quality.