Born out of the passion to spread the good word on juicing, La Juiceria brought balance to many diets in the modern world. Their juices are handcrafted and cold press daily, providing consumers with the option to do a cleanse package or to just enjoy individual juices. The option to order online and have it delivered to one’s doorstep made the brand even more attainable.
Annabelle Co-Martinent, Managing Director of La Juiceria was a Chinese-Filipino expat living in Kuala Lumpur for over 10 years now. Previously, she lived in Singapore where she met her husband, Jerome before making her move to Kuala Lumpur. The mother of two children used to be from a corporate and media industry with a solid background in sales and marketing; working for the likes of HewlettPackard, Nokia and Microsoft (both in the Philippines and Malaysia). Annabelle worked across different segments from Enterprise, Small and Medium Business to consumers. In 2012, she embarked on a different path – training people and getting into media. Her stints included soft-skills training where she conducted trainings for Air Asia, Digi and Hong Leong Capital, and eventually went into radio media BFM 89.9 producing shows like Resource Centre, Careers Unusual and Speed Consulting.
Just like the average person out there, Anabelle was eating all sorts of unhealthy, processed and artificial foods. But something amazing happened when she tried a plant-based diet that incorporated a daily juice: she had more energy, lost weight, and just generally was left feeling fantastic. She also recovered faster from her second caesarian section delivery than the first one. Her husband then joined her on her juice journey, and after that, there was no going back.
Her experience drove her to star t experimenting with her own juice recipes. At first, it was just sharing juices and its benefits to family & friends. Later, she began to reach out to as many people as possible. Based on her passion for health, technology and life she then created and conceptualised La Juiceria and in November 2013 together with two talented Malaysians, they formed La Juiceria Sdn Bhd and star ted their online sales portal for selling coldpressed juice cleanses. We speak to the woman herself about her juice bar journey here in Malaysia:
MEP: How do the social, economic, environmental, technological, legal and political environments in Malaysia impact your business?
AC:Malaysia will always be a place of opportunities. Overall, it’s a good market to work or star t something. The highlights of becoming an entrepreneur in Malaysia is that things work. Look no fur ther if you have plans to develop a career in Malaysia. With the TalentCorp’s Residence-Pass Talent (RP-T), it was easier to star t something of your own in terms of efficient application processes, wide access to suppliers, fast internet speeds and wide roads in Kuala Lumpur led to the Malaysian branch of my café opening one month ahead of the outlet in my home country, Manila.
MEP: Do you plan to compete in the global market place?
AC:For now our business is focused in Klang Valley with the growing of more healthy food cafés. As for the juices we are looking into nationwide distribution to Penang and Johor or even Singapore if we find the right person to work with, why not?
MEP: How has technology, such as computers and the internet, impacted on how you conduct business?
AC:We star ted off with online deliver y only and till this day that is still a very big part of our business, hence we highly rely technology in conducting the business. And of course not forgetting the fast moving social media updates, newsfeed and influences which can make or break brand in a second.
MEP: Are there any ethical concerns that your type of business must deal with? If so, how do you overcome them?
AC:We do our part in CSR with a month recycling campaign which falls on ever y 2nd Saturday of the month. We encourage customers to bring back their plastic bottles from La Juiceria to be entitled for a free juice voucher. These bottles are then sent to a recycling plant to be processed into other materials. We do not reuse and repackage our bottles.
MEP: What are the biggest issues for running this business?
AC:Being in the F&B industry, hygiene and health concerns are the biggest issues. Therefore, we proceeded to apply for Halal certification by JAKIM for our factory and Central Kitchen where all the juices are being produced, packed and distributed. Fortunately, we received the certification of stamped approval early last year, standing out from the rest of the cold-pressed juice players out there.
MEP: What is the future for La Juiceria?
AC:The future of La Juiceria is not too far beyond the horizon. We look for ward to infinity opportunities to grow the brand both as a juice brand and the healthy food segment.