Tue11252014

Business & Real Estate

Mounting costs squeeze juice bar


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Squirt, The Juice Bar at 352 State St. remains a work in progress as owner Guinnevere Stevens confronts financial challenges.

A local business owner is turning to the public to help finance her new juice bar in downtown Los Altos.

Guinnevere Stevens said she must raise $4,000 to install three sinks, as required by the county’s health inspector, to open Squirt, The Juice Bar at 352 State St. To generate funds for the project, the former-nurse-turned-juice-aficionado recently started an indiegogo.com campaign to reach her financial goal.

A recent transplant from Dallas, Stevens conceded in her message to donors that she wasn’t equipped to handle all the permitting requirements and costs related to opening a business in California.

“I wasn’t prepared for all the California restrictions, regulations and permit fees,” Stevens wrote as part of her crowd-sourcing campaign. “I’m a little bit over budget, and the health inspector wants Squirt, The Juice Bar to have three new sinks installed before we can provide our nourishing, healthful juice to the Los Altos citizens.”

Reached by the Town Crier, Stevens said she’s sunk all of her personal savings into her business and hopes to open her juice bar without going into debt. She added that her public plea for help isn’t something she wants to do and understands the reservations some may have about her campaign.

“It’s an extremely humbling experience,” said Stevens, who aims to offer a wide variety of hydraulic, cold-pressed organic juices. “I just want to make juice.”

But Stevens added that she opted for the public campaign because she feels her juice bar is needed in Los Altos. Stevens noted that she uses 70 percent non-root vegetables in all of her juices – and is even planning to offer bone broth for customers’ canine companions. So far, she said, the reception to her ideas has been positive.

“People have been constantly asking me, ‘When are you opening?’” said Stevens, who hopes to open by mid-October. “I feel like Los Altos really wants this.”

Stevens said she plans to help those who help her. A $10 donation, for instance, earns the donor a $10 juice credit redeemable at Squirt.

Although the campaign is still in its early stages (it ends Sept. 30), Stevens is hopeful that she will achieve her goal.

“I think it’s going to be successful,” she said. “There’s a need for this that’s not being currently met.”

For more information, visit squirtjuices.com or indiegogo.com/projects/squirt-the-juice-bar.

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