It’s been almost a year since JUICEBOX co-founders Robert Connolly and Robbie Pyle left the comfort of their corporate offices with the dream of one day roaming the streets of LA in their very own juice truck. Three weeks ago that dream became a reality.
After graduating from the University of California Santa Barbara, Pyle pursued a career in mechanical engineering, while Connolly went on to work in wealth management; however, that would all soon change. In 2007 Robbie Pyle’s father was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer. After attending a cancer convention, in which various medical professionals spoke about poor health as the root cause of many illnesses, Pyle realized the vital importance of a healthy diet.
“Long story short, that opened my eyes to taking in vegetables and fruits, and eating natural – which I wasn’t doing at all. I started looking around and found that juicing is the best and easiest way that I could do it.”
Due to the sheer abundance of juice bars in LA, Pyle and Connolly decided to forego the brick-and-mortar route for the time being. That’s when they looked to the food truck market and noticed an astounding lack of healthy dining options in the industry. In May of 2012, Connolly and Pyle decided to go all-in on the project and a choice Mercedez-Benz Sprinter became JUICEBOX.
Roaming Hunger: There aren’t too many food trucks that specialize in serving up just drinks. What are some advantages to selling juice as opposed to selling food that has to be cooked? Do you think you’ll eventually start selling food in addition to your juices?
Robert Connolly: Definitely the cleanliness of the truck, and the fact that each day there is a simple menu. There is nothing is spoiling necessarily. We serve everything that’s in the fridge pretty much that day. You don’t have to worry about meats or anything that could go bad. Also we aren’t competing with other food trucks. People will go get food from another truck and then come get juice. A lot of the other trucks are really friendly for that reason. It’s also different in the sense that if we are the only ones in the lunch spot people kind of wonder where the food is so we’re kind of doing it tandem with other trucks – like we did a tandem lunch with the Grilled Cheese Truck the other day.
RH: How do you decide what will taste good in a juice? Are there are combinations that you’ve tried out that just didn’t work?
RC: I did a lot of work on the actual menu this summer because Robbie was still working, and I was putting all the flavors together and making the best of each category, the best green juice, the best citrus based juice, the best carrot juice, etc.. When you walk into a juice bar and there are too many options it’s overwhelming, especially if you haven’t juiced before. We wanted it to be really user-friendly in the sense that you walk up and there are only five or six choices. One thing we did notice though, is that if you do a custom juice and mix the carrot and the kale its comes out brown (laughing).
RC: Yeah it still tastes really good, it’s just not so aesthetically pleasing.
Robbie Pyle: Our whole thing is we just want to simplify the juices and get all those core nutrients in them that you need.
RH: Adding on to that last question, what would you say has been your best juice invention?
RC: Probably the Kale box. It’s the standard green juice. We also have one called the spicebox that is actually pretty cool, though not a lot of people get it, but it has jalapeño and red pepper – it’s kind of like a bloody mary but a little bit smoother.
RH: I saw on your Facebook that JUICEBOX will be attending Coachella this year, that sounds so awesome – what excites you most about being a part of the festival?
RC: Just getting our name out there, being in front of 70,000 people. It’s really kind of our launch since we’ve only been around for 3 weeks. Its our biggest event that we’ll do.
RH: Is there anyone in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing at Coachella?
RC: I’m actually really looking forward to seeing Postal Service playing live, they haven’t made an album since 2003. And new Vampire Weekend I’m excited about them too.
RH: Do you have any advice for an entrepreneur looking to start a food truck?
RC: For me, it’s patience. We wanted it right away. We thought it was going to happen immediately. It sounds cliché but everything happens for a reason. It’s worked out because we waited and changed things and now we actually have a great product and a really cool truck so, yeah patience. If you can just go with the flow and don’t force anything.
RH: And if all goes well do you see yourselves expanding?
RP: We would love to eventually open up more trucks and a brick-and-mortar.
RC: Our end goal is to have these trucks open up all over the country, like in New York or San Francisco.
After sampling a few of their delicious juices, we can definitely say that we look forward to seeing JUICEBOX all over the country. Though we loved all of the juices we tried, the office favorite was the Beachbox – with cooconut, lime, and ginger, it makes you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation (perfect for a hot LA day). To get juicin’ follow JUICEBOX on Twitter, Facebook, and of course our site.