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Jan 5, 2011

Taste success and fresh juice with a self employment opportunity

If you look hard enough, you’ll find business opportunities just around the corner. Author, sculptor and now businessman, Stephen Okeke has started what has turned out to be a flourishing chain of Fresh Juice joints. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has the story.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Sculptor and businessman Stephen Okeke’s new venture is transforming the juice of fresh fruit into cold cash.

Stephen Okeke, Owner of Joy Fresh Juices

“I thought why should we be constrained to drink concentrates when we are actually living in the rainforest. We have all these fruits around, why should we be constrained to drink concentrates alone. And for all those who want to drink fresh juices, yes there are tacos stands, but there are people who would not want to go there, but they want to drink fresh juices. So they will be constrained to go there.”

stephen okeke

The entrepreneur has opened several fresh juice operations in Belize City.  From the headquarters on Cemetery Road the juices are made, packaged and shipped to outlets such as this one on Freetown Road.

Stephen Okeke

“These businesses were not developed for me as long as I want to. Actually I had developed this businesses as what I call small business models. I had tried to work with the government before and it was very difficult. So I developed these businesses with the intent of handing them over to Belizeans. So there were actually six. I developed the first ones to sell ice cream, fresh juices and other frozen treats one on Albert Street and Queen Street and eventually after they have been developed I handed them over to the Belizeans who wanted to get them. So we have four locations right now packaged and ready to go.”

Jose Sanchez

“So essentially, you are making a successful business to sell?”

Stephen Okeke

“Well I’m making a successful business to hand people to give them an opportunity to acquire success.”

Okeke has sold two of the six establishments. The business on Queen Street was bought by Moses Williams and his girlfriend.  After one year it has been expanded into a fast food restaurant.

moses williams

Moses Williams, Owner, Amy’s Fast Food

“We ventured out and looked for a place and this was the ideal spot.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you approached Mister Okeke?”

Moses Williams

“We approached him and asked him about getting the place and he spoke to us and he was willing to give us a start and we went for it. It was very reasonable and we went for it.”

Jose Sanchez

“How successful has it been? Have you been able to do additional things other than juices?”

Moses Williams

“Well we’ve done a lot of things. I’m not saying based on success, but based on intervention. We decided to added a lot of stuff to it; fast food, finger foods, slushes. Well the slush was already here, but we’ve added smoothie, cold coffee and with the food we expanded to make a restaurant.”

Jose Sanchez

“You took an established idea and made it into your own.”

Moses Williams

“Well, that is true. It was good that we found it started and we didn’t have to put much funds into it and well it ventured off. So it was just us to put our input into it and put more into it and add more to it to make it more vibrant and sellable and people want to come in noh.”

Stephen Okeke

“We have a wide range of juices. We have something like strawberry-banana, which is our own special blend and we have another blend of juice that we call the kick. We haven’t begun selling them right now. It’s a blend of banana and lime. We also have the traditional straight freshes like orange, watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, lime and other natural fruits we have in Belize.”

Jose Sanchez

“We are in an age where we are recovering from a global recession. Have you been able to make this business a success?”

Stephen Okeke

“Our business is recession proof and our business is trans-seasonal. That is to say we are going to have to wait until Christmas to sell, but we sell everyday of the week. We are selling a product, we are selling a service, we are selling a signature that makes that we are not concerned about competition. We have our clients we serve them very well.”

The taste of success is sweet and suitably noted by the consumers of Joy Fresh Juices. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Joy Fresh Juice sells the thirty-two ounce cup for two dollars and the gallon for ten dollars.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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15 Responses for “Taste success and fresh juice with a self employment opportunity”

  1. dajewel says:

    i love this idea!!!

  2. BZNinCALI says:

    Great job!

  3. Josie says:

    good job folks, keep it up

  4. Maria Marshall says:

    Love love kove this story. Great work Stephen. You’re an inspiration.
    Can’t wait to visit Moses’s restaurant later this month.

  5. kmsn says:

    very delicious juice and hence this is an opportunity for belizeans to succeed

  6. mrbrad says:

    The fresh juices are good, but they have to stop adding water to them….the cantaloupe muskmelon juice taste watery all the time.

  7. isee says:

    I see ron g dvds getting their fresh juice in d story. Big up

  8. The Educated One says:

    THIS is what EVERYBODY should be trying to do…get into their own business instead of relying on the Government to give them something. YOU gotta do it! Great Story!

  9. Earl Grey says:

    IMMIGRANTS…………..they always bring NEW LIFE AND IDEAS.

  10. BELIZEANGYPSY says:

    He sound African to me , hope he hires some natives and not only his African brethren. However wishing him the best of luck on his venture. We also have a Belizean woman from Boom who makes great natural juices from all the fruits Belize has to offer, next time you’re at a horserace try some of ” KAREN’S NATURAL JUICE “.

  11. rootsman says:

    The local start ups are fine however we are negative on our balance of trade we got to improve on this if we are to make any real progress in our economy otherwise it will be like one poster states, will be like a bunch of pigeons fighting over a single crumb, if anyone cares to find out some of the many ways of improving this imbalance of trade Ray Auxillou maintains a great electronic library on things that can be done in Belize to make this happens, if setting up a manufacturing plant to produce and export is going to cost too much we can at least manufacture for the local market in order to eliminate some of the imports thereby keeping some of the money at home Marie Sharp is a good example of how this can be done. You can visit this electronic library at the following web site.

    http://ambergriscaye.com/BzLibrary/

  12. Juicy Fruit says:

    Great idea Mr. Okeke! Pray that GOB doesn’t try to literally suck the juice out of your business in the form of taxes. You are using a “Natural Resource” and these carry it’s own form of taxation [just being comical]. But I do agree with some of the other bloggers…you have a really good idea going here and giving fresh ideas to Belizeans on ways of using “naturally” available resources. Thanks…you are actually making Belizeans “Imagine the Possibilities” [unlike SOME people that made that promise]

  13. Consern says:

    This is exactly the kind of beverage the people of the country should be drinking and not the soft drinks that are loaded with white sugar that is a natural cause for diabetis. We wonder why Belizeans are so over wieght, soft drinks as its call. Like the danger of smoking, it has been proven time and again that coka cola is a slow killer, but the public still continue to swallow it down. Nature provide us with an abondant of fruits in the tropics that when consume help to reduce heat in the body, but we play it down and do the uposit by drinking artificial beverage that increases the heat. These soft drinks should be tax to the limit to run them out of business because they are a direct cause for the raising cases of diabetesin the country. The doctors the know this to be a proven fact, so why are they quiet about it and only complain about increase in diabetes

    This comment about this gentleman been an African and he should hire some Belizean, why should he? the fruits are there for all Belizean who want to get into the business. He does not owe us nothing. Remember that a Nigerian was killed by Belizeans. Why did they kill him?Get a life of your own and stop been envious.

  14. cg says:

    Mr Okeke is a very kind man who has the interest of Belize on a whole not just for the people who came from Africa! He’s always tried to stimulate Belizeans with some great ideas but he always tried to do it on a massive scale with the help of the government. But i think now he realizes its best to do things privately as you find you can prosper that way better. Waiting on the government for anything will get your hand tired. Hope this idea catches on and he can help more people around the country. Good for him!

  15. MADDYVANDIJK/DEREALIST says:

    It is easy to start a business in Belize; it really does not cost a fortune to do so. Sadly, it usually takes a foreigner to seize the opportunity right under the noses of the Belizean people.
    Anyway, the drinks looks refreshing, try making them all natural though and stay away from the sugar.

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