This is not a sponsored post. I truly love to support small businesses, and in particular, those with a great mission. I had a chance to interview the founder Mackenzie Wiegand about her efforts to bring this business to fruition.
Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
Me in a nutshell: Born & raised in Dayton Ohio. I studied Nutrition at the University of Arizona and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I started and sold my first business, a pilates studio, in Sydney Australia, and just moved back to Phoenix last October with the intention of opening my smoothie & juice bar, Osaka Sun Blendery! I am a foodie, I love all things health, travel, music, people & business. I am obsessed with college football. I wish I could sing so I could audition for Glee. Oh and I have a love affair with the Arizona Sunshine (you think it’s too hot?! No way).
How did you get started with making smoothies? Was it something you came up with at home and took it from there?
I started consuming smoothies in college. While studying nutrition, and battling my digestive & weight issues, I did more research on whether the ingredients in the smoothies were actually good for me or not. When I realized they really weren’t, I started experimenting with my own in the kitchen. Now years later, I have tested and perfected the most delicious blended concoctions that leave me feeling energized, nourished, and satisfied!
How did you come up with the concept for Osaka Sun Blendery?
When I was running my first business, Glow Nutrition & Pilates Centre, I LOVED instructing, coaching, inspiring etc on all topics health & fitness. However, my passion for food & hospitality wasn’t being fulfilled. For years now I have searched for a delicious healthy smoothie bar, and haven’t had much luck. So I dreamt this thing to life….a business full of exceptional yet healthy food, happy employees, good atmosphere via music, lighting & sustainable furniture, and positive impact on community.
How did the name Osaka Sun Blendery come about?
I heard the phrase Osaka Sun in one of my favorite songs by Coldplay, a song that is about pursuing your dreams and perservering. The name ‘Osaka Sun Blendery’ inspires me because it incorporates all my passions—travel (Osaka is a city in Japan!), music, sunshine, personal development, and food.
Tell us what Osaka Sun Blendery plans to offer?
Fresh, healthy smoothies & juices that are also delicious—perfect consistency and lots of flavor. Eventually we may expand the product line to include more food & healthy treats, but for now we are focusing on the smoothies & juices.
What do you feel will make you stand apart from other
more well known brands?We will use freshly squeezed juice, organic local dairy or milk alternatives, pure
fruits and vegetables, and our signature ‘frozen cashew cream.’ For more details
on how we are different from the big smoothies chains, click here.
Will you only offer smoothies or do you plan to expand your
menu in the future?
Eventually we may expand the product line to include more food & healthy treats, but for now we are focusing on the smoothies & juices.
Right now you are in the process of launching what you call a Kickstarter campaign to raise around $25,000 to get your business open to the community. Tell us about that campaign.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform where small businesses and start-ups gather community support and raise capital. We are using Kickstarter to help raise the rest of the funds needed to open our doors. The money raised will go towards equipment, furniture and renovations, permits, legal fees, initial produce inventory, etc. The cool thing about Kickstarter is that it’s all or nothing--- If we reach our goal, the cards of the backers get charged; if we fall short, even by one dollar, we don’t see any of that money.
Do you have a location? Have you been able to start
preparations in that location to open?Our lease is still being finalized, but we are expecting to be on a busy corner in Arcadia.
We already have the renovations & design/furniture being drawn up as we speak!
What kind of atmosphere are you hoping to offer to people
that want to come and sit down at your juice bar?I want the atmosphere of Osaka Sun Blendery to be inviting, non-intimidating, and
warm with nice lighting, good music, and sustainable furniture. I also want it to be a
social setting, so customers can sip their smoothies over a catch-up, or get some work
done on their computer. In fact, we will have a custom-made bar as the focal point of
the store, so people can watch their smoothies being made while they socialize and/or
What makes you so passionate about Osaka Sun Blendery?
The knowledge that Osaka Sun Blendery—and its team—has the power to positively influence the Phoenix community, and create a ripple effect that changes the world. I truly believe that my smoothies CAN change the world……Just watch. :)