Small businesses are successful or fail in Alaska for a lot of reasons. For Amber Thompson, owner of Juice Box AK in Palmer, success didn’t come right away and it hasn’t been easy, but her passion for her product and finding the right location have been key to the company’s success in 2021.
Juice Box serves fresh-pressed, organic drinks that are made to order. Juice and protein smoothies are the main offerings, but they also offer fresh popsicles and slushies. Located on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway since October of 2020, Juice Box has a drive-through window, as well as picnic tables outside. Many of their regular clients juice regularly, so they purchase juice in 16-ounce or 32-ounce jars.
Thompson got into the juicing business after she tried healthy juices and shakes while dieting. She lost 65 pounds in less than five months. After experiencing the success of juicing, she wanted to share it with others. She came up with several different recipes, then had them reviewed by certified and licensed nutritionists in California. Thompson opened her first store in Wasilla in 2016 under the name Juice Junkies, but she quickly determined it was not the right name or location. She then moved to the Tikahtnu Center in Anchorage, but the traffic wasn’t enough to make the business a go. She began searching for some property in Palmer or Wasilla last year. In the interim, she leased restaurant space and provided bulk juice deliveries to her most dedicated clients.
“I called myself the Millenial Milkman!” laughs Amber Thompson. I spent my days dropping jars of juice off to people’s houses and picking up the old jars. But that showed me that there were enough Alaskans interested in this product, that I knew I could make it a go at a retail location.”
In October 2020, Juice Box finally found the right location at 11709 E. Palmer-Wasilla Highway. Thompson added a kid’s menu and other healthy snacks to the menu. It’s been a huge success since. The business now has five employees. They have a loyal following on social media and credit word-of-mouth for a lot of their growth in business. Juice Box’s best-sellers are the Belly Burner, which targets belly fat, boosts metabolism, reduces hunger, and helps with cravings. The Immune Booster includes carrots, oranges, and apples, the Bunny Booster combines coconut water with lemon, lime, orange, and ginger, and the Skinny Mini includes kale, spinach, ginger, green apples, and celery. Other favorites include the Green Machine with cucumber, celery, orange, apple, spinach, and kale and the Juicebox made of red and green apples, lemon, carrots, watermelon, spinach, kale, and ginger. Juice Box also recently launched a new hydrate drink (in collaboration with Hydrate Alaska) that brings hydration and juicing to the next level. This juice includes spirulina, one of the world’s most popular supplements that are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Spirulina is an organism that grows in both fresh and saltwater and is often referred to as blue-green algae. Some say it is the single most nutritious food on the planet.
Thompson loves that she is able to have an impact on so many people’s nutrition and health through her Juice Box AK offerings. If you are new to juicing, she recommends you start with a refresher to get your body on track, then do maintenance juice of one 16-ounce serving every couple of days. She says you will feel your metabolism speeding back up, and your body re-learns to not hold on to and store fat.
To order juices for pickup or delivery, just call (907) 802-8356 or message Juice Box via Facebook or Instagram. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and Sundays fromp 9 am to 5 pm.