Dustin Wilson couldn’t find a quick service restaurant that served fresh, healthy food—so he opened one himself. After becoming a Grabbagreen franchisee and seeing success in Thousand Oaks, Calif., for several years, Wilson decided to open a second location. The week of their planned grand opening, Covid-19 started causing closures and panic. As conditions started to improve, Wilson made the tough decision to close their original Grabbagreen location. While it’s been a rollercoaster, Wilson explains the uptick they’ve seen and why their customers love their food and drinks so much.
How did you start your business?
“I started selling vacuums door to door and that’s when I really started eating a lot of fast food and drinking energy drinks, poor sleep. Long story short, I gained a bunch of weight and I watched a documentary called ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ where an Australian businessman goes on a juice fast for 60 days and he ends up losing like 90 lbs. in 2 months.
The first time I ever drank juice, I drank only juice for 10 days. I was like, ‘There needs to be a juice and smoothie place that’s fast food but healthy.’ We ended up coming across this franchise and we were the very first franchisees.”
What do you like about your business?
“We use fresh food, and we have food. There’s not a place you can get whole food with salad and bowls and juice and smoothies. Smoothies are way better when they’re made with fresh ingredients.”
What challenges has your business had to overcome?
“Overnight when Covid-19 first hit, we dropped 80% in business. Everyone was just kind of scared and staying inside, so we started doing grocery delivery and that turned everything around for a little while. We took our entire menu and you could order it a la carte; produce, sauce or meals, we would put it in a big box and I’d load my car up at the end of the day and deliver it to everybody.”
Have labor shortages affected your business?
“We’re really lucky as far as labor. When we had 2 stores, we were spread really thin. We had the same people working at 2 different locations on different days. But now that we’ve consolidated down to 1 store, we haven’t lost any staff members and now we’re fully staffed. We appreciate our crew members.”
Which Cambro products help your business?
“We always used Cambro containers, the CamSquares and the Food Pans. The walk-in Cambro shelving, I really like those because they are easy to clean and they don’t rust. The Cambro containers look nice, they stack nice, and also, we use that to differentiate whether they’re clean and ready to prep or ready to serve.
And the Cambros themselves are easy to clean. We use a lot of turmeric and it will stain the Cambros, so once a month we let them sit in a cleaning solution for 5 minutes and then they’re perfectly clear again like they’re brand new. Plus, all the produce we have here is very colorful and it’s very presentable in the Cambros. That’s why we have the clear doors. We want everyone to see everything.”
Your business is in the Los Angeles area. Have you had any celebrity sightings?
“The LA Rams training facility is only a few miles away, so we get coaches and football players, but I’d say they’re actually only 40%, the other 60% are their wives and kids. We have done catering for them on a few occasions. My favorite celebrity is Erin Brockovich, she comes in regularly. Every time I ask her what’s going on with water, she’s still super passionate about it.”
Links for Gabbagreen:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.
Categories: Cambro Featured Business of the Week