Genika Blandshaw - The Juice Factory VII

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This is a podcast episode titled, Genika Blandshaw - The Juice Factory VII. The summary for this episode is: <p>In this week's episode of From the Basement Up, Michelle and Emily are joined by Genika Blandshaw, founder, owner, and operator of Juice Factory VII. Her passions are food, health, and staying true to herself. Among the most dedicated and hard working women From the Basement Up has had the pleasure to host, Genika had an interesting background before beginning her career as a serial entrepreneur. While she at one time had a hand in policy making for Medicare and Medicaid, her career path has clearly changed completely; however she maintains that common thread of health throughout all of her endeavors. </p><p><br></p><p>Join us today and listen in on how Genika got her start, found her balance as a mom, wife, and businessowner; and where she plans to go!</p>
Genika's backstory 🤩
01:27 MIN
What's the VII in Juice Factory VII?
00:35 MIN
Juice Factory VII has something for everything🥤
00:43 MIN
A juice cleanse?
00:40 MIN
Providing healthy food to local schools🚌
00:45 MIN
Showing up for yourself💌
01:11 MIN
Room Chronicles😍
00:54 MIN
Who does Genika give thanks to?
00:55 MIN
Our ending words of wisdom for this week's episode✨
00:45 MIN

Michelle: Welcome to From the Basement Up. I'm excited to introduce everyone to Genika Blandshaw, the owner and creator of Juice Factory VII. I met Ganika at a meeting earlier this spring and she inspired me. Her healthy juices are delicious. Actually, she was glowing at the time, so I felt like I needed to do the juicing myself. She's created something special for her community and her online customers, a store that insists on high quality standards and yummy recipes that make it easy to make good choices. Genika opened the store in 2017 and her company continues to grow. She is now offering healthy food options in a couple of very lucky local schools. I'm excited that Genika is here with us today, sharing her story and mission of providing healthy food options to her community. Hello, Genika and welcome.

Genika Blandshaw: Thank you for having me.

Michelle: Thank you.

Emily: We're so happy you're here.

Michelle: Yes. And I know that you had a busy day, but I would love to hear your background and hear just, we've gotten feedback from our listeners where they love hearing about, not just the entrepreneur side, but also about the person. If you wouldn't mind giving me a little bit of your background or sharing that, that would be fantastic.

Genika Blandshaw: Sure. Originally born and raised in Troy, New York. I did move away for a little bit. I've lived in Brooklyn for a little bit. Had my daughter, got married. And so I wanted to be around more family, so I came and relocated back here. I've always been in the insurance industry. Before this, I used to write the policies and procedures for Medicaid. Very well paying high job. I didn't plan on changing or shifting or anything like that. However, as life has it, they laid the whole company off. I was offered a position to go into another contract that was in California, flying back and forth. And with a baby, that wasn't an option for me at that time. My husband actually recommended me to open up a juice bar. We traveled and everywhere, but where we were, I swear there was like a juice bar in every corner. I was like, you're right, I don't have any restaurant experience. What we ended up doing was we purchased a juicer for home and I just started different recipes there and that's where the baby of juice factory started.

Michelle: At home in your kitchen?

Genika Blandshaw: Yes. At home in the kitchen.

Michelle: I love that.

Genika Blandshaw: With the kids letting me know like yay or nay.

Michelle: They were the tasters.

Genika Blandshaw: They were, they were.

Michelle: Have you always been drawn to juice or healthy food? What was it that juice was the answer?

Genika Blandshaw: No. Actually, I am a foody person, so I love food. I like quality food and different taste. I travel all over and I'll try different things where my husband is not, he's the complete opposite of me. He can eat the same thing every day. I can't. Starting on this healthy journey, I've had a couple of medical issues where I spoke to medical professions that said that I have a Synthroid, not a Synthroid, a thyroid issue. I take Synthroid and I was looking for something holistic. I didn't want to be on medicine my entire life. I was so young. I was like, I don't want to take medicine for the rest of my life. I started doing some research and things like that about what I can do, what foods to stay away from, what would be best for the thyroid and things like that. So that started our journey as well.

Michelle: I didn't hear that the last time we met. Thank you so much for sharing that. Juice Factory VII, and you added VII on, I wanted to get to this really fast. What is the VII for?

Genika Blandshaw: VII is my lucky number. My birthday's in July. My year is definitely 77. My husband was born on the 7th day. His year is 77 as well. We had our dog, his name was seven. Seven is just our lucky number. And I stand by, I've always loved that number. I was lucky.

Michelle: I like how you pulled up personal side into the name of the business. And I would love for you to describe the mission you have for Juice Factory VII.

Genika Blandshaw: Our mission was to be, I've always loved Panera. I loved the fact that everything looks so fresh. When you sit and you observe a lot, you notice that everything is franchise, so you know that they have to do things a little bit different, but I love their concept initially. What I wanted to do was create for our community, healthy on the go, where everyone is sitting in those lines at McDonald's and Wendy's and things like that, but just have that option, like I can still eat healthy and it's somewhat like of a fast food restaurant. That's what our mission was to do, was to create healthy eating and healthy lifestyle to ways of learning how to eat appropriately. And you can do it whether you're out and about, or whether you're at home as well.

Emily: And maybe I'm making a connection that's not here or what maybe wasn't intended. And I don't want to get too far away from your background, but that's what I'm kind of going back to. There's like the health aspect in all of this, and you did policy making for Medicare and Medicaid. Do you think that that's a driving force in your life is health?

Genika Blandshaw: I wonder. Sometimes I wonder. I know being in the corporate world, it helped me out a tremendous, because originally when I opened up, there's a lot of tight lip, there's not a lot of people that would help you. Even so much as if you asked someone, was there an app that you used for staffing? They don't tend to help you out as much. There were a few restaurants that definitely helped me out and I'll be forever grateful for them, but it was just, I think being in the corporate world, as well as just learning things from scratch, it helped me out.

Michelle: I've tasted the juices and I'm actually drinking juices now, so I'm on a cleanse. But I did want to ask you, as far as the organic foods and juices and produce that you use, how did you research that and how did you find your vendors?

Genika Blandshaw: Originally, actually, when I was in the corporate world, there was one of my staff that reported to me. He said," Oh, I have to hook you up. I used to work at", I think it was Peaches and Cream over in the Plaza. And he said," I have a distributor, and I think you'd be a good match." He knew that I was opening up my juice bar, because in New York state, they give you a warrant act. It's like 90 days. They give you your salary, they send you home with your laptop. It gave me 90 days to get my juice bar up and running when they laid everyone off. He actually put me onto my vendors because some of the vendors that actually deliver to Peaches and Cream are the same vendors that I now have and I've had from the beginning. And I try to do local also. There's a couple of shops that grow their own produce, like beets. I love golden beets, red beets, things like that. We try to stay in line with that as well.

Michelle: That's really smart. Just trying to get local.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah, definitely.

Michelle: During, and I say this probably too much, but it really did affect businesses. During the pandemic, was it harder to get produce at that time? Was there any issue?

Genika Blandshaw: Not for me. It was a little bit hard to get those specialty things like fresh turmeric, the patia, things like that. It was a little bit hard to come by and the prices are through the roof as you know, but I always maintain the same quality. I won't veer off of that just because something has gone up in prices. And actually, I think I only raise my prices once. I have a couple of friends that own restaurants and they're like, you're behind the ball, raise your prices, but it's like, you still want people to come and enjoy it. And hopefully, we'll meet like a ceiling top where it would come down a little bit. But at this point, I don't plan on raising the prices anymore. I'll just incur those costs until it goes back down to normal.

Michelle: Have you thought, this is kind of out there, have you thought about growing your own produce at any time?

Genika Blandshaw: I did. Yes. That is one of my own dreams. I definitely want my own farm. I want a lot of land and just to live off of, you know exactly what is going into your soil and things like that. That's one of my dreams and my goals and I will definitely obtain that.

Emily: Awesome.

Michelle: Yeah. It's great. I was telling Emily this, I'm like, I wish that rather than there being a Starbucks in every town on every corner, that there was like a Juice Factory VII.

Genika Blandshaw: Oh, thank you.

Michelle: Everyone knows that's listening, it's so cool inside and you decorated and did it all. So I love it. It's a cool space.

Genika Blandshaw: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Michelle: Has anyone ever said this? This is like the healthy option for a bar. I think we were talking about mocktails too.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah. Mocktails, I did mocktails briefly, and I felt like, I feel like I'm always a little bit forward, more than the rest. I don't know where that comes from, but I feel like Troy wasn't just ready for that just yet. I plan on bringing that back, the mocktails, because I have like a whole load of recipes for it and they're so pretty and vibrant to drink. And it's like, for those that don't drink, I don't drink. You can still have that same experience. You want people to come for the juice, but you want everyone to stay for the experience.

Michelle: Yeah. And your place, I'm just curious, because I walked in to pick up my juice cleanse and doing a three day and it's so cool. You have this chalkboard full of shots. You've got juice shots. If you don't mind just walking people through your development process of this and I would love to hear, hasn't made a difference on the bottom line, because I would...

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah, absolutely. The quick shots I've had all along since I started juice factory. And so those are like concentrated base items and we have a number of different ones. We have one for, there's a lot of nurses that order from us, a lot of mechanics that order from us. They may need to stay up, so we have for them, we've designed a power shot for them and they order that a lot. It keeps them up. It keeps them going. We have some that if you feel like you're coming down with a cold, we have something to fix for that. We have something to build for your immunity, for elderberry. We have something for everything. And I thought of, all right, what are the common things? When you go to a juice bar, you're like, Hey, do you have anything to help with headaches? Or do you have anything that help to lower my cholesterol or high blood pressure, things like that. So we're able to assist with those types of questions there. And we can blend and remix. It doesn't have to be off the menu, we can customize things for you as well.

Michelle: As far as the recipes that you have on the menu, what are they in? What do they consist of?

Genika Blandshaw: They're all fruits and veggies for the cold- press juices. And then smoothies we'll add whatever. We add super foods. We'll do like hemp seeds, chia seeds, anything that you ask to add on, we'll do those. We have proteins. We have vegan options for everyone. There's something there for literally everyone, even our littles, our little kids. We have like the little nine ounce smoothies or little girl cheese, things like that.

Emily: I saw that. I was looking at your website today. I also wanted to harp on how beautiful your website is. It's literally gorgeous.

Genika Blandshaw: Thank you. It took a lot for me to design that.

Emily: It carries through from your store too, and that you can tell.

Genika Blandshaw: Thank you.

Emily: But I saw the little menu and all of the, you have it such a spread, like toast and all that, and quesadilla. Where did that come from?

Genika Blandshaw: The quesadilla, it was like, one of my staff made something for me there and I actually made a post and people just started calling for it. So the quesadilla stayed on. They stayed on.

Emily: I love that. That's awesome.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah. We have a veggie, a shrimp one and a chicken.

Emily: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I'm like so hungry. Also, I read your blog and I wanted to say that it was really cool because of, there's so much research, apparently that goes into it, and you can tell. And the one that I read was the citrus and how it has anti- cancer benefits from drinking citrus. I had no idea.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah. And we have actually a drink called citrus glow. That has all of the citrus fruit and it has a lemon, it has grapefruit, it has pineapple and oranges in it. I love that one. That one's been on the menu from the beginning. Originally when I first started, I had all the nicknames of my family members. And they were like all the juices and smoothies were named after everyone that was near and dear to me. And then when we moved into our new space, we just kind of remade them, remixed them. And then we took which was popular. There's a few of them on there that we just can't get rid of. I change my menu probably about two times a year generally just to keep everything fresh and new. So people are like, oh, don't take the heavenly chocolate off. Don't take the cameo off. There're the ones that are going to actually stay on there forever and ever and we're okay with that.

Michelle: Yeah. When I met you Genika, I was telling you, I'm like, oh my gosh, you're glowing. And you really do have this inside glow. And I'm like, okay, I've got to start drinking her juice. But I would love for you to explain to everybody just because a lot of our customers who will be listening or listeners are from around the country and you do ship around the country.

Genika Blandshaw: We do.

Michelle: Yes. Through your website, but your juices are awesome. And I would love for you to explain the cleanse and what you typically do in the cleanse. And I know that you also offer custom things too.

Genika Blandshaw: We do. The customs are more geared towards like, if anyone is allergic to anything, or if just something may just not be your thing. I know I don't particularly like celery. Celery's a hard thing for me to get down, but generally we will do whatever you want. I do have a cleanse that is online. It's typically five drinks per day and you would start around about 8: 30 in the morning and you drink every two hours after that with also drinking a gallon of water within that day. Sometimes if it's for first timers, you may feel like you may need a salad at the end. So we recommend using a plant- based salad with maybe a vinegarette rather than a creamy.

Michelle: As far as the juice cleanse, what is the purpose of it? What is it for?

Genika Blandshaw: It's a reset of your digestive system. You're getting away from those solid foods. Sometimes you may feel sluggish. Sometimes it may be like a detox for you. You know how you feel. You know your body. You're very much in tune with your body, because you're in it every day. It's going to tell you like, Hey, you need to slow down or Hey, something doesn't feel right. It's just that reset of your digestive system.

Michelle: And I let you know that coming off Easter, I was completely addicted to sugar and totally the jelly beans and the chocolate bunnies. I'm hoping this will help me because my late night cravings have been terrible. It's awful. The one thing I wanted to know is, do people come in, and I know that you do the custom recipes, do you find some of that stick that you want to sell for everybody?

Genika Blandshaw: Yes. Our goal green is our most popular one. Celery is also our popular one. A lot of the greens are very popular ones. But we also throw in golden heels, things like, now that summer's here, I'll do the watermelon. There's like a watermelon, spicy watermelon one I do. And it has like cayenne. It has a little bit of jalapeno in it. It's amazing. It's not hot or anything like that, but it's just right. It tastes amazing.

Michelle: That sounds so good.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah.

Michelle: When does that come? When does that arrive?

Genika Blandshaw: That comes probably at the end of this month. And I'll run it through the end of the summer.

Michelle: Okay, good. I like that.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah.

Emily: I already texted her.

Genika Blandshaw: It's still refreshing because you're hydrated. It's just really refreshing.

Emily: Yeah. I texted a friend that lives in downtown Albany today. I was like," Have you been to the Juice Factory?"

Michelle: Juice Factory VII.

Emily: Yeah. Juice Factory VII. She hasn't, but I'm like let's go.

Genika Blandshaw: I'll come through. Yeah.

Michelle: If you were to pick one juice recipe, which one would it be and why?

Genika Blandshaw: Probably my favorite one is not on my menu anymore, but it was my favorite. It's pears, beets and pineapple. And I like things that are a little sweet, so that I'm like, Hey, I'm getting my fruits and right, but that has to be the best juice that I love. And it never goes out of style. And sometimes I'll add a little bit of ginger to give it a little kick, but that's my absolute favorite one.

Michelle: Will that one becoming back with the watermelon?

Genika Blandshaw: Yes. I have plenty of stickers for them. I usually rotate them back. And then we have so many staff that remember it and we have a book, but I've been extremely lucky with all my staff that originally started with me are still with me. So everyone knows it the back of their hands. If you come in and you've had something at one of the other locations, we know it. So we'll do it for you. We have customers like that, they're like, oh, I really wanted the Bruce Lee or, oh, I really wanted the, we had one called the booty blast, and that one was really, really good. Didn't look good, but it was absolutely good. It had like spinach, it had carrots, pineapple in it as well as orange.

Michelle: I like the name. If I were to come in and say I need a vitamin C boost or something, would you be able to rattle off what should go into a blend that would be perfect for me?

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah, absolutely. And you could either do it as a quick shot or you can add it into your juice or your smoothie as well.

Michelle: That is so cool. You're like a scientist. I know. Total scientist. How many locations do you have?

Genika Blandshaw: I have the juice factory at 501, and then we have the one inside the school so far. Our other location, the first location is now Street Taco VII also. My daughter originally had that, she kind of got a little bit overwhelmed. My cousin now has it and she's like my sister so she's running that now.

Michelle: Are you thinking of starting one in Saratoga? I just had to ask.

Genika Blandshaw: I heard that a lot, to add one of it in Saratoga. It's not off the books.

Emily: Oh my God. Amazing.

Michelle: The town would go crazy. We would love it. I'm just thinking like mocktails and high end juices.

Emily: Yeah. And all these people love, I don't know, these other places and it's all Farm- to- table. The up and coming places. When I go to town, everyone's talking about the Farm- to- table and that's exactly your kind of deal.

Genika Blandshaw: I have another cool concept too that would go along with that. It would be amazing. It'd be like a water bar.

Emily: Oh, that's so cool.

Michelle: Is it like hint water or would you be doing...

Genika Blandshaw: You know how you go to, say Vent Fitness and you go, they have the three individual water and you like, they're like tubes that come up to you. They're like for hydration, if you need sleep, anything like that. It's just different. It's water, but it has like, it's infused.

Emily: That's so cool. Oh my gosh.

Michelle: This is brand new to me.

Emily: Yeah. Oh, it's going to be revolutionary, but the people are going to love it.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah.

Michelle: You're like, I'm always ahead of the curve. I'm like, yeah. I have to research that now. You offer more than juices though. And I wanted to ask you, when did you start expanding your menu?

Genika Blandshaw: I always wanted to do, when I first started, I did soup, salad, sandwiches, juice, and smoothies. Then I started adding in the acai bowl. And then we started doing toast toast, actually came because we were playing around in the shop and we had people taste it and they loved it. We just started expanding on the toast. It really was like a mistake, but not one.

Michelle: It's called toast toast?

Genika Blandshaw: Fancy toast.

Michelle: Fancy toast. Okay. That is so funny. What is in fancy toast?

Genika Blandshaw: We have like a variety of ones. We have savory ones as well as a sweet one. Some of our savory ones are with like the avocado, the feta cheese, the microgreens, the heirloom tomatoes. We have some with pears and goat cheese, and it's drizzled with like agave. We have some with bananas, peanut butter, cinnamon drizzled with agave.

Emily: I'm like, I need to drive to the juice bar after this.

Michelle: Now this is going to get everyone super jealous. You've started going to schools now. You are doing lunches at a couple of two very, very lucky schools in the capital region.

Genika Blandshaw: I am. It's been super great. The kids are like, I don't know. I just love doing. I wasn't sure how it was going to play, but it's been pretty amazing. The kids, the staff, and they're not afraid to try the healthy. They're more geared towards the healthy options than anything else inside there. I just make sure that we have that readily available for them.

Emily: I wonder if it plays a role in how they perform in class, you should ask the teachers.

Genika Blandshaw: I wonder. I should ask the teachers. The teachers all come down too.

Emily: Oh really?

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah. I'm going to ask them tomorrow.

Emily: Help boost brain power or something. I have to imagine that before whoever cooked for the school before you, I think that it'd be interesting to ask teachers who have seen students with both. I feel like they're smarter with you there. That's what I'm trying to say.

Michelle: They're more focused.

Genika Blandshaw: Yes. Yes. Definitely focused.

Michelle: And energized. Well, I really want you to come to Saratoga. I'm going to just keep bringing that up. My goodness. Once you were talking about the toast, I was like, okay, I'm done. You have kids and you are growing a business. And I'm just wondering what lessons you would share with other parents who are thinking of starting something.

Genika Blandshaw: Sure. The lessons that I would share is to always surround yourself with like- minded people, surround yourself with people that are positive and make sure you show up for yourself all the time, because, and accept people for who they are. Because I feel like there's so many bumps in the road that you come across when you start a business, especially starting from scratch, whether it be funding, whether it be resources, anything like that, you have to do the work one. I feel like if you don't have any expectations of people, you got to meet people where they are. And if you don't have any expectations, it leads to less disappointment. So always show up for yourself. And no matter what, root for yourself and I think it's extremely important to be around positive people, because you can have some people that will try to talk you off that ledge like, oh, I don't think you can do it. I don't think you can do it. No, I can do it. And I'm going to, so you need to get those people away from you and have that tunnel vision while you're actually doing the groundwork.

Emily: I'm just thinking your husband must be a positive light in your life because he was like, just start a juice company. And you're like, okay.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah, he is. He definitely like, he's a numbers person. So he thinks very quickly. He comes up with the ideals and I execute them

Emily: Power couple.

Genika Blandshaw: No, it's a good balance.

Michelle: Good combination.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah.

Michelle: Good for you. Do you find at night you guys are still talking work or are you ever able to shut it down?

Genika Blandshaw: We never shut it down, but I did. The last meeting we were at, I got some feedback for it, so I'm going to try it because I feel like we're always, there's no chill on like, all right, what are we doing next? All right. What's up for tomorrow? Okay. This is what we're going to do. It's like I don't know, it's never like...

Michelle: Well, you did mention that you have some employees who have been with you for a long time, which is fantastic. And I love that. Are they starting to experiment and come up with recipes and different juice recipes?

Genika Blandshaw: Oh yeah. They do all the time. As long as, I'm like, I love your feedback. I love it. Let's do it. Anything to make their jobs easier. I always make them feel like they're family and they're a part of juice factory, because they are. Without them I wouldn't be able to run a successful business.

Michelle: That's fantastic. And you're also at schools too during the day. And you have the staff who you trust and they're running the store.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah.

Michelle: That's amazing. I know that taking those steps and removing yourself out of the shop, out of the store to be in the schools, was that a scary experience?

Genika Blandshaw: Extremely, extremely. I was so nervous. I was like, oh my God, I don't know if I can do it. I kept putting it off. They wanted me to start last year and then I was like, I'm not ready yet. I'm not ready yet. But I just did it. I just did it. And then I think I didn't sleep for like a week. I was saying to my husband, oh my God, I can't sleep. What type of meals do you think that they would like? Do you think they're going to like this? It was just constant. I think once I got in there and just did what I do best, it was like a cakewalk after that.

Michelle: Good.

Genika Blandshaw: It's like I can go in there now and it's like, oh yeah, we're doing that, that, that, and I know the time framing, so it's been a blessing actually just to see the other side of things.

Michelle: Well, it sounds rewarding too. You really enjoy being with the kids. As far as mistakes go, I always say my mistakes taught me the most, when you really sit down and you look at it and assess and think about what happened. Are there any mistakes that you're comfortable sharing that would help people avoid giving them the lesson that they may not have to walk through?

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah. Speaking of staff, even though you treat them like family, you have to know that there's a fine line where things aren't taken advantage of too. I never wanted to be like a micromanager or anything like that, but it is your baby, you started it from the ground up, so you have to be mindful of things like that. So definitely no relatives.

Emily: Yeah. This is my aunt.

Michelle: She's my niece. I wouldn't recommend it either. I love her and I love her.

Genika Blandshaw: Yes, because you have to have those uncomfortable conversations sometimes. Business is business. And sometimes depending on what type of relative you have, trust me, I've had my daughter work for me and she got fired like five times, because it's like, you got to get yourself together. But she'll come back and she'll come back a little bit better than before. But those are life lessons throughout. I would recommend to kind of stay away from family members, but to keep things separate also.

Emily: Yes. And you're teaching just off of that note, because I'm speaking from probably her perspective more. You're teaching her a really valuable lesson by hiring, by firing and by choosing to include her, even though it might not be the best thing because, ultimately sometimes it works out. There are those uncomfortable conversations, but in my instance, I feel like I've gotten an experience here that I can't get anywhere else and not a lot of people can mirror their experiences as mine and it's really, really unique. I feel the lessons that I've learned here, I won't learn them anywhere else.

Genika Blandshaw: Right, right, right. I agree. I had her at my hip. I was teaching her the back end of stuff's like, you don't just run it there, but this is the stuff you do afterwards. And it's just never a time where anything goes off really. She learned some valuable lessons and...

Emily: You guys probably got to know each other a little too well too.

Genika Blandshaw: Oh my God. She was like, well I don't want to work while you're working though. I'm like.

Michelle: You're like, oh honey, it doesn't work that way. I'm sorry.

Genika Blandshaw: Right, right, right.

Emily: Oh, I love it though. It's so funny.

Michelle: She'll laugh. It's funny.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah. She'd definitely laughs afterwards.

Michelle: So Genika, what do you think your superpower is?

Genika Blandshaw: I would have to say being able to multitask and being able to look at the glass half full instead of half empty.

Michelle: That's a good one. I love that one.

Emily: I want to put one in your frame too. You're really confident. And you are like a, I don't know, a doer jinx, because...

Genika Blandshaw: Thank you.

Emily: And you said it at the beginning, you said, it's been a long day and I need some juice.

Michelle: I need some fancy toast.

Emily: Yeah. You just went out there and did it and it's just awesome. I just can't even believe that you and your husband were like, okay, I'll just start the Juice Factory VII.

Genika Blandshaw: I know. Right.

Michelle: And not Just that, Genika your store is awesome. This is something I wanted to touch on. It's a super cool space. This is why I think you can have like a bar. This is why I'm going this direction. I keep hinting on this. And I want you to expand your story friends, I think you have this creative streak in you. You are a designer. You've designed this cool space. So amazing. I think that might be your superpower you didn't touch on.

Genika Blandshaw: Yes, it is. I love designing. Actually Room Chronicles, I wanted to start first before juice factory. And my husband said, no, do the juice bar, because juice bar that's instant money. Room Chronicles you have to work your way up there. You have to get clients and things like that. I was like, okay. Actually I did, I got a few jobs off of, they were like, who designed it? I'm like, oh, Room Chronicles. Oh, what's that?

Michelle: That's you!

Genika Blandshaw: So I'm building my portfolio with the Room Chronicles as well.

Michelle: Have you thought about, and I'm just kind of throwing this out there. Look at me. I'm just throwing a storm here, but I could see this Room Chronicles designing restaurants and bars.

Genika Blandshaw: I would love that. Because not for anything, but I have so many menus and I have enough for everything. I'm such an observer. When I go into places that I love, I always try different things. I'm like, you know what, if they had this machine, it would be so much better. I'm telling you they wouldn't cross- contaminate that. And I'm like, but I think of those things. I don't know why, but it comes to mind. That definitely would be, it would go hand in hand, run, hand in hand.

Michelle: You have a talent. I was snapping pictures. I shared them with Emily. I'm like, look at this. This cute. This is so great.

Emily: And we like to call Michelle a serial entrepreneur. And I think that you are one too.

Michelle: Oh yeah. She definitely is. I think you might even be more so because yours expands, there's no, you know what I mean? You're a designer, but then you're making juice.

Emily: And then you're in school.

Michelle: Yes.

Emily: And I was even thinking a second ago, you could do like a WeWork space if you really wanted to. And then with the menu, put in your own little Panera in there. I'm like-

Michelle: No, Juice Factory VII.

Genika Blandshaw: Let's talk after this.

Emily: I know what it's called, but you know what I'm saying? Like a cafe, whatever type that they normally have like, I don't know, you could totally do it.

Michelle: You could save, what is it? WeWork. Haven't they been struggling?

Emily: No, I'm not saying combined with that. I'm saying, do you know what WeWork, it's like a space where anyone can go and I'm saying you could totally, and I'm not saying that her place is Panera either. I know that it's not Panera.

Genika Blandshaw: Right,

Emily: I'm like...

Michelle: You were just thinking about fancy toast. I wanted to ask, as far as when you sit down, because this is five years, you've been sprinting for five years. Just looking at what you've made in five years, this is phenomenal.

Genika Blandshaw: Thank you.

Michelle: Your company, they were so stupid to let you go. I'll be honest, but good for you that they did.

Genika Blandshaw: Right. Definitely.

Emily: And thank you for the government.

Michelle: Yeah. I can just tell that already, look what you've done in five years. Holy smokes. When you sit down and you think about it, what do you give thanks to, or who do you give thanks to?

Genika Blandshaw: God first always. And then my mom. My mom, I swear she... I've watched her, but my mom is such a hard worker. My dad died when I was age 10, but I watched my mom raise my brother and I, and she was just always a hard worker. She's always happy. She always looks at the glass half full too. So just those two things are like, those are my number ones besides my kids and my husband. But my God definitely first, because I swear, he's blessed me over and over again and I feel like he always shows up on time.

Emily: Aw. I love that. That's what we call synchronicities.

Michelle: That's a great quote too, that he always shows up on time.

Genika Blandshaw: He does.

Michelle: That's perfect. Well, actually I was curious because as I lead out of our interviews, a lot of times I ask people to give us the words that they live by or a quote that means a lot to them. That may have been it, but do you have another one?

Genika Blandshaw: Yes. Stay true to yourself.

Michelle: Okay.

Emily: I love that. That's what I think you said earlier.

Genika Blandshaw: Yeah. Stay true to yourself. And I think that everything else will fall as long as you're true to yourself. As long as you're a humble person and a good person. No one is perfect, but as long as you are a good person, ultimately I feel like everything falls into play for you.

Michelle: I love ending on that. Thank you. Genika, thank you so much for being with us today. It was wonderful.

Genika Blandshaw: Thank you so much for having me.

Michelle: And I'm just thinking those kids are so lucky to be with you every day. So, so wonderful. And thank you for the wonderful juices that I'm actually on right now and I'm loving the process and I'm doing well loving the process.

Genika Blandshaw: Did you get on a scale?

Michelle: I did this morning.

Genika Blandshaw: Okay, good, good.

Michelle: I did. But you know what? To be honest, I don't care so much about that piece, what I care about is I just have to stop sugar and that's why I'm so excited for this.

Genika Blandshaw: And you'll feel energized. After your three days, let me know how you feel. You're going to feel like woo, you got a little pep in your step.

Michelle: Oh, good. I need that. But thank you so much.

Genika Blandshaw: You're welcome. Have a good night guys.

Michelle: Thank you. Bye.

Genika Blandshaw: Thank you. Bye.

Emily: Thank you so much for joining us today on From the Basement Up. Please be sure to check namebubbles. com or our blog on the podcast and all of the show notes, resources and links for our guests every Thursday. And please be sure to leave us a five star review wherever you get your podcast. See you next week, and thank you.


In today's episode, we are joined by a local entrepreneur, Genika Blandshaw! Her passions are food, health, and staying true to herself. Among the most dedicated and hard-working women From the Basement Up has had the pleasure to host, Genika had an interesting background before beginning her career as a serial entrepreneur. She even had a hand in policy-making for Medicare and Medicaid at one time. Her career path has clearly changed completely; however, she beautifully maintains that common thread of health throughout all of her endeavors.

Join us today and listen in on how Genika got her start, found her balance as a mom, wife, and business owner; and where she plans to go! Hint: it's a lot of different places.

Here's a little snippet about Juice Factory VII from their website: "We wanted to make eating healthy and making positive food choices an easy win for those that are too busy, too overwhelmed with options, or just don’t know where to begin. We of all people understand how tedious it is to be healthy in the busy seasons of life, and if you are anything like us…you’re always in a busy season! We were craving a place that met our high standard for quality, healthy food options on the go within the capital region area, and Juice Factory VII was born on October 13, 2017."

Thank you Genika for joining us today and we can't wait to see what you do!

Today's Host

Guest Thumbnail

Michelle Brandriss

|Founder of Name Bubbles
Guest Thumbnail

Emily Flanagan


Today's Guests

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Genika Blandshaw

|Founder & Owner