It’s Troost location will be a model for Ruby Jean’s expansion, said Chris Goode, but the juicery’s growth won’t be limited to standalone, brick-and-mortar sites.
“Ideally, the way we truly scale is our wholesale model,” said Goode, founder of the health and fitness-focused Kansas City-born business. “I’m in talks right now, trying to get it down to a science of how we create a co-packing partnership where we can leverage our grocery store and YMCA relationships to easily penetrate and get instant access to more than 100 other locations.”
With a grand opening set July 7 for a “Ruby Jean’s To-Go” inside the North Kansas City YMCA — the first time the 165-year-old organization has partnered with a third-party food and beverage provider, Goode said — momentum for Ruby Jean’s continues to build.
After opening its lauded Troost location in November, the juicery debuted its first self-operated grocery store location in late December — a collaboration with Ball’s Food Stores that put Ruby Jean’s in the Price Chopper at North Oak and Barry Road, as well as creating potential to enter Ball’s other Price Chopper and Hen House stores, Goode said.
“These are strategic partnerships with two mainstays,” he said of Ball’s and YMCA. “We’re working on early models, trying to prove out the concept to see if it makes sense.”
The business also is in the process of building a juice bar location in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with a licensee partner that already runs a Ruby Jean’s location within the coincidentally-named Ruby’s Market in Springfield, Missouri.
“It will be similar to the Price Chopper setup, we just don’t run it,” Goode said.
He also is working through the details of a partnership to open two licensee locations in Atlanta, Georgia, he said, noting it’s just a matter of time before the deals are done.
“When we look to penetrate a new market, we’re obviously looking for an area that’s underserved. But also we’re looking for a diverse pool of customers,” Goode said. “It’s not going to be hard to find a Troost-like area in some of these locations, but we really want to attract a broad audience — from the affluent to the opposite, and everything in between.”
Goode’s Troost model for Ruby Jean’s targets every walk of life — age, sex, race — and tries to be strategic in positioning for accessibility, he said.
“Starting in Kansas City, we came more from unexpected, urban roots — 40th and Broadway, 11th and Main, 30th and Troost — and will now start to expand toward affluent areas,” Goode said. “Not the opposite, which is most common: starting with the affluent and moving in the other direction. So we’ll try to keep that model in new markets.”
With his brick-and-mortar Kansas City operations largely focused on Troost, Goode said he’s reluctantly ready to let go of Ruby Jean’s original flagship location in Westport. The site closed in 2017, but previously was expected to relaunch this spring.
“We have a few other irons in the fire that aren’t solidified enough for us to mention, but Westport is no more for us, at least for the time being,” he said.