Today I had on a human who is just full of energy and positive vibes! Nastasha McKeon is the executive Chef slash CEO and Founder of Choice juiceries. With an extensive background in health and wellness, she has taught plant-based cooking classes in hospitals in addition to consulting with restaurant brands on how to incorporate healthy options into their menu along with product development, systems, education, and sales. She opened her first brick-and-mortar store in 2014 in Carlsbad, CA and she’s now expanded to 6 locations plus online. To be expanding a conscious brick-and-mortar business during a pandemic is pretty badass. So as you can imagine, she dropped some solid nuggets of knowledge and inspiration on the pod!
LISTEN to this pod right here by clicking play or choose your favorite listening platform below. You can also WATCH the video podcast below that! Check out the show notes at the bottom to get more details about the contents of this episode. Enjoy!
Show notes in order of appearance:
- Nastasha’s last oh shit moment
- Nastsha talks about surf ranch and kook of the day moments
- Seb shares his kook of the day moment.
- What was the first seed that was planted in you that led to your passion and success that you’re having today in regards to clean eating and conscious ingredients?
- Rough childhood. Nastash’s grandma who had an auto-immune disease.
- Hungry for information as to why grandma had died and how that got her into learning about food being medicine.
- How is food medicine?
- Our disconnect from food and nature and the Covid 19 virus
- Making money in banking and eating well
- Holistic nutrition and consulting at restaurants
- What does a restaurant consultant do? What exactly does that mean?
- How consulting transitioned into Choice Juicery
- Opened up the first location in 2014. Nastasha worked every role and speaks to the importance of that.
- How and why Nastasha can keep a smile on her face nonstop.
- You told me something that really resonated…“Although I’m not a non-profit I feel like we’re a non-profit.” Share what you mean by that.
- Maintaining the integrity of products is like giving back.
- Awareness and education. Community-based events.
- Turning down great business opportunities and business temptation.
- How does maintaining the integrity of products affect the whole supply chain?
- The importance of mindset…for the entire company not just the CEO.
- You published a book last month. What is it about?
- Nastahsa shares her top two traits for a conscious leader to embody
- Nastasha shares where we can buy her book and shop for her clean food products
Connect with Sebastian on Instagram
Below is a transcript of the video podcast created by Seb’s Robot buddy, Zekton. He tends to make mistakes so please forgive him if you find errors or some funky sounding sentences. For the real deal, watch the video or click on your favorite audio Podcast platform above! Enjoy!
Sebastian Naum (00:03):
Welcome to conscious profits. Unfilter this is your host, the best, you know what a fam today I had on a human who is just full of energy and positive vibes. Nastasha McKeon is the executive chef slash CEO and founder of choice juicers. She holds a certification in plant-based nutrition from Cornell university and a holistic nutrition certificate from the national healing Institute with such an extensive background in health and wellness. She’s taught plant based cooking classes in hospitals. In addition to consulting with restaurant brands on how to incorporate healthy options into their menus. Along with product development systems, education and sales, she opened her first brick and mortar store in 2014 in Carlsbad, California. And she now has expanded to six locations plus online, frankly, to be expanding a conscious brick and mortar business during a pandemic is pretty bad. So as you can imagine, she’s about to drop some solid nuggets of knowledge and inspiration on the pod. Enjoy the show what’s up Natasha. Welcome to the show.
Nastasha McKeon (01:09):
Thank you. Thanks for having me on. Yeah,
Sebastian Naum (01:12):
Thanks for being on. I like to always start out by asking my guests. When was your last, Oh, moment. First thing that comes to mind.
Nastasha McKeon (01:22):
Oh gosh. Um, uh, probably the day I was going on, um, an NBC show it’s called California live last week and um, I forgot my laptop and it was like a zoom podcasts like this and, um, I’ve got my laptop and my AirPods. So it was like, uh, I showed up to the office and I had nothing that I needed and it was definitely a big, Oh. Yeah. I would definitely be. I was on that.
Sebastian Naum (01:52):
Sasha. You were recently at surf ranch. I know you were just there. I sat on your Instagram and we chatted about it. You have to have like a kook of the day moment at some point during your surfing career, probably early on the days or recently, do you have anything?
Nastasha McKeon (02:06):
Well, I had a kook of the day moment at the surf ranch actually. So I, I have a really hard time going left. Like I prefer going right. I’m regular. I like to go, right. I mean, I can go left just fine normally. But I was talking to the lifeguard who was sitting next to me and it was my priority left coming next, but we were talking about going, right. We were like talking about like the wave on the right and how it barrels. And so I just ha and it’s so bizarre at the surf ranch, a you’re paddling 45 degrees, uh, like in the opposite direction, you would be paddling in the ocean. So you don’t paddle like you would into the, you know, into the base of the wave you actually paddle against. So you’re, you’re paddling. So if you’re going left, you’re paddling rights, 45 degrees, right.
Nastasha McKeon (02:50):
And then you have to drop in turn really fast. Otherwise you get eaten by the lip of the wave. So, so we’re having the conversation about going, right. I have to paddle right. To get into the left. So I, I drop into mind. You like your entire grips. There’s like 20 people watching you. If they’re not in the water with you, they’re watching you on camera live. Like, you know, there’s, there’s a photographer on you. Like everyone’s right there watching. And I had Lynn and I just started going right on a left, like at the surf Ridge in the worst possible time. You could possibly do this in your life. I mean, we’ve all done this before, but like at the ranch totally sucked. So I lost a whole wave to that, which sucked, but I did poach a few waves later to make up for it. But still it sucks to lose away, especially when you’re paying the price you’re paying to be there.
Sebastian Naum (03:33):
Yeah. Yeah. Right. How’s the, uh, is the wipe out pretty bad there too, or?
Nastasha McKeon (03:37):
Oh, it’s painful both times. I’ve been to the ranch. I’ve come back with whiplash for sure. It’s way gnarlier than taking a wipe out on the ocean. There’s just something about the way that, because it’s, you know, mechanically generated, like the way that it hits you in the way that you smack down. I been dragged down on the bottom, like scrapes at my chin. Um, there’s a co there’s concrete underneath, and it’s only like, I don’t know, three, four feet deep. They always tell you like, go flat when you fall. But I mean, I don’t always choose how I fall. So at one point I actually got wrapped up by my leash and then like was being dragged across the bottom and scraped up my chin. Oh man. I know, but I was kind of thrilled cause I was like, Oh yeah, I got this at the ranch. You know?
Sebastian Naum (04:21):
So like my kook of the day moment is way kookier than that. Like that’s actually a bad mine. Yeah. I went to Santa Cruz with a buddy and uh, I had never surfed in Santa Cruz. I was really excited and we was on the steamers and um, basically I had a brand new wetsuit. I was super stoked about it. Cause it’s extra cold. You know what I mean? Booties, I had my gloves. I was
Nastasha McKeon (04:44):
Like, here’s this so cold.
Sebastian Naum (04:47):
I was so excited about my new suit. And it’s one of those really like, you know, it’s one that you put in all the way to the top. There’s no zipper and all that. So we’re already, we get to the spot, we found a Primo parking spot and uh, I still had to walk a few blocks. And then right. As I’m, as we’re about to go down these steps, these stairs, I’m just like, dude, I’m kind of uncomfortable.
Nastasha McKeon (05:08):
Um, this is going backwards. And then they had this like
Sebastian Naum (05:17):
Gross public bathroom and I had to go in there and like take it all off. You know how hard it is to take it off.
Nastasha McKeon (05:24):
Sebastian Naum (05:25):
That was legit kook of the day. Now I put it out there in the day.
Nastasha McKeon (05:28):
Yeah. Nothing like that will ever never, but I’d be lying if I said I had didn’t have a moment like that myself. So not at the range thankfully, but yes, we, I think everyone that served has had that moment
Sebastian Naum (05:42):
For real. So Natasha, tell us about the first seed that was planted into your journey.
Nastasha McKeon (05:48):
Oh gosh, my journey into choice.
Sebastian Naum (05:51):
Just your journey into just, you know, your, your passion with food. Okay. Yeah.
Nastasha McKeon (05:58):
Yeah. Okay. Um, well the first seed started at 11 years old when I lost someone that was, uh, very important for me in my life. She was, I like to say she was a light in a really dark place. She was probably the only positive role model I had in childhood. And the one person, you know, who I could count on to make sure that my basic needs were met. And she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called scleroderma, but she actually didn’t die from the disease. She died from complications of the prescription. She was given to treat the symptoms of the disease. So one of the side effects of the medication she was given was a heart attack. And one night that she was having a heart attack and she was aware of the side effect of the medication. So she called nine one one.
Nastasha McKeon (06:42):
She says, I’m having a heart attack. They come out, they check her vitals. Um, they say, she’s fine. Most people don’t know this, but back then, heart attacks had mostly been studied in men. And the way that a woman presents in a heart attack can be different than a man. And so at that time they didn’t recognize it, you know, to their credit, if you will. Like they didn’t recognize that she was indeed having a heart attack. Um, and so, you know, they, they took her to the hospital. She demanded, even though they said she was fine, she demands go to the hospital. She’s stubborn, which I definitely got that quality. Um, and they took him to hospital and they checked her in and again, her vitals were fine. So they put her in triage, they came back 45 minutes later, she’s in cardiac arrest and she dies of a heart attack.
Nastasha McKeon (07:23):
Obviously this is like heartbreaking, you know, under any circumstances, you know, when you lose somebody that’s so important to your life and your own personal wellbeing, but in general, somebody that you love dearly loss, you know, was very impactful at any loss as impactful in your life. But this was a major blow for me. I mean, things went from bad to much worse after she passed away. And I knew that was happening. So losing her to not even her disease, but to what I felt at the time like Western medicine, you know, I felt like she was a victim of Western medicine or maybe some, you know, some flaws in Western medicine, um, not to knock Western medicine, Maine, like my head is cracked open. Like please take him to the hospital. Like I trust the doctors to, you know, put me back in place, but they, you know, they really, it wasn’t about treating the cheating.
Nastasha McKeon (08:07):
The actual root cause of the disease is about treating the symptoms. And so seeing that happen and, um, maybe a week after she passed away, I had to like go to her house and clean out all of our belongings. And I remember coming across this book and this is where the real seed was planted. Obviously like out of tragedy, oftentimes like beautiful things can happen if we look, you know, look for them. And so at the time I didn’t see it, but she, she passes away. I’m going through a really traumatic time. And I find this book in her room that someone had just given, I was still like wrapped up and she never even got the chance to read the book. And the book was all about this idea that food is medicine. And this was a completely foreign idea to me because I had never been exposed to the same Hippocrates, like any of this, you know, to me, it’s like, um, you know, I had a lot of faith in Western medicine.
Nastasha McKeon (08:55):
Like I get sick. I go to the doctor, the doctor fixes me up or gives me a medicine to treat symptoms. That was what I knew and, and food as medicine. I had no idea. And I, to be honest, I think, um, you know, I had never even so much just had a fresh vegetable in my life. You know, um, I lived on fast, grew up on fast food and, and uh, you know, when we did have food in the fridge, which was incredibly rare, it was often like the things that you get from like, you know, I grew up on food stamps. And so it was often like the foods that you get there, it’s like, you know, you get your like milk and your cheese at the first of the month, but like a fresh vegetable is not something that you get. Um, so the only vegetables I had been exposed to in my entire life, you know, to that point were canned vegetables and these things.
Nastasha McKeon (09:36):
So, and that was rare. Um, so, so I would say that the seed was really planted for like my love for health and wellness and nutrition back then, I didn’t have the right environment to really cultivate that seed at the time, but the seed was planted. I mean that year I was 11, I think for new year’s Eve, I gave up soda for my new year’s resolution for a year and then as 11. And, um, I knew I heard it was bad for me. And I was like, okay, I was on this mission to like, be healthier with what I could control. Uh, and so I knew soda was bad. And so for new year’s that year, I gave it up as menus a solution. And I never drank soda again from 11 years old. So the seat was definitely there, but it didn’t really start to develop, I would say until I found some independence early in life and was actually responsible for myself making my own money, you know, making my own food choices. And that’s when the seed really started this sprout and grow and developed into what I know today is my nutritional philosophy, which really laid the groundwork for my business and everything that I do in life truly
Sebastian Naum (10:38):
That’s yeah. That’s amazing. Um, it’s crazy how much that can inspire, you know, a horrible event, which I’m sorry, that happened to you and in a way as also been clearly the driver for you. I think, I think it takes a lot of self-drive regardless. Like there’s gotta be something that, uh, you know, for an 11 year old to decide to give up. So as an 11 year old, without being told to do so, um, which is probably innate, self-drive mixed with that inspiration that came from, uh, you know, your grandma’s event and yeah. And a Sasha, how was plant food medicine? How was plant food medicine? How was food, man?
Nastasha McKeon (11:14):
How, how is food medicine? That’s a great question. Absolutely food, you know, people will always say, you know, food is medicine. I mean, Hippocrates, the father of medicine says so himself, but I don’t always agree with that statement. I’ve come to learn that not all food is medicine. I mean, we can all agree that McDonald’s is not medicine, it’s food supposedly, but I don’t think that that’s considered medicine. So I think that for me, um, recently I offered the book, plant food as medicine, because to me, you know, that’s where the real medicine is. It’s, you know, the healing compounds, it’s the nutrients, it’s the live enzymes and minerals and vitamins that our bodies so desperately need to thrive, even survive in this life. And so that’s where the real medicine is. And I think that plays a significant role in, in disease prevention. Um, you know, even in treating disease now, I don’t, I don’t believe that that’s the only answer.
Nastasha McKeon (12:02):
Right. I think the food is one piece of the puzzle. I’m a big believer in like mind, body, soul. I think that the food plays a significant role in our health and wellbeing, but so does our mindset, you know, so there’s a stress in our lives, so it does a lot of different things, but certainly we want to stack the cards in our favor, you know, so to me eating as healthy, as, you know, as a healthy, you know, clean, you know, whole foods plant-based diet as I possibly can. And I always recommend that to everybody. Um, that’s one of the ways that you can certainly stack the cards, you know, in your, yeah.
Sebastian Naum (12:33):
How much do you think our disconnect today with nature and with food is tied to the disease that we’re experiencing today with the virus, for example,
Nastasha McKeon (12:46):
Majorly. I mean, if we talk about the virus state, it’s like nowhere I have, I have, I, you know, seen anybody covering, you know, how we could, you know, uh, develop or improve our own immunity, you know, through the foods that we’re eating are through our lifestyle choices, it’s all about, you know, double masking and, you know, vaccinating and I’m not knocking those things. But what I’m, what I’m sad to see is there’s a lack of education about how we can actually improve our immunity or immune response to insults like this virus, for example, through the food that we eat or through our lifestyle choices, getting out in the sun, getting exercise, eating healthy foods, you know, and that’s such a huge part of the puzzle that nobody wants to talk about maybe because it’s not lucrative. I’m not really sure why it breaks my heart.
Nastasha McKeon (13:31):
Um, but I do think that that’s a huge part of it. And there is a big disconnect, an example of that. I always like to use, I used to teach, um, you know, help them on this classes of preschoolers. So do you like these gardening table classes for preschoolers? And it always blew my mind. Like I would, you know, the first class I’d always like, you know, expose them to these like fresh vegetables. Right. And they would be so turned off by a vegetable, you know, that like, they didn’t know what it was. They didn’t want to eat it. They didn’t want to try it. Then I’d like take them out into the garden, the next class. And we would like, you know, see it growing, we’d pick it ourselves and we’d like, take it inside. And we prepare it and like make the food together.
Nastasha McKeon (14:07):
And all of a sudden the kids would be excited to actually eat it. And he stopped parents coming to me saying like, my kid is asking me to buy bell peppers at the grocery store. Like, what have you done? And I, you know, it’s like education is a huge part of it and getting our, getting out in nature. And I noticed this myself, I recently maybe like two years ago, I’m I lived in Carlsbad and the surfer girl I loved, but for me, the natural progression of my life was like, I make food for a living. I turn, you know, healthy food into, you know, delicious food that people like. I would love showing people how healthy we can taste. Good. So the next step for me was learning how to grow food. And that was like a disconnect I had. Like, I, you know, I, I support local farms and I do all this, you know, all of this, but I didn’t know anything about how, you know, how to actually grow the food and growing and all of these things.
Nastasha McKeon (14:52):
So I bought a piece of land out in, um, you know, the outskirts of North County, 15 minutes away from the coast, not that bad, but still, um, and, uh, so I bought like an acre and I started farming food and like honest, I don’t admit this. In fact, this is probably the first time I’ve admitted this on a podcast, but the first time that like I had to harvest my own, like say, you know, I think it was like broccoli was coming in. And I, when I was harvesting the broccoli and I saw like the bugs and all, all these things, you know, that I had to like, cause I’m growing organically. And normally when I buy organic produce, it comes nice and clean at the grocery store. It’s perfectly pretty, there’s no bugs in it, you know? So the first time I had to like cut my own piece of broccoli and there’s like, you know, your wigs on it or whatever it was, you know, I’m picking them off and I’m rinsing them off and I’m, you know, shrieking as I’m doing it.
Nastasha McKeon (15:42):
Um, and then I go to eat and it’s like, there was, uh, it was like, it felt gross to me, you know, if it was dirty and gross and there was a big disconnect and I had to really get past that mental block. And I think a lot of people do. Um, and so I think the more that we get our hands in nature get exposed to the way that our food is grown, like getting out, you know, to a farm or anything that you can do, like, and even locals farmer’s market, if you can’t get to, you know, a local farm and just see, you know, just getting in touch with where our food comes from, I think is a big part of like, you know, helping to bridge that gap. And that disconnect from, you know, how food is medicine for us. That was a long-winded answer.
Sebastian Naum (16:21):
I love that. That, that, that was beautiful. Um, yeah, that’s really interested in interesting and unclearly. I’m not, I’m not an expert in the field, but I would assume that the bugs on the plants and all that gross stuff, right. Uh, also has a role to play, um, right. It, you know, and the whole system and why things aren’t nutritious for us. Yeah. So, but you studied holistic nutrition after that, and then you started actually doing consulting,
Nastasha McKeon (16:52):
Correct? Yes. So that, I mean, that was gosh now years ago. So I had a, a pass, I like to say past life, um, in the banking industry. So I was in the finance industry basically since I was a baby, you know, I had like my series six, my 63 and my life insurance license. I did business banking, business lending. I did, um, you know, home lending. I did all kinds of stuff. So I was like a baby in that industry. And this is before like the 2008, you know, all that, all that craziness. So it didn’t really well for myself, really young from where I came from, you know, I bought my first house at like, I think I was 19 when I bought my first house and I was buying boats and toys and, you know, like, okay, I made it, you know, um, I, you know, financially I felt like I made it from where I had come from and I was unhappy, you know, I wasn’t fulfilled in any way in my work.
Nastasha McKeon (17:40):
It was just like, you know, this, the Sunday blues, you know, going into work on Monday and just like walking in and, you know, selling some investment products and making a commission and then, you know, going home, waking up, doing it all over again, there was no fulfillment in it. And, uh, I, I met a client one day who actually told me that if you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life. And that really planted a seed. Uh, again, you know, for me and my life, it made me really look at my life and try to figure out, well, what is it that I love outside of being a mom, to my knowledge, I can’t get paid for that. So, um, outside of, outside of being a mom, like, what do I love in my life? And I realized it was in the break room where I was talking about, you know, the, you know, healthy little chemo salad I was having for lunch and, and sharing recipes and ideas of people and inspiring other people to make healthy choices.
Nastasha McKeon (18:26):
And so from that, you know, I decided, okay, well, I want to do something in nutrition. I didn’t know what that looked like, but I knew that was like the breadcrumb that I needed to follow that would eventually lead to that next big thing, whatever that was for me. And so I started studying holistic nutrition, plant-based nutrition as well. And, uh, from there it was kind of like, well, what do I do now? So kind of to bring things full circle, which I always find to be ironic. I started teaching, uh, I was, I was with this company, we were actually going into scripts, which is the place where my grandmother passed away. And I was teaching doctors and nurses about plant-based nutrition and cooking, which is so the irony was so, so incredible. Um, if you really think about it and, um, and I loved it, it was incredibly fulfilling teaching and, and, and realizing that the doctors and nurses that I had placed so much value in their knowledge and wisdom in treating disease had had little to no nutritional background.
Nastasha McKeon (19:22):
I felt intimidated. I don’t have a medical degree. And, you know, I studied holistic nutrition. So I was like, what am I going to teach these people? But then, you know, shockingly, there was a lot to teach them and they, they loved everything. They were learning. I’d even like cook recipes for them, give them recipes, teach them about the nutrition behind it, and then come back to class week after week. And they loved it. But, but I noticed that nothing was changing. And I always thought if I show people that healthy food can taste good, people will make better choices. But what I learned through that experience was that it wasn’t enough because at the end of the day, when I talked to these people that continue to come back to my class, but didn’t make any like lasting changes in their lives, what was preventing them from making these lifestyle choices? It wasn’t, it wasn’t convenient. So it was like, okay, it’s not enough to make healthy food that tastes good. I also have to make it convenient. And at that time I was already doing a little bit of consulting, as I told you, and had had some experience.
Sebastian Naum (20:14):
Let me interrupt you. Where did you see the doctors? Did you see the, sorry? Did you see the doctors? Were they making any change from when you guys, when you were going in there and they weren’t making change either. Okay.
Nastasha McKeon (20:26):
I mean, not lasting changes. No. Like they would come in and they would eat the food and they would love it. But at the end of the day, it was like, it’s just not convenient to eat this way was the pushback that I would get, like, I’ll come here and I’ll learn this and I’ll eat this. But at home I don’t cook. I don’t have time to cut. I work, you know, 60 hours a week or whatever it is. I don’t have time to eat like this. And my argument was always, you can always find a healthy option on the menu, but they, their rebuttal to that would be sorry. The rebuttal to that would be, it’s really hard to make a good choice when you’re staring at burger and fries in the face, which kind of became part of my, you know, creating of my company was like, okay, make a place where they can’t make a bad choice. You know? So everything is actually good for you. So it’s a safe place for them to go in and know, they’re not going to be deterred by the smell of French fries and cheeseburgers, looking in the background and then choosing, trying to choose the healthy option, you know?
Sebastian Naum (21:13):
Well, yeah, well, it’s, it’s such an irony. Some of my unhealthiest friends are doctors and, uh,
Nastasha McKeon (21:19):
I know it’s
Sebastian Naum (21:21):
Mind blowing. Now, what I wonder is I wonder if they were actually listening to you though, and at least giving the advice to their patients. I wonder if they were at least doing that and we don’t, I don’t know if you even want. Yeah,
Nastasha McKeon (21:31):
But I, I do believe so to this day, a few people that used to come to my classes and this is like over a decade ago, like I run into them at my stores now, you know, like I ran into one the other day at one of my shops, I think my Del Sur location. And she was sharing with me how she’s still, you know, trying to make all these changes. And she’s still working in the hospital, which is an unhealthy environment for her, but she is still, you know, like, you know, because of those classes, she’s still inspired and just still, you know, making the choices for personal life and hopefully sharing that also, you know, with people that she comes into contact with them. I’m certain of that.
Sebastian Naum (22:06):
I love that. I love that. So then, yeah. So then you started doing, you start consulting for restaurants. Yeah.
Nastasha McKeon (22:12):
Yep. Yeah. So it’s putting like, um, you know, healthy options on people’s menus that I was doing recipe development consulting. And I was working with this one company who kind of had the right idea like that. The outside looked like the big picture. I walked into the door the first day I got there and they actually had on the wall, you know, that, that Hippocrates statement that I live by, which is let me be that medicine. And I was like, Oh my gosh, like the bread comes up, led me here and I’m supposed to be here, you know? And I truly believed, I was like, I was there to help this company. And I, I jumped in and I started, you know, initially consulting, putting, you know, options on the menu. And then before I knew it, I was like running their blog and running their cleanse program.
Nastasha McKeon (22:52):
And I was just like doing all this stuff. But I realized I was kind of like fighting a losing battle because the people behind the company, they were interested in making money and they weren’t interested in doing what was right by their customers. So an example of that would be like, they, they said that they were organic. It was actually in their tagline was like that they were organic and they were using things on the dirty dozen. They weren’t really buying things that were organic. They were using plastic bottles that, you know, weren’t BK free. They were getting from like TJ, but they were like, it looked really good on the outside. The brand was really good. They spent a fortune branding it and like the menu was well-developed, but it was, it, it was like, it was, it was a facade. And as soon as I got in and realized that, and I started to try to implement changes, I realized that there was so much pushback.
Nastasha McKeon (23:35):
Like they didn’t care about doing the right thing. They just wanted to make money. And so that’s when I realized, like I, there wasn’t a company out there that existed that I, which originally I wanted to just like work for a company and help a company like this. But what I realized was there wasn’t one out there that had integrity. And my goal was yes, to create, you know, healthy food that tasted good, you know, put it in a place where you could make a bad choice and also to do it with integrity, like make it, make that be more important than the profits of the company. And that’s a rare thing to find. And I feel like that’s what we’ve been really successful at doing. And it’s crazy that company’s not even around today. Um, we’ve weathered some really gnarly storms in this industry, but I believe we’ve been able to do that because of the integrity, because we live and die by that integrity. That’s always been a true North for me and helped to lead me in the right direction. And I funny story on that, I’ll be, I’ll be quick, but that company, they grew to be pretty big. And they actually approached me two years ago and said, we want to, we want to buy your company. They have locations up in Santa Monica locations up in Brentwood locations,
Nastasha McKeon (24:48):
Um, and so they, you know, they’ve opened up all over. And at this point when they approached me, they had, I mean, they were in the middle of merging with a much larger company that had a huge presence up in like San Francisco. So we’re talking like, you know, just so many locations and such a huge platform. And my life word is impact. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. And I believe that I’m, I get to do that through food, right. Nutrition. So I was, you know, they really sold me on this idea that you’re going to have a much larger audience, a much larger platform and you’ll then make such a bigger impact. And I was like, wow, you know, this is, this is this company that like, you know, they, they came to me cause they said they lost the soul of their company and they really wanted me to be the face of the brand and what have you.
Nastasha McKeon (25:29):
And, um, and so I, I really considered it. It was a really provocative offer, but at the end of the day, I asked them, you know, are you willing to, you know, stop using plastic bottles and go glass? Are you willing to start using like compostable packaging and recycled paper for your menus? Like, are you willing to like, do the hard work to actually like be sustainable? Um, you know, in all the ways that are important to me, are you willing to stop pasteurizing your juice and go raw? And that’s better for the customers. You’re certainly charging enough for it. And, um, and at the end of the day they said, no. And so as hard as it was to say no to that, like it didn’t align with my integrity. And so I said, no. And then ironically, a couple of years later, they ended up, you know, they’re not even an exist.
Nastasha McKeon (26:11):
Well, they were bought out by a bigger company and it’s like, it’s such a, I would have been completely, you know, kicked out. And so ended up being like a, such a, such a good decision on my part. But the integrity is what helped me to make that decision. And I feel like that’s just one small example of the many times that, you know, I’ve been thrown all these, like, you know, flashy offers, but I stay true to the integrity. And that’s led us to where we are today, where we’re running a successful company, we’ve got six locations and we’re in the talks of opening our seventh spot here in San Diego, you know, just published a book and we’re, you know, lots of opportunities opening up for us. So I don’t see us slowing down anytime soon,
Sebastian Naum (26:50):
Guys, I just want to remind you that you could get more content like email@example.com. That’s a bastion N a U m.com. And you can also get a ton of other marketing resources from myself and my agencies ranging from SEO to social media, influencer, marketing, branding, animation, web development, and more, again, that’s a bastion nom.com. Thank you. And enjoy the rest of the show. I love that. Well, we’ll get we’ll, we’ll get into that. Uh, but first, yeah, I gotta say, I recently had, uh, another, uh, great guy on the pod and he was talking about turning when he decided to start marketing for purpose driven companies, he got like just fed the juiciest offer ever. It was a seven figure contract and he goes on to talk about rejecting a seven figure contract. And it’s like a very similar situation if you’re just telling it’s like, right. You know, when you’re, you’re, you’re, the universe is testing your integrity.
Nastasha McKeon (27:41):
Sebastian Naum (27:43):
As soon as you’re able to pass that test, you like you elevate. And then you’re able to, you know, go to the next step and have success in what you’re really meant to do. So I love that story also it’s mind blowing and it pains me what you’re telling me about them really using so much of it from a branding and marketing perspective, because, you know, being, you know, being, having been in digital marketing for a long time, I’m preaching to companies about the importance of having purpose really in the DNA of the brand and doing it, you know, from a very, um, just true and real manner. And then using that purpose and that act to then market, because it also helps sell more and it helps them scale more. And the more you can scale, the more good you can do. So I use that in the marketing standpoint, but to do that in an authentic way,
Nastasha McKeon (28:34):
I know, I know. And it’s, and it’s, and it’s everywhere. I mean, one of the biggest like juice companies out there, that’s like at every grocery store and with juice at the grocery store, you have to be pasteurized. It’s the only way to get your product. The, the, you know, um, FDA requires like a Hasset plan, which means you have to have a pasteurization process in order to put your juice in a grocery store. So like choice will never be at the grocery store cause I’ll never pasteurize my juice. Uh, and so could it be like a local grocery stores though? No, even local, even local grocery stores, you can not sell, if you, if you have raw juice, the FDA does not allow you to sell that juice outside of your own locations. And so you literally, you can only get raw juice from the maker itself.
Nastasha McKeon (29:18):
And so, so this company that got really smart with the marketing, they, and they’re all over, you know, and they’re in glass bottles and they look real, they look the part and everyone’s so excited about them like, Oh, Raji is at the grocery store. And so I started looking at them like, how are they doing this? Cause like, I’m, I’m licensed by the FDA and I can’t do that. So how are they doing it? And they were saying they had the special technology, light filter technology. And I was like, what is this? So I went, my cousin, who’s like a chemical engineer. And I’m like, help me understand this light filter process. Like, Oh, see that symbol right there. That’s gamma radiated. And like, wait, there are gamma radiating there and they’re calling it right. And light belts like, Oh, it just, it just breaks me that people are willing to do that.
Nastasha McKeon (29:57):
I’m like, I don’t know how you sleep at night. I was just born with like this integrity thing that like, doesn’t allow me to like, you know, profit off of like other people’s, um, lack of like knowledge in the air. And so a big part of what we do is like trying to constantly educate people because when people compare us to another company, for example, there’s a big one, you know, the grocery stores, there’s tons of, um, um, big brands that are out there and I’m like, Oh, well, I can get a Soulja for like five bucks, for example, and not to knock Sujay I’m like, if that’s all you have access to great, but you know, you can’t compare a Sujet to like a cold press, raw juice, you know, that’s certainly a glass bottle without any plastic leaching. That’s not been on the shelf for 45 days. It’s been on the shelf for two days or one day, you know, it’s a totally different animals. So you can, yeah, that might cost $10 that the value of that $10 is so much greater than what you’re getting for $6, something that’s devoid of most of the nutrition that was there when it was initially juice. So I just, there’s a huge lack of awareness in that arena, but people really take advantage of that. And with the marketing stuff, you know?
Sebastian Naum (31:07):
Yeah. It’s a bummer. Yeah. And the truth is all those extra dollars spent on the real stuff on the good stuff are dollars that you’re saving in the end when people are spending on their health later on in their lives. Anyway.
Nastasha McKeon (31:18):
So it blows my mind instead
Sebastian Naum (31:21):
Of to, to eat. Right. And, and, you know, it’s like, well, what about health care? You know?
Nastasha McKeon (31:26):
Yeah, absolutely. And also last time I checked nobody bops about spending like 13 bucks on a cocktail and I’m like, wait a minute, you guys spend $13 on a cocktail. That’s like, you know, likely filled with a lot of sugar and alcohol, which, you know, like not the healthiest thing, but like, you’re going to complain about $10 on six pounds of organic produce. Like what is wrong with the world? Like,
Sebastian Naum (31:48):
To be honest, in my, in my twenties, you know, a while back I was, I remember actually having the judgment on my mom this one time she bought this really expensive juice and I was like, what the F are you doing? And she’s like, you probably just spent like $16 at some drink at the bungalow or something. Yeah,
Nastasha McKeon (32:09):
Exactly. Yes. I was like, Oh my God, you’re so right.
Sebastian Naum (32:15):
What I was consuming at the time, but I was a little rough at the time. But, uh, but yeah, it’s just so interesting. It’s so true. So, um, Natasha, you opened your first location in 2014 and now you have six brick and mortar locations. Most people I have that I interview on the pod. A lot of them, a lot of them are online or they’re distributing or they have services or whatever it is. And, but to have success today in brick and mortar is really amazing. And, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s really awesome because especially during, you know, pandemic years and all that, so it’s growing is so cool. And I know that, I mean, just by being an owner and founder, I’m sure you born every hat, um, in, in the, just in the bit, right. I mean, like whether it is doing the financing, the marketing, cleaning a bathroom, whatever it may be, I’m sure you’ve worn every hat. Right. So how do you find it to wear every hat in the beginning, at least of the process in terms of longterm success?
Nastasha McKeon (33:15):
I think it’s honestly the only way that you can be successful as a leader of a company is to fully understand the ins and outs of every aspect of your business. So I think it’s vital that you wear every hat and you know how to do every job so you can speak to it. And also to be willing to do every job. I mean, to this day, I went into my shop. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to work behind the counter, for example, cause somehow I created an office job for myself. Um, but you know, like I go in on a, on a Saturday morning, I’m out for a run on the beach and I, I pop in the store and they’re like, just back line out the door. There’s only two girls on like, they didn’t expect it to be that busy.
Nastasha McKeon (33:53):
And so of course that, like the first thing I do is I jump on and I do dishes and they’re always like, don’t get in a stash off of the dishes. I’m like, no, like I’m not going to ever ask you to do something I’m not willing to do. You know? So being, being willing to do absolutely anything, that’s, you know, we have this ethos at our company, this choose happiness. It’s like stamped on the back of our shirts on the walls. It’s like all over for example. And that’s another example of something that like, we always say, we have what we call the emotional moat around all of our locations. I’m a big believer that energy is infectious, good energy, bad energy. I think we can all agree with that and might be having a wonderful day. And somebody comes in or the really negative energy that can impact us really quickly.
Nastasha McKeon (34:31):
And so we have this, um, you know, this it’s a company policy like that, you know, there’s this emotional moat around every location. When you walk in the door, you drop your stuff off on the outside and you step into the choice bubble where we practice being the present moment. And we practice choosing happiness. And we all know like I’m a single mom, like running this thing, you know, on my own, it’s a lot of work. So I’m not out here to say that I’m perfect or that I don’t have bad days. I absolutely do. The difference is I would never unload my bad day on anybody else. Like I have tools to handle those things, but my number is on, I think we have 65 employees, my numbers on every one of their phones. I always tell them if you’re having a bad day and you need someone to talk to you, call me, let’s go grab coffee, talk about it.
Nastasha McKeon (35:14):
Um, and like, we need to cover your shift or if we need to like move you off the schedule, we treat it just like the flu. It’s like, if you’re having a really bad day and you can’t bring it, then, then you can’t check your stuff at the door. Then you know, let’s not, let’s not work this shift. And honestly, most of the time I get in response to that, I get people that say, no, no, no, I, I have to come to work today. This is where I get happy. You know, in this environment of people who enjoy their job, love what they’re doing. But to that, what started me on that tangent was like, I don’t ever ask them if something I’m not willing to do with myself. So I do the same thing. Every time I walked through the door, no matter how rough of a Dan having or, you know, what, you know, chaos is going on in my personal life, I dropped that stuff off at the moat and I walk inside and I inject the store with positivity. And that is infectious to the, to the team members. It’s infectious to the customers. It’s infectious to the food, which is mostly made up of water. And if he’s watching anything from Dr. Modo with like the study of water, it’s like, it’s incredibly impactful what we say and what we do. And so we, we really, you know, we really do go the distance with that kind of stuff again, tangent, but
Sebastian Naum (36:17):
You have an infectious smile. I don’t think I’ve seen you not smiling. I’m sure at some point in your life, um, is that, how do you do it? Why do you do, is that, why is this all tied together? Is that how you’re able to bring this smile? And because you know, it’s infecting everyone else and then turn is just kind of naturally doing it to yourself. Huh?
Nastasha McKeon (36:37):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, you know, sometimes I wonder if, you know, did I come in wired a certain way? I don’t know. Cause I definitely had, I haven’t been given anything but an easy life, you know, I’ve definitely had a lot of challenges that I’ve, that I’ve lived through lots of like crazy stuff that I’ve gone through. And I think I’ve always just kinda been like a half glass school kind of person, um, in general. So maybe to some degree, it’s like my, my, you know, chemical makeup, my DNA, whatever it’s like, thanks mom and dad. Um, but also a lot of it is a choice. You know, I have these moments where yeah, things are really tough, but I, I choose, I consciously choose to not dwell on my problem, but focus on the solution. And that’s something we teach as a company with every person that comes to work with us.
Nastasha McKeon (37:23):
Um, I’ve read a lot of things. I’ve taken a lot of classes in courses that it kind of helps me to develop my, you know, my mindset and my philosophy on life. And we share that I host a company book club and we get free books and we invite everybody in and we teach all this stuff because we really do want to make an impact on the people that come into our doors and people do I’m. I can honestly sit here and say, people come in here and they leave better than they got here. You know, because they’re exposed to these ideas and these, these things, and back to that emotional mode, it’s like, I think it was Albert Einstein who said you can’t solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it. And it’s so true. It’s like when we can, you know, leave our problems at the door and step into this positive environment and all of a sudden we’re like, you know, we’re feeling different.
Nastasha McKeon (38:03):
We’re thinking differently. We stepped back outside. It’s like a problems are there. So when we walked back at the door, but now we’re tackling them from a different frame of mind. So I don’t know. I think it’s, it’s a culmination of a lot of different things that helped me to have that mindset. And it is when you, when I am willing to like give positive energy to you, for example, in turn like that feeds me back, you know, it’s like this, this, uh, symbiotic relationship, if you will, you know, so when you’re willing to smile at people and be positive and happy, it’s like you do get fed back the same thing. And I always teach the girls it’s thing to like, it’s really easy to be loving and kind to people who are loving and kind back obviously once in a while. And it’s rare at choice because I find that healthy people are happier people.
Nastasha McKeon (38:43):
So we do deal with a lot of healthy, happy people, which is great. But once in a while, you know, you get somebody who’s having a really bad day and they come in and they’re just like not happy and they’re not nice. And that’s where the real work comes in. And that’s what we teach at choice. It’s like, can you stay in your vibration in the presence of somebody who’s, who’s like that? You know? And that can be tricky for a lot of people. A lot of people it’s like, Oh, if you’re gonna be nice to me, I’ll be nice to you, you know? Um, but it’s bigger than that. It’s like, can you be nice? And can you bring people up to your level instead of stepping down to their level, you know, and you feel better afterwards. Like, you know, if somebody comes in and they’re being rude or a stinker, and I meet them at their level after they leave, I feel worse.
Nastasha McKeon (39:22):
Whereas if I stay at my level and I’m still treating them with love and kindness, it doesn’t mean I, I don’t have boundaries or, you know, of course I have lots of boundaries. We divorced a lot of customers because we have the same expectation on our customers. We have out of our team members, you don’t get to come in and treat our people badly. And then us expect our people to treat, you know, right. So we’ve divorced them in a loving and kind way. But you know, to me, it’s like, it’s, it’s not worth the money to have people like that coming in and treating our people poorly. So you get one chance and, you know, if you continue to come in and, and, and bash our people or treat them badly, like, then we don’t want your business. You know, there’s another juice place for you somewhere else that at Joyce, we have high expectations of everybody.
Sebastian Naum (40:02):
I dig it. I love that. And it’s great that you were able to become that way due to your, you know, things that you did to, to learn and, you know, the mindset that you were able to adopt from a lot of, like you said, like whether it was taking courses that are listening to the right mentors or things like that, because it’s hard when it’s not taught to us. I got really lucky. Like I had a mom who was, you know, from a young age telling me, you know, smile, even when there’s no reason to smile, because even that smile will then trigger. It triggers the emotions. Like it tricks your brain into being happy. And then all of a sudden you forgot that, you know, that you’re unhappy. So that
Nastasha McKeon (40:40):
That’s an amazing name. Your mom’s an amazing woman. That’s incredible. Yeah, you did.
Sebastian Naum (40:47):
Yeah. So you told me something that resonated. I, when we last talked, you said, even though my business is not a nonprofit, I feel like a nonprofit talk about that.
Nastasha McKeon (40:58):
Okay. Well, um, I spoke on it a little bit earlier in that, you know, the integrity piece, right? Um, it’s, it’s really tough. I’m going to give you a small example again, um, early in business, the first, maybe six months of business, um, you know, a, the restaurant industry is really hard and, um, I think one and two fail in the first year, and this is like the end of 2014. I just opened up in the summer of 2014. I hit my first rainy season. Um, I split up with my business partner. I was bleeding cash in the beginning. I didn’t know anything about business at time. He was kind of like the business and I was like the creative, the ideas and inspiration and all that stuff. So when we split, you know, split up and he left the business, um, man, it was a really scary time for me.
Nastasha McKeon (41:44):
It’s really hard time. And, um, I was approached by somebody who is, you know, one of the original people in a huge clothing brand. And he came into the shop and he shook my hand and he’s like, I want to help you open 20 of these. He’s like, I’m gonna invest in this. I’m gonna help you up in 20 of these. And I was like, Oh my gosh, thank God. Someone’s here to save me. You know? And I went up to his fancy office in orange County and sat down at this huge table. It’s like me on one end and like five guys on the other end. And they start like, you know, picking apart my product. They’re like, you know, we’re going to have to pasteurize this, you know, because they’re, you know, we gotta, we gotta stretch those margins. We gotta do it with a cycle paper nonsense.
Nastasha McKeon (42:21):
Nobody cares about that. You know, we had a switch over to plastic bottles because it’s cheaper and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s like here, I was thinking like, this is going to be my savior. And that day I had to make a really hard decision. You know, it’s like, what’s more important to me, you know? And at the end of the day I left there and I mean, there was a night I literally right around this time that I cried myself to sleep. I mean, hysterically cried myself to sleep because it was like, I didn’t know how I was going to make my next payroll. And, uh, it was really scary time for me, you know, there was no end to the rain. The forecast was like rating for the unforeseeable future. And rain is not good in my business. And, um, it was our first year.
Nastasha McKeon (43:03):
So we didn’t have a strong database of customers of like that repeat daily user. And so again, I can’t stress enough what a scary time it was. And I was like I said, bleeding cash didn’t know what I was going to do. And here I am offered this like, you know, 20 store deal. You just have to compromise on your integrity. And I stood up, I think the guy for his time. And I just said, you know, if I can’t grow with integrity, I don’t want to grow at all. And I accepted that like, okay, if, you know, even if I only make it to this next payroll, you know, at least I can say that I did it. And I believed in what I did and I didn’t sacrifice, you know, my, my values to make a buck, you know, and not a lot of people can say that.
Nastasha McKeon (43:42):
And so I decided that day, I was like, I am, if I cannot do this with integrity, I’m not going to do it at all. You know? And so I have, you know, lived by that for since 2014. And sometimes that can feel like you’re a nonprofit in a lot of ways, because there are times when we’re not profitable. You know? Um, there are times when we do really well in our times that we don’t and when we’re not profitable, for example, in California, it’s really tough because minimum wage keeps going up. And a lot of people to counteract that they just raised their prices. But for us, like we’re a premium product. We already have a really expensive product. So if I keep raising my prices, I price myself out of the market. So it’s forced me to have to get really creative. It’s also, you know, brought people into having integrity has brought people into my circle that want to make sure that we succeed.
Nastasha McKeon (44:34):
So we have some of the most incredible choice would not be what it is without the people that are behind it. Like my team, I wouldn’t be here today without them. Like, they are truly like what makes this thing work? And they make sacrifices to be able to work at choice to make sure that, you know, we can stay in business because they believe so much in what we do. So having integrity has saved us in a lot of ways from, you know, from an employee standpoint also, um, as I said earlier, it’s been kind of a true North for me. And, um, yeah, there, we don’t design our products to say, how much can I make on this juice? You know, we design our products to, how can we make this, the healthiest juice out there? How can we make it? Sure. It has the most integrity.
Nastasha McKeon (45:13):
The guest is getting the absolute best. And then how can we make enough money to keep the doors open doing that? You know, cause really, if we were going to actually make money, like most juice businesses make money, they, you know, I’d have to charge $20 for this juice, you know, to make the margins that they’re making on this, this past drinks product. And that’s just not an option for me. So there are times, for example, like I just had to pull one of our top selling items to the menu because right now there’s a shortage in coconuts, organic coconuts. And um, that’s really driven the price app. So a price per case has gone up significantly. So for me to keep that on the menu, I would have to, and the reason why it’s one of our best sellers is because we actually like hack open a whole coconut.
Nastasha McKeon (45:53):
You don’t get raw coconut water anywhere unless you’re actually getting a whole coconut anywhere else. You’re buying coconut water, it’s pasteurized. Uh, and it doesn’t taste the same. So we have open raw coconuts. We take all of the water, all of the meat, we blend it together with a coconut butter. And then we add blue magic, which is basically like the most nutrient dense food that the earth planet earth has ever created. Lens. It’s a, micro-algae, it’s basically like a super blue Spiralina, that’s really high in protein, B vitamins. It’s got Omega’s, it’s literally the most nutrient dense food out there. It’s incredible. And it has this beautiful natural blue hue. So I’m sure you’ve seen on the grand, like, you know, all the blue drinks and blue smoothies and blue bowls. And anyways, so this stuff is pretty rad and it, and this is one of our best selling products, but because of the price of coconuts, I would have to, in order to just not lose money, I would have to sell that product now, um, for $17 a bottle.
Nastasha McKeon (46:55):
That price has everybody out of them. I mean, who’s going to spend $17, right?
Nastasha McKeon (47:07):
And so, you know, that’s one of the things like we have to pull one of our best selling products off the market because I’m not willing to gouge my customer. I’m not willing to charge them $10 for that product, pull it off, off the shelf. Um, in order to, you know, you know, to bring it back, I’m gonna have to wait till coconuts normalize and the price of coconuts, you know, return. And I can make, you know, make that product at a amount so that I can charge a reasonable amount for it. And so just rising costs of business have made it so challenging to, to stay in this business. I could have folded a hundred times before for so many different reasons, but, uh, you know, we continue to have to just get really creative and it actually gets me excited now. Like I don’t look at these challenges as like, Oh man, minimum, minimum wage is glamping and what are we going to do for us?
Nastasha McKeon (47:51):
That’s like a, you know, $50,000 hit a year, for example, when it goes up and it’s like, well, how are we going to stomach that, like, we don’t have an extra $50,000, what are we going to do? So it forces us to get creative. You know, like we, a couple of years ago came out with a line of like ready to drink elixirs. And that’s how we offsets, like, okay, if we sell this many elixirs that can offset the, you know, the rise and on wage. So it just has forced us to get creative and, and to look at things from a different way. Whereas most companies just like up their prices. And of course, you know, from time to time, that’s gonna be a reality. Um, I think it is for everybody over the years that for us we’ve, I think we only had one price increase since we started back in 2014, which is pretty incredible, uh, with all of the challenges and rising costs that we’ve had to face. So we’ve just gotten more and more creative and the more we’ve done that it’s, you know, again, we’re not like a really highly profitable business, but we’re, we are a business and we have incredible team members that support what we do because of that integrity piece. I think that’s what keeps us going.
Sebastian Naum (48:50):
Yeah. Yeah. That’s huge. And typically when I’m speaking to different business owners about something that makes her, you know, brand conscious brand or conscious business, typically there’s, there’s maybe a lot of the times there’s something specific that they’re doing. Maybe there’s one thing or a couple of things clearly for you. It’s not one thing it’s, it’s the whole business, it’s the integrity of the products of the sourcing of the products to the, that, uh, mindset of the employees, you know, being able to like not coming to work, if you’re not, you know, going to be good vibes and good spirits, and that’s going to, and in fact, the people that come into the store to rejecting clients or customers that are not in that vibration either, there’s just so much involved that is just such a full circle from a conscious business standpoint that really helps everything, the environment, the people involved, right. Your own body. So, yeah, I mean, I love that. What a, what a, what an awesome example of a holistic conscious business that you’re running Natasha. Uh, yeah, I love it. What, uh, so you recently published a book,
Nastasha McKeon (49:57):
Well, plant food is medicine naturally as the title. Um, and it’s, it’s, I’m really proud of it. It was, uh, a long time coming and way more work than opening up a store. I learned. Um, so it took a long time, but I am, I’m so excited about it. It’s a lot of it is like my it’s a, it’s a story. It’s not just a cookbook, but it is a book. It has a lot of our best-selling items at choice. It has the recipe in the book. So I want to, I want to empower people to able to do more of this on their own. I realize not everybody can shop at choice every day. And so we want people to, you know, have access to this food. And so a lot of our best-selling items are actually like the recipes are in the book, which is really cool.
Nastasha McKeon (50:39):
And then some of my personal favorites that aren’t on the menu are also in the book and also my personal journey. You know, some of what I shared with you, um, goes into a little bit more detail. It is a 200 and something page book. So a little bit more detailed than what I shared with you, but my personal journey of like, you know, uh, you know, the struggles of my childhood and, and coming out of that and making something positive and beautiful out of my life, you know, from the tragedy really unfortunate childhood. And there’s a lot of that, a big part of that is just really wanting to introduce my story and the why behind choice to my own customers. Because a lot of people that shop at choice have no idea, you know, even who I am or what the story behind choices.
Nastasha McKeon (51:18):
And I, I feel like that’s such an important piece for people to know, um, and, and understand. And, and also for me, I, I’m a big part of my life is wanting to inspire people. I always say, you know, your past does not define your future. And a lot of us have had a lot of, you know, struggle in our past. And it’s easy to believe that like, where we came from is all we’re capable of becoming and a big part of like, what I’m passionate about is showing people that you can do anything with your life, no matter who you are, no matter where you came from, you know, it’s one choice at a time, you can absolutely change your circumstances. And I feel like I’m a living example of that. So a big part of like writing that book is sharing that with people, hope, hoping, you know, to inspire people, to make healthier choices, but also, you know, in our personal lives and our journeys that, you know, you can, you can find a deeper meaning and, and move forward from some pretty bad situations. So,
Sebastian Naum (52:09):
Absolutely, absolutely. Well, congratulations on that. I’ll definitely be getting myself a coffee. You’re clearly an example of a conscious leader. What do you think are the two traits that a conscious leader must embody today?
Nastasha McKeon (52:24):
Two traits? Well, I think, um, living by example, I think is probably one of the biggest ones, you know, um, you know, and also like earning the right to lead. That’s something I kind of had to learn early on in business. It’s like, okay, I’m the boss. So you should listen to me. You should do what I say. Cause I’m the boss. And I learned really on that, that leadership style doesn’t really work in today’s environment anymore. It’s like, just because somebody is in a position where they’re supposed to listen to me, doesn’t necessarily mean I have the right to lead them. It’s like, you have to earn the right to lead people. A big part of doing that is leading by example, you know, doing what you’re expecting of others. Like, you know, also being willing to do that yourself, um, getting to know people and not just like, you know, here, this is a job, do the job, but actually investing your time, your energy and your love and the people that you’re, you know, to me, it’s a gift to be able to lead people.
Nastasha McKeon (53:15):
And so like recognizing that it is a gift and treating it as such, um, I think that’s really important for leaders today, then body, because it’s a different world we’re living in today. And I think people are more conscious today than I think we’ve ever been before, especially in a business setting and more and more, this makes me so happy to see people aren’t willing to sacrifice like their time, just for a paycheck. It’s like people, I get people everyday that like left a job because of just so unhappy with their work environment. And they just want to come somewhere where they can feel good being. And, and so people are like not willing to just like sacrifice, you know, as, as we were in the pastor, as we were raised to believe we had to. And so I think that requires a different kind of leadership. I think it requires really embodying that in yourself and, uh, and, and being a good example of being positive, having a good mindset and, and, you know, being the change you wish to see in the world yourself and not just expecting that of others.
Sebastian Naum (54:10):
I love that. That’s beautiful. And, um, so let’s Tasha, how can people get a hold of you or, or, I mean, you know, buy your book and find your location in six locations what’s what’s website.
Nastasha McKeon (54:24):
Okay. So my website is choice. Like you have a choice and a choice juicery.com, and you can find all of our locations on that website. Also, our Instagram handle is choice juice racing, find us there as well. Uh, and my personal feed is Natasha McKeon. And, uh, the book you can pre-order right now on our website and it should be available to start shipping in the next two weeks, which is really exciting.
Sebastian Naum (54:49):
I love that. I love that. Well, congrats on that again. And, uh, I wish you nothing, but the best you’re doing amazing things. So definitely keep doing you Natasha and thanks.
Nastasha McKeon (54:58):
Absolutely. Thanks for having me.