Orchard St’s Kirsten Shanks on the Early Days: ‘I Worked Seven Days a Week’

This cold-pressed juice business is booming but it wasn't without some seriously hard work

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A few years ago, an Australian naturopath living on lower Manhattan’s Orchard Street found herself in a cold-pressed juice bar, struck with inspiration.

“It was one of those crystal-clear lightbulb moments when my passion aligned with a purpose,” she says.

And Kirsten Shanks hasn’t questioned her direction since. Named after her former address, Orchard St. cold-pressed juices have found their way into the daily regimens of a healthy hoard of thousands through the brand’s online store and three Sydney-based dispensaries.

Kirsten chose not to push into the wholesale market, preferring to maintain control of her brand by supplying only a handful of wholefood stores – yet demand still grew.

“For the first year Orchard St. funded its own growth from sales, opening our first store in Bronte five months after launching online. At this point we had outgrown our little commercial kitchen but sales and the demand for our product were only increasing… we needed support to reach the next level.”

Selling 48 per cent of the company (which she recently reacquired) to tech entrepreneur Clive Mayhew, she received business guidance in return.

“I was still very much at the helm,” says Kirsten, “but now I was supported and encouraged, and learned valuable lessons. No matter how soulful your business is, there will be stressful times, so being able to ride these out together is essential.”

And although Kirsten counts herself as “a visionary, not a numbers lady!”, she certainly got stuck in wherever she could. In fact, for the first seven months in business, Kirsten worked every single day.

“Orchard St. was my baby and I was prepared to give it my everything… But never switching off isn’t good for you or for your business. There’s only so long you can run on adrenaline – even if you still squeeze in daily meditation, yoga and green juice.”


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