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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Campus

Juice vendor to debut second cart on campus


Due to Radicle’s success last fall, owner Clark Neumann has expanded the buisness. | Jessica Cruz/ The Cougar

After taking root on campus last semester, Radicle Fresh Juice is expanding its reach across the University.

The nascent startup brands itself to students and staff as “a healthy alternative to the myriad of fast-food and processed food on campus,” offering fresh-squeezed juices for $5.50 and $7.50 per bottle.

The successes of its first semester means Radicle will be adding a second tricycle to its operation when it returns to campus next week. Additionally, Radicle’s juices will be available in several on-campus convenience stores.

“I’m really excited to be stocking the convenience stores at the Student Center, Cougar Village and the Cougar Woods Dining Hall,” owner and Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship alumnus Clark Neumann said. “We’re going to try that out and see what quantities move. If that goes well, we can hopefully be in all of the convenience stores by the end of the semester.”

Neumann, colloquially known as “The Juice Man,” said his company has yet to face any challenges.

“Nothing too wild or crazy has happened outside of what you’d expect,” Neumann said. “I’m really happy with how the first semester went, especially because it was our first go around. The biggest hardship was the seasonal calendar on campus with two months off for winter. The downtime makes it a little nerve-racking when you’re not making any sales.”

But Neumann expects Radicle to be as busy as it was last semester. His company will also be unveiling a new flavor, Coog Fuel, as the official juice of the University’s new $1 billion fundraising campaign “Here, We Go: The Campaign for the University of Houston.”

A portion of the sales will go towards the fundraiser.

As Radicle became more successful, Neumann hired more employees: one person who helps make the juices and another three who help sell the juice around campus. Deborah Okoro, a psychology and pre-nursing sophomore, joined Radicle weeks after the business was created.

“I remember walking by and seeing Clark with a ‘Now Hiring’ sign, and I said to myself, ‘This is a really cool startup doing really cool things,’” Okoro said. “It’s a healthy option that caters to students with Cougar Cash, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

Neumann attributes Radicle’s success to the early help he received from Barbara Hines, who connected him to the necessary meetings to start vending on campus. He also attributes it to the students, especially the handful of fervent customers Neumann knows by name.

“I’m so excited for him,” said interpersonal communications senior Natalie Delgadillo, who has been buying juice from Radicle multiple times per week since Neumann began selling from his tricycle. “I remember seeing him in front of the library on his tricycle during the first week of classes last semester and asking him a billion questions.”

Both Neumann and Delgadillo believe the novelty of a healthy option on campus fills the niche that students long for.

“Even one of my friends who doesn’t like healthy stuff tried it and really liked it,” said Delgadillo.

Neumann hopes the momentum will permit him to begin selling juice at a second college this fall.

“The only way this is successful is if people buy the juice and come back as long-term customers.”

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