Before JOE & THE JUICE existed, Kaspar Basse worked in an advertising agency. Inspired by food & beverage concepts like Starbucks and cafés in clothing stores, he asked his two good friends about opening a café & juice bar in their clothing store Rue Verté on Ny Østergade in central Copenhagen. Basse and his cousin Morten “Morty” Basse made a presentation for their parents. Morty’s parents thought it was a bad idea and pointed out that he needed to finish his education but Basse was very determined to open with or without Morty.
Eventually, Morty travelled to Nice to work as a chef while Basse opened the first JOE & THE JUICE store in Rue Verté alone. Morty returned to Denmark after 3 months and started immediately working as the second employee in the store.
From his own recollection, Basse did not really know how to run the newly opened store. It was a whole new experience for him. The store did not look anything like it does today. There was no preparation or fruit display of any sort. A Coca Cola fridge with sodas, beers and fruit was standing in the corner of the bar. There was liquor on the shelves for special guests and an ashtray for the guests who sat smoking at the bar. Let’s just say it was very different from how it is today.
In the start, Basse was the only one working in the bar. It was not busy at all. When there was nothing to do he would practice a Karaté-split. Finally, when guests entered the store they would find Basse on the floor of the bar practising his splits.
To emphasise the feeling of comradeship between the people behind the bar, a handshake-ritual was invented. The rule was that you had to perform the handshake ritual to everyone upon entering the bar. It gave a sense of belonging to JOE & THE JUICE and a secret routine that proved that you were a part of something unique. This handshake carried on for some years but was forgotten about with time. If you are lucky you might get to see it one day. Ask some of the old guys of JOE if they remember how to perform the JOE handshake.
One day Philip “Pippo” Finsteen entered the store in Rue Verté. He was looking for a job after his time in Milano and became attracted to the interior design of the store as well as the healthy concept. Pippo soon proved to be a remarkable person with his positive attitude, infinite energy and sense of care for both the store and guests. He changed Basse’s view from focusing on products to a focus on the people instead. It was quite different from what other concepts did but the results are around us in every store to this day.
Pippo became the definition of the ‘Juicer ideal’ we know of today and we continuously strive to inspire Juicers to follow his legacy.
Music has always been a key component of any JOE & THE JUICE store. The music covered the noise from the blenders and centrifuge so the guests could become pleasantly entertained by the music instead. It also made the Juicers behind the bar more energetic and work with a faster tempo which was needed to suit the traffic of guests.
Sebastian Vestergaard was hired in 2005. Legend has it that Basse went to a grocery store and at the register sat a young man with a different attitude which appealed to Basse. That young guy was Sebastian. Basse paid for his groceries and said; “Hey, do you want a job in Denmark’s coolest juice shop”? Seb looked up and replied instantly: “I have a job! – I like it here.” Basse handed him a piece of paper with an email address on and said, “Write down why you like your job and send it to this email address.” Seb did this and was asked to show up at Rue Verté where he was offered a job.
Upon visiting JOE, Seb realised that his job at the grocery store was boring in comparison. He worked as a Juicer until he became the C.F.O. (Chief Financial Officer) of JOE & THE JUICE at the age of 23 years old, while also educating himself at the same time. Sebastian Vestergaard is Joe & the Juice CEO now.
JOE & THE JUICE opened three more stores (Bremerholm, Aarhus & Lyngby) in different Magasin department stores. With the new stores, the management also increased and with it the need of an office space. Basse used his own apartment as ‘the office’ to start off with and many of the meetings were held on the floor. Here the management discussed operational focus areas, expansion plans, planned budgets and made shiftplans together. This was the first indication of the company is going to grow in the fast pace in the years to come.
We started to differentiate between good and bad performing stores with more focus upon the ‘Ambience’ that existed in each store. This mysterious term that captured the feeling of how it was to visit a store was a major focus for Basse to operationalise. It was difficult to say, back then, exactly what ambience was but it was quite clear that it was the X-factor that made us stand out in comparison to our competitors. Pippo, who was more in charge of the operation now, hired people based on their personality traits. His interviews consisted of more discussion towards the person’s family relations and values than typical interview questions. Pippo also spent a lot of time visiting all the bars regularly to spread the love by working hard and leading by example to inspire everyone to work with the same positive energy and approach.
Finally, the juice and coffee cups were conceptualised with logo and colours. This was another step towards creating the coffee universe we know of today. The colours of grey, purple, yellow and pink were introduced to signify the size of the coffee. Basse’s ambition behind this move was to eventually create such a strong coffee universe in JOE. Before this change, the coffee cups were just plain brown/grey and we had to put stickers on each one.
This was the first real office for JOE & THE JUICE. Located right in the exclusive end of Copenhagen, it was a beautiful and spacious office which would serve us well for many years during a significant expansion period for the company. It became the HQ where Basse could showcase to everyone that we are a serious company.
After the new strategy was set, the need for Juicers to support the expansion increased significantly. The number of Juicers needed was out of proportion compared to the number of stores we had to train the new recruits in. So, Pippo was assigned to create a platform to facilitate the high demand of Juicers. He used the basement of the store Østerbrogade before it was opened, set-up 2 bars and the rest of the equipment to form the ‘Academy’. Here he trained 3 teams a day with 8 Juicers on each team from 06.00 in the morning to 23.00 at night. The positive energy from Pippo rubbed off and inspired many of the Juicers to become very ambitious. Many of who have gone on to have successful careers in JOE and even sit at top management today.
Pippo trained Juicers for 8 months straight and came up with these legendary sayings that we still use to this day such as; “IMS – Ingredients, Measure, Sequence”, “Crispy and thin is the way to begin”, “One apple more, one less store” & “Choose your attitude, don’t be rude”. Another aspect of this was the huge cultural impact that the Academy made for JOE & THE JUICE.
TEXTA Juicer trained from Pippo’s Academy in 2010 became the Country Manager of Norway and opened the first store in Oslo. This proved that it was very possible for any person to work hard for JOE & THE JUICE to eventually become partner and a Country Manager. It also shows the faith that JOE & THE JUICE gives to young people. To give a person the highest position and responsibility after just 2 years is unique.TEXT
A Juicer trained from Pippo’s Academy in 2010 became the Country Manager of Norway and opened the first store in Oslo. This proved that it was very possible for any person to work hard for JOE & THE JUICE to eventually become partner and a Country Manager. It also shows the faith that JOE & THE JUICE gives to young people. To give a person the highest position and responsibility after just 2 years is unique.
This is something that repeats itself throughout the JOE History – the constant belief in the youth and in personal development. We nurture talents from the inside and therefore self-sufficiently build our brand.
To fulfil the ever-growing ambitions of JOE & THE JUICE, we teamed up with a private equity fund - Valedo. Valedo is a Swedish capital fund who specialise in medium-sized companies and helps them reach their goals. Due to the new partnership with Valedo, a new and even more ambitious expansion plan was set, with 250 stores by the end of 2017.
2015 was one of the busiest years in the expansion. 5 new markets were opened. Although 4 of them were franchise, it was a great strain on the entire company because the best Juicers and SWATs were required to help start up each market.
Each person who was sent out to help support this aggressive expansion developed tremendously during this time. So, even though it was a tough period for the other markets, through this experience, we nurtured a lot of Juicers who were ready to take their next step in the company. Most of them are in leading positions today.
The opening of Spring St would determine whether or not we as a brand could seriously compete internationally and essentially become the brand that Kaspar Basse had always dreamed of.As we know the Spring St opening was a huge success that really relieved the entire organisation from the anxiety of hitting the wall. This made us even more focused on becoming a huge success in the US and gave us further momentum as we prepared for the most aggressive expansion ever in 2017.
A huge party was held to celebrate the opening of 100 stores for JOE & THE JUICE.
After many years of running JOE THE JUICE with different partners, we had gained a lot of success and the organisation had grown to a size that was now more difficult to keep everyone closely connected and aligned. Kaspar Basse wanted to ensure that we as a brand and company did not forget why we do things as we do. He wanted to protect the brand from decisions that would dilute our position and momentum. So, together with the key management, he formulated our brand purpose with dogmas to always remind ourselves of who we are and fundamentally unify us all with a very specific goal; “Be on the cover of Rolling Stones Magazine.”
Brand Behaviour is a person’s natural behaviour towards the other person because they want to be this way. So, Basse, Pippo, Tom & Schyberg came up with the concept of ‘Saturday Night Dinner Host’, which was an ideal that transcends through everything that we do in JOE & THE JUICE and could be operationalised.
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In 2017 we were throwing the first and biggest event in the history of JOE - the Global ShowOff! Each market have had a local ShowOff and the winner of each of these competitions was flown to Denmark to compete for the title of ShowOff KING or QUEEN.
2017 was a big year for the US expansion. 4 new states (markets) were opened. This roll outlays the foundation for the 2020 Expansion Plan.
2018 was a year largely defined by our continued expansion in the US. We opened our first store in San Diego as well as 8 new stores in both San Francisco and New York – firmly manifesting our legacy in the US market.
In Summer 2018 we celebrated our first opening in the Netherlands and going into 2019 our European expansion counted 6 new stores in the Netherlands.
We’ve built our own Food Waste App in-house which means we can track all our waste and stay best in class. We’ve got our waste game down! Only 2% of our waste goes in the bin. This is due to us making everything to order. Fresh is best.
2019 started out with a milestone announcement as Kaspar Basse officially stepped down as CEO and instead continues his legacy as Chairman of the Board. The CEO position was officially entrusted to Sebastian Vestergaard, who since the very beginning of JOE & THE JUICE has represented of our powerful internal potential.
The JOE & THE JUICE APP is a convenient way to pay in-store or pre-order ahead for pickup. Start collecting points with every purchase and receive built-in rewards such as free juice, coffee and much more.