The founders of Jusu believe you have to take your health into your own hands. Brandon Mullen and his father, Bruce Mullen, started the business just two years ago after experiencing a cancer-related tragedy. The family moved to Victoria from Calgary in 2009, looking to start a new life.
But soon after, Bruce’s wife Charlene was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away a short 10 months later. Then Bruce was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While Charlene’s diagnosis had prompted the family to start eating an organic diet, avoid processed foods and chemicals, and try juicing, Bruce’s time recovering in California introduced him to the juice-bar culture.
“We’re here to make people healthy and to give people products and a brand that they can trust, so they hopefully don’t have to go through what our family went through,” says Brandon.
Jusu started with three retail stores in Cadboro Bay, Oak Bay and Chinatown. The company then took its product wholesale, and its juices can also be found in grocery stores such as Thrifty Foods and Whole Foods. And the Mullens don’t want Jusu to just be a cold-pressed juice company. The company has developed a line of hot drinks, as well as Jusu Fuel, their food products, much of which is made from the leftover pulp from their juices.
This November, the company expanded its operations into California in a joint venture with a U.S. partner to form Jusu USA, and into Alberta, with the acquisition of Cru Juice in Calgary.
“We want this to be a respected brand, like Starbucks,” Brandon says.