We don’t have it yet in-stores, but New Yorkers have been ordering online but demanding stores here for a new health beverage that has taken over other parts of the United States called Seoul Juice.
The Korean Pear Juice beverage was created by a former College athlete who through trial and error found that this perfect blend helps replenish electrolytes best. The Levity Ball sat down with founder / CEO Luis Manta to find out more about his beverage, his admiration of Brandon Fay, and why people here in New York and across the country can’t get enough of Seoul Juice!
How and why did you first decide to create Seoul Juice?
The inspiration to create a functional beverage came to me while doing research in one of my college classes. As a result of both of my parents growing up overseas, I was accustomed to eating fruits and vegetables not commonly found in the United States, and I came to realize that many of the fruits I grew up eating had many unique functional qualities. The sports drinks I was consuming as an athlete contained many artificial ingredients, so I made it my mission to create a better-for-you hydration beverage solely from fruit. After a long experimental process of multiple recipes and countless hours in my college apartment, Seoul Juice became a reality.
Why the name Seoul Juice?
Seoul Juice is made from Korean Pears and the capital of South Korea is Seoul. I think the name does a great job in highlighting the capital of the country where the product originated. It’s also easy to pronounce for children who love the beverage, many find it as a great lower sugar replacement for apple juice.
Was it difficult to put on the market a new health beverage?
There are always some struggles when launching a new brand or product, but our customers have been great. Starting a company during the pandemic was never going to be easy, but we have a great community of supporters that have helped spread the word about us. We are also very grateful to the grocery stores that have supported and carried our item. We are currently in all Bristol Farms locations in Southern California.
What makes your drink different from others out there?
A lot of people think that better-for-you products such as coconut water and green juices can’t taste good because they are healthy. Seoul Juice fights that narrative by helping replenish electrolytes and tasting great. Seoul Juice is also a great hangover remedy for those that consume alcohol.
Being a young entrepreneur yourself, what advice would you give others who want to create their own products?
I first had the idea for Seoul Juice in 2015 and have since been learning about the food and beverage industry. Before staring my own business, I spent years launching new brands at national retailers for other companies in order to learn the industry, and that work has been extremely beneficial in helping Seoul Juice grow. I highly suggest that any entrepreneur become an expert in their field, whether that be working in the field before launching your business or finding a mentor in the industry that can help provide guidance.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I’m extremely lucky to have a great support group of family and friends backing Seoul Juice. Starting a company isn’t easy and I have a lot of supporters that provide great advice. One piece that’s always stuck with me is a saying my father passed on to me from his father: “If you’re going to dream, dream big”. I like this quote because it inspires hope. I think hope is one of the most powerful forces on earth, and everyone can benefit from believing in themselves. My father immigrated to America for more opportunities, and that definitely had a big impact on me to chase my dreams both as a soccer player and as an entrepreneur.
Will you be expanding to New York in the future?
I would love to have Seoul Juice on shelves in New York. We ship to NY from our website www.seouljuice.com and we are on Amazon as well.
While you don’t live here, when you do come to town, where are your favorite spots to go?
I love New York City. Being in the food and beverage industry it is always a treat to go to New York and experience the food scene. I love anything that restaurateur Brandon Fay is involved in. I first met him at Trattoria Dell’Arte and highly recommend Pasta by Hudson which he founded. I also have a sweet tooth and have to stop at Levain for a cookie every time I’m in NY.
What do you want your drink to be remembered for years down the line when people look back at how it all started?
A lot of people think eating healthy means sacrificing taste, and I’m glad we were able to provide a product that people enjoy consuming because it benefits them and tastes amazing. Seoul Juice is definitely a product that helps people get more out of life, whether that’s through working out or through recovery and our main goal is to provide that feeling of support to our customers. I also hope that other entrepreneurs can find hope and motivation in my story. Trying to start a company can be difficult and I am always trying to learn from those that came before me. I’ve also had a lot of great mentors and enjoy paying it forward.