Juice boost

Photo by Kathy Tran

JuiceLand is only seven years old, but it’s already grown from one little joint near Barton Springs Pool in Austin to nearly 30 locations in Texas and New York.

The one at Sylvan Thirty opened in 2016.

Owner Matt Shook is from Dallas and attended Jesuit College Preparatory School and W.T. White High School. He was living in Austin in 2001 when he took a part-time job at place called the Juice Bar.

The building had plenty of charm, and the customers provided an education about the health benefits of cold-pressed juice.

When the owner fled without notice, Shook took over the business. He hired his friends as employees, and since then, he’s opened 21 more locations in Austin and the surrounding area, one in Park Slope, Brooklyn, three in Houston, one off Central Expressway in Dallas. Another is coming soon to Plano.

“It provided me a creative outlet,” Shook says. “I get to surround myself with people I like.”

The menu has expanded to include smoothies, bowls and vegan options. Shook says it’s been so successful because of its simplicity. All of the smoothies are made with frozen fruit and juice, without any dairy or added fillers. Add in the chain’s relaxed vibe, and it’s a winner.

“You don’t have to be a UFC fighter,” he says. “You don’t have to be driving a Rolls Royce … we welcome everybody