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Getting Zesty – Interview with Emma Napier

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Happy August! Each month for the rest of the year, Ment is partnering with a local business on our blog and social media accounts. This month is Zest Juice for Life, owned by Emma Napier: a 24-year-old from Bowling Green, Kentucky. The local juice shop located in the heart of the downtown scene has many flavors of tasty, healthy juice and they promote a healthy lifestyle in everything they do. 

Emma Napier, a graduate from Western Kentucky University, got her start working in an office for a national company in a corporate office. She was teaching spinning at The Spot next door to what would be her future business as well. She loved her coworkers and the work she was doing but disliked the stuffy and strict culture that was in her cubicle-filled office. “I soon realized that sitting at a desk was not for me,” she recalls.  

                             

Emma knew the previous owner of Zest from her job at The Spot and soon became friends with her. From this friendship, she fell in love with juice. She would drive all the way across town to get juice from the original Zest, the home of the former owner. The owner mentioned selling the business and asked if she knew of anyone who was interested. Emma knew instantly that this was the perfect opportunity to transition out of the cubicle and bought Zest Juice for Life. 

One of Emma’s favorite things about owning Zest is the amazing small business community located in Bowling Green. While she is a fairly new business owner, owners from all over town have offered to help her. “Bowling Green has such a thriving community of small business owners and truly want to see each other succeed,” she notes. She says learning a lot from so many people who have been in the same shoes as her. She has gotten to work with and collaborate with some of them and says they have helped her create her space, the logo, the menu boards, and more. 

  

Of course, I had to ask Emma what her -ment word was, which is a little something we do here at Ment by picking your favorite word with -ment as the subject and having it describe you, such as experiment, achievement, nourishment. Emma said her word was encourage-ment. She aims to be a smiling face to anyone who walks through the doors of Zest, and hopes her encouraging spirit keeps people coming back for years to come. 

Emma’s favorite juice she sells is kickin’ carrot, a juice that contains apple, ginger, and the star: carrots. Other juices you can find at Zest include Kale Yeah!, Jolly Green, Happy Beet, or my favorite, Hula Hooch. 

Check Emma and the rest of the Zest team out on their Instagram: @zestjuiceforlife

Start Small, Think Big

Our world is dominated by businesses and commerce. As soon as we wake up and turn on the news, we see advertisements for businesses all over our area and country. Most of what we see constitutes as a big business, a national or global entity that is taking over the commerce realm. However, most businesses that affect our daily lives are small. They might not be household names or don’t have budgets to advertise on a national scale, but small businesses are the backbone of our country and are assets to our local community. May 5-11 is National Small Business Week, so let’s celebrate!

If you’re into numbers, Forbes states there approximately 28 million small businesses in the United States alone and employ almost half of America’s working population. 543,000 new businesses start every single year and even may of those fail within the first year. That is why it is so important to support local businesses!

Small and local businesses are what make our communities flourish. Take Bowling Green for instance. Fountain Square is only made up of small business and they are well known within our community. Businesses like Spencer’s Coffee is practically famous in this town. Go in there on any given day and see at least five people you know, and if you’re a student trying to study, expect to get nothing done as you sip great coffee with good friends. Back Down South boutique is a staple for fashionable pieces and gifts. There are countless other small businesses that make up Bowling Green, such as restaurants, shops, bars, and more.

These small businesses cultivate a community identity within Bowling Green. Our town prides itself on its small businesses. We have created character for ourselves within our vibrant community. Not all towns are like that. Bowling Green was awarded 13th on the list of Best Small Cities for Business this year and was the highest ranking city in Kentucky.

Small businesses in this area support each other and want to see each other succeed. That is where Ment comes in. We want to support all your new business dreams. We know it takes a village to raise a business; much like does a child. No one should have to do that alone. Coworking allows the business owner to have flexibility and freedom within their workplace environment. As businesses might be taking off, they can invest in a coworking membership before they purchase an office or store. Coworking creates a community for members to feel a part of that supports each other, which is beneficial to a small business owner who is just getting off the ground. The coworking community also provides a great way to network and further improve your business.

It is important to support small businesses not only during National Small Business Week, but every week of the year. They make up a majority of our national economy and provide quality and character to any town. Ment wants to support small businesses in all we do and we urge you to do the same!