Meet the women behind Drought Juice

Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 16:50:50-05

Four years ago the James’ sisters had launched a new product out of their parent’s kitchen.

“We all decided that we wanted to create a life for ourselves, outside of working for other people,” Julie James says.

Sisters Jessie and Jenny James had been living in New York. They loved frequenting a raw juice bar there. It was a big trend on the East Coast, one that hadn’t yet reached the Midwest. The James sisters were about to change that.

They started their company, Drought.

“We do cold pressed juice,” Caitlin explains. “Otherwise known as raw juice and the basic idea is really kind of getting back to the basics.”

In each 16 ounce bottle of juice, there’s anywhere from three to five pounds of organic produce. For about half the year, 75% of the produce is from Michigan. Their menu includes over a dozen varieties, including Beet #1, which is apple, beet, carrot and lemon… and Green #3, which includes apple, kale, celery, lemon and ginger.

They make some 5 thousand bottles a week in their Ferndale commercial kitchen.

Stephen Clark first met up with the James sisters in their parent’s home when they were first testing recipes. At the time they had launched a KickStarter campaign to buy commercial equipment.

Four years later, they’ve done well over a million dollars in sales. They have 32 employees and 6 retail locations where the juice is sold. Because the juice is un-pasteurized, it has about a 3 to 5 day shelf life.

It’s a produce that filled the then drought of raw juice in our area, and allowed these women the freedom they were looking for. They say the flexibility of owning their own company and running it with their sisters is a dream come true.

“We have big plans for the company. We’re working on different product lines that we can expand nationally,” Julie says.

And if their success over the last four years is any indication… Drought may soon be a brand recognized around the country.