Mum juggles school run with successful business

A Scottish mum has managed to juggle the school run with launching a successful juicing business from her kitchen.
Alison MacLeod runs her business from her smartphoneAlison MacLeod runs her business from her smartphone
Alison MacLeod runs her business from her smartphone

28-year-old Alison Macleod, who runs her business from her smartphone, established Juicy-Ness, a juice and soup detox diet business, in June 2014 after initially launching it on Facebook, to gauge interest.

But Alison, from Inverness, admits she almost stumbled upon the business idea, after embarking on a juicing diet two years ago.

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She said: “Before my first juice detox, I ate what my old self would describe as a ‘normal’ diet. Processed food, wine, takeaways and junk food. Fruit and veggies featured sparingly and my water intake was almost non-existent.

Alison was motivated after a juicing retreatAlison was motivated after a juicing retreat
Alison was motivated after a juicing retreat

“I can’t remember what made me detox that first time, but what I do remember is feeling damn good afterwards. It was hard, but by day five I was full of energy,

“I’d lost almost 8lbs, and best of all my anxiety and insomnia issues had all but disappeared. I felt so good that going back to normal wasn’t an option. I now incorporate juice into my daily diet and detox every six to eight weeks. I am almost 34lbs lighter than I used to be.”

Alison, who has recently been shortlisted as a finalist in the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink awards in the healthier food and drink category, admits she became a self confessed juicing ‘geek’.

“I watched every documentary and studied everything there was about juicing. I really embraced a whole new way of living and eating, for myself and my family.”

Alison established Juicy Ness in 2014Alison established Juicy Ness in 2014
Alison established Juicy Ness in 2014

Friends and family were soon asking her for recipes after seeing Alison’s own results, and she began to formulate a business idea.

She said: “So many people were interested in a juicing diet, but didn’t have the time or patience to do it and I saw there was a gap in the market. Juicing diets are very popular with celebrities like Michelle Mone, who regularly juice as part of a healthy lifestyle. I decided to give it a go and see the response.”

Alison embraced the power of social media to promote her business, and she launched the Juicy-Ness Facebook page in June 2014.

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“I was overwhelmed with the response. So many people got in contact with me showing interest in the product.”

One year on, and the busy mum, who lives with her partner Stuart, his son Riley, 8, and her daughter Ellie, 7, juggles her busy business with family life.

She said: “I get up between 5 and 5.30am each week day morning and go downstairs to my kitchen, as it’s my workplace. I juice solidly from 5.30am, preparing individual client orders, ready for pick up or delivery.

“The kitchen is then switched back to a family kitchen for 7.30am and breakfast with the children. When they leave for school, I can then begin doing my deliveries for local orders or post my frozen orders out to clients.”

Alison runs her business entirely from her smart phone.

She said: “I don’t have a shop, so I had to promote it entirely using the power of social media. I have a Facebook page and use Twitter, and I now have a website too, which gives information about my story and prices and different options of products. The majority of my orders still come via Facebook, or my website. I also get a lot of client referrals.

“But it’s not just people in the Highlands ordering from me, I have orders from as far up north as Wick, and regularly have clients from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. I deliver south of the border too.”

Alison has exciting plans in the pipeline.

She said: “I just launched a new product, healthy lemon and ginger shots, which are an alternative to an espresso. I trialed the shots out at Belladrum Tartan Heart festival, which is held in Beauly in the Highlands and they went down a storm with tired or hungover festival-goers. It’s a really exciting time for me.

Business is booming and I’m starting to think bigger to meet demand.

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“As any mum who runs her own business will know, it’s tough and there are long hours, but it is worth it in the end. Running a successful business is exciting and the food and drink industry is really being celebrated at the moment.”