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UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center

Ruby Jean's Juicery: Squeezing the Most Out of Life and Business


Chris Goode
Ruby Jean's Juicery
Kansas City, Missouri | Main Street

On November 11 (11/11), 2016, at 11:11 a.m., Chris Goode announced that his juicery, Ruby Jean’s, would be opening a new location at 1111 Main Street. Later that day, he went to a house at 39th and Wabash in Kansas City, Missouri, and gave away 11 gallons of free juice to the neighborhood crowd.

1111 holds a lot of significance for Chris, so much so that he has it tattooed on his wrist. But 39th and Wabash, and the house that stands there, is even more important to him. That’s where his grandmother, Ruby Jean, lived and died in 1999.

Chris’ grandmother had diabetes and died too young at the age of 61. “It was a terrible day for me and my family. My great grandmother passed away earlier that week as well from a massive heart attack.”

Learning how to live

Chris knows that unhealthy lifestyle choices and poor nutrition played a role death of his grandmothers. His eyes opened even wider to the perils of an unhealthy lifestyle while visiting friends in Los Angeles who were juicing and watching the documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” which follows a man as he embarks on a 60-day juice fast to regain his health.     

“I’d never been exposed to juicing before and it completely blew my mind.”

He started experimenting with juicing in 2014 while traveling for business as a catastrophe claims adjustor. While on business in Chicago, Chris realized that he needed to make spreading the good word about juicing his profession.

“I was making over six figures at the time, but still I knew I needed to do something that I was truly passionate about.”

Chris began looking for a place to open a juice bar, and in the summer of 2015, opened Ruby Jean’s juicery in the heart of the historic Westport neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. For over a year, he kept his full time job and ran the juice bar at the same time.

“I have no idea how I did that. I’d be at my job trying to focus and I’d just be thinking, ‘We need apples at the shop.’”

In the winter of 2016, he left his job to focus full time on his passion: bringing healthy lifestyle options to the Kansas City community.

It has always been Chris’ goal to build something that anyone and everyone can believe in. “I know that’s what my grandma would’ve wanted.”

It’s very clear that people do believe in Ruby Jeans. In 2016, Ruby Jeans was chosen by the popular website Yelp as one of the country’s top 100 businesses.

Juice it for everything it’s worth

At Ruby Jean’s, Chris offers markers for his customers to write on the wall with and a simple question, “Why do you choose to be healthy?” The wall is jam-packed with answers, including. “So I can live a longer life and keep my youthful looks,” “It gives me energy to do the things I love! Healthy living is an art” and “Because the human body is a beautiful thing and we have a duty to take care of it. . . .To be my best self and serve people well.”

Part of Chris’s fast success is his willingness to give more than he receives.

“Being an entrepreneur is the hardest and best thing that I’ve ever done. I put so much of my heart out there; if anyone comes to me with questions I’m going to talk to them.”

Chris’ advice for entrepreneurs is very practical. First, write everything down. “Just get it all on paper, then come back later and make sense of it.”

Second, save money. Chris has yet to take on any debt or investors for Ruby Jeans. “Entrepreneurship and sacrifice are synonymous. You’ll appreciate it so much more if you have skin in the game.”

Fuel for growth

Chris is firm in his belief that God is creating a team around him to build a business that is very disruptive in Kansas City and the world. In the winter of 2016, Chris completed a FastTrac® Growth Venture™ course at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Small Business and Technology Development Center (UMKC SBTDC.)  Now he is preparing Ruby Jeans even more for growth as a member of the fifth cohort of ScaleUp! Kansas City, a program from the Small Business Administration and the UMKC SBTDC.

 In the next year, Chris will open Ruby Jean’s second location at 1111 Main Street in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. But that’s not it. He also plans to open a kitchen and carryout service at 36th and Main Street that will offer to-go meals and full juice cleanses, get a juice and food truck up and running, and expand even more with a location in Springfield, Missouri.

As of this writing, Chris has more big news to share that he isn’t ready to reveal just yet. He did share this much, “I started Ruby Jean’s because of my grandmother’s passing, but what fuels me now is that our products give others life. When you start eating better, that gives you the desire to go out and do more. And there is so much left to do to make Kansas City and the world healthier.”  

Learn more about Kansas City's entrepreneurs

Chris' story is one of many in We Create KC—Kansas City's state of entrepreneurship report. Visit the report now to learn more about Kansas City's progress toward becoming America's most entrepreneurial city. 

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