Pop Pressed: powerful organic plants

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Kayleigh launched POP Pressed out of a joy for juicing and desire to help others boost their energy in the same way she has.  This local business has already been shortlisted for the food & drink start up of the year award! This interview reveals more about her entrepreneurial journey:
 
What was the initial inspiration behind Pop Pressed? 
 
Prior to making juice I taught yoga, and then Lock Down happened. I’d had the idea to create a juice brand years ago – you know when an idea breezes through your mind just before sleeping…? It was one of those!
 
In the Summer of 2020, I came into possession of a commercial cold press juicer and started experimenting. I’ve been passionate about health & wellbeing for a long time, and been a fan of juicing (Jason Vale “Juice-guru” style) since I was a teenager. 
 
I won’t pretend there was some great thought-out plan to my creation; pretty much overnight I decided I would start making juice to sell in my friend’s deli, and that I would call it “POP” – an acronym for ‘Powerful Organic Plants’ – which is a clever (in my opinion) pun on the retro ‘bottle of pop’.
 
I remember hazy summer days spent at my grandma and grandad’s where the ‘Pop Man’ would come around in his little van (yesss 1980s) delivering glass bottles of Dandelion & Burdock, Tizer, Irn Bru and Vimto… all the kids in the street would run out with their mum and dad’s coins to buy their bottle complete with stripy straw. Nostalgia! I had my brand.
 
Have there been any highlights to running the business so far?
 
What I love about my business is how simple it is to me (note: simple – NOT easy.) I made up the different juice flavours sat in my pyjamas in my pink bed surrounded by my cuddly toys (yes I am a 38 year old woman-child) one sunny Manchester morning.
 
I figure that most chefs or cooks would probably experiment first and then make names up for their creations… but not me. I thought of the names – for example “Golden State of Mind” – then decided on the necessary ingredients, then put the recipe to the test. Magically, it somehow all worked. 
 
With no business training under my belt, I winged a lot of it. I would look up advice from famous entrepreneurs and business moguls online, but a lot of the time it seemed to throw me off, making me doubt my instincts. So I decided early on to just keep following my gut feelings, going with whatever option felt more bright and fun.
 
I’d say the biggest benefit that I’ve gotten from my business is the ability to trust myself far more than I ever had before in my adult life. I used to be a constant doubter of my abilities, lacking confidence in myself, allowing other people’s judgments to cloud my own. Pop Pressed has been very much an extension of me as an evolving human; it has helped me grow in more ways than any educational course or programme has ever done.
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Have there been any challenges you’ve encountered?
 
In the past two years of running my business I’ve experienced so many highs and lows that I could write a book. One particular challenge was within my first year of trading. Through some divine luck/ manifestation I managed to accrue my own customer facing juice bar in one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Manchester (Didsbury!) It was hard work running it on my own but I loved it and it became a part of me: the juice bar was our identity.
 
After 9 months the shop my juice bar was in was taken over by a new owner who asked me to leave. At first, I felt like my world was ending (I tend towards the dramatic…) but I knew from past personal experience that The Universe usually has a bigger plan than mine, so I had a big cry and trusted that what I needed would come to me.
 
Within a few days I had a new juicing kitchen and I took the business mobile. I got my little red VW Beetle decked out in Pop Pressed branding and, roll on another year, business is booming and I look back and see how it was all so right.
 
What do you most want people to know about your business?
 
Pop Pressed is a life-infusing elixir made with pure, raw, Powerful Organic Plants. It provides the nutrients and good energy people need to help live their best, healthiest life. By drinking it, people are loving and nourishing their body while also supporting their Planet. Pop is made with ingredients grown with respect for the Earth, sourced with transparency and care. There is nothing artificial and nothing added; simply bottled, beautiful, healing plants.
 
Do you have any advice for other start ups?
 
Just keep swimming! Even when you think you’re drowning! Let go of your expectations! Let the journey unfold! All my planning and trying to control what it should look like, what it should become, how much money I should be making… I wish I’d known how unnecessary this was. 
 
In the first year I put myself under so much pressure and stress that I’d be crying my heart out over it all. I wish I’d had Future Kayleigh to comfort me and tell me it would be okay, telling me to keep going despite the drowning feeling, the tiredness, the 18 hour days, crying over spilt juice in the dead of night, thinking I should probably “get a proper job…”
 
In hindsight now, I think that creating a start up is a bit like getting into a carriage on The Big One Pepsi Max rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach (I’m a Blackpool girl – what can I say). You buckle your seat belt with a wing and a prayer and brace yourself for the epic highs and lows, jolting twists and turns and those sneaky terrifying loop-the-loops.
 
Some screaming, crying, laughter, maybe even vomit… all the while being 99.9% confident that you’ll make it to the end. And if you don’t, well, it’s not the end. And if it is, well, may as well go out doing something that MAKES YOU FEEL ALIVE.