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Incline Village sisters launch new business, EverGreens Juicery

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After throwing around the idea for almost three years, sisters Emme and Maea Wistrom followed their passion and opened EverGreens Juicery.

The delivery-based, cold-press juice business began in 2019 while the now Sierra Nevada University alumnus were participating in business competitions.

Maea Wistrom (left) and Emme Wistrom invested three years in planning EverGreens Juicery before finally making their dreams into reality in 2019. Provided
Maea Wistrom

“So it started as she [Emme] would have these ideas, and then I’ve used them as projects for class and we’d work on them together,” Maea Wistrom said. “And EverGreens was the one that we ended up doing multiple projects on throughout my years in the business program.”

Their pitch, which did not place during the 2019 SNU Business Pitch Competition, ended up growing into a profitable business that sells out quickly every week. Through their website, North Tahoe customers can custom order juices, and on Sunday’s, have them delivered to their home.

“We start with recipe tasting,” Emme Wistrom said. “We probably make it five to 10 times before we’re like, ‘Okay, this is actually good juice.’ Then we have to weigh it all out.”

The Incline Village-based entrepreneurs explained that each juice is specialized not only by the flavors, but by the nutrients present in each juice.

“Our recipes go by weight,” Maea Wistrom said. “Every juice is made to order. Every juice is individually weighed out. So a lot of times we have these weirdly shaped chunks of ginger carrot, and that was the exact weight.”

Their green juices and ’Blush’ juice are some of the most popular flavors. Provided
Maea Wistrom

Weighing the products ensures maximum nutrients in each juice. Another way to ensure the best quality product, according to the Wistrom sisters, is through unpasteurized product.

“Basically, with the juicer we have, it doesn’t use any heat to juice and heating it kills the nutrients,” Maea Wistrom said. “So the way that we juice, all the nutrients stay intact in the final juice product. But that just means it doesn’t have as long of a shelf life. So if we were to put it on shelves in a grocery store to sell, we’d have to pasteurize it so that it would last longer, but it would then have 50% of the nutrients. So it just wouldn’t be as good of a product in our opinion.”

The duo has been testing the waters on different channels to get their juice to customers, but have hit major roadblocks along the way.

“Cold-pressed juices are kind of a new thing,” Emme Wistrom said. “So the regulations on it are pretty intense, but they’re [The Food and Drug Administration] trying to make it easier for small businesses to get into it.”

Maea Wistrom explained a lot of their planning for future business plans comes down to sustainability as well.

“If we’re pasteurizing it to sell in stores, then all that juice has to go by three or four days, it’s shelf life would be in a store, and then if it doesn’t get sold, we just juiced all that produce and the juice didn’t even get used,” Maea Wistrom said. “So then it’s a sustainability thing too, where it’s just producing more food waste, where if it could last longer, then it wouldn’t be too wasteful.”

But that can’t happen until they get bigger equipment to produce more juice. But the team only views the obstacle as something to work towards. That’s only one of their goals for EverGreens Juicery.

“I think our biggest goal, and we’re not sure whether this is going to take one year or 10 years,” Emme Wistrom said, “but our biggest goal would be to have an actual juice bar where we have smoothie bowls, smoothies, small meal type items, and stuff like that. But for the short future, I think our goal is to just branch out into the Truckee and Tahoe City communities … and reach families.”

These evolving goals are ones that the Wistrom’s have been brainstorming for years, but they noted that even after launching their business successfully, some people still doubt their abilities as business owners.

“One of the challenges that I’ve had is looking at places to rent,” Emme Wistrom said.

The pair were in the process of signing a lease before COVID hit in early 2020, and eventually decided to stay delivery only. But Emme Wistrom noted that it was hard to get people to treat her like a serious renter.

“When I go and show up at these places with a realtor, they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re the one coming.’ And then they will ask me about my parents, what they’re doing. So that’s kind of been a let down, when they don’t take you seriously.”

Maea Wistrom noticed that while she got texts from a friend occasionally with an idea, many of the people offering “advice” seemed to doubt the team as well.

“I think the amount of unsolicited business advice that I’ve gotten is a little bit ridiculous,” Maea Wistrom said. “There’s a lot of people that I graduated with and went to school with that just send me out of the blue messages about it. As if we hadn’t spent the last three years thinking about what we can do and why that idea wouldn’t work.”

Maea explained that she’ll be approached while out in public and have peers question her profit margins.

“Everyone’s always so shocked to see that it is a profitable business because everyone in business has the idea of, if it’s not some huge money machine, then what’s the point?” Maea Wistrom said. “It’s just a small passion project. It makes money. It’s not making millions of dollars, but it doesn’t have to.”

The Wistrom sisters have proved their ability to overcome every obstacle in their path so far. Now all they can do is expand.

“It’s been mostly Incline for now, but we’re actually going to rent in Truckee,” Emme Wistrom said. “So we’re hoping we can advertise more on Truckee Facebook pages and branch out into Truckee more.”

For more information, visit evergreensjuicery.com.

Cold Water’s Brown a groundbreaker, celebrates 5 years at Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Debbie Brown and her restaurant and brewery, Cold Water, have been a staple in South Lake Tahoe for 5 years.

Cold Water opened Nov. 21, 2014, and it was a realization of Brown’s dream. She’s lived in Tahoe for 25 years and has worked in the food and beverage industry for most of that time, but she always wanted to own a restaurant of her own.

“I had a vendor that told me I reminded him of the little girl at the end of the diving board, looking over and walking away, looking over and walking away,” Brown said. “It’s not that easy to jump.”

With no partners and no investors, Brown took the plunge and hasn’t looked back since.

Brown credits Cold Water as the start of the beer scene in South Lake.

“Tahoe, because of the seasonality, is one of the toughest places to own and operate a business,” Brown said. “When people saw Cold Water didn’t fail, they felt comfortable investing in South Lake.”

One of Brown’s accomplishments is helping to start the Tahoe Brewfest, something she felt the South Shore was sorely lacking.

Brown recently won the Tahoe Remarkable Women award for Entrepreneur/Business Woman.

And she truly is remarkable, having success as a woman in a mostly male dominated industry.

“When people come in and ask to see the owner, the last thing they expect is a 5-foot blonde, blue eyed girl,” Brown said. “I don’t have a big beard but I probably wear a flannel better than they do.”

Brown hopes to be an inspiration for her daughter and other women that anything is possible.

She said most women in the industry have investors or partners and so Brown takes pride in the fact that she doesn’t have any.

What she does have is a staff that truly loves her. When she accepted her Remarkable Woman Award she had three tables full of staff standing and cheering.

For Brown, that’s what sets Cold Water apart from other breweries in Tahoe, the embodiment of their mission statement, “Great food, great beer, great people.”

“You have to believe in your people, trust in your people, elevate your people and hire right,” Brown said.

Selfishly, she also said that if she has to work seven days a week, she wants to have fun while she’s there.

Cold Water is celebrating their 5-year anniversary Friday, Nov. 15.

While nothing is set in stone, Brown does hope to expand in the future.