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Angel Investor Behind OH! Juice’s Third Location

Local beverage company OH! Juice has lined up enough investment capital to open a third location — this time at a highly trafficked tourist spot.

The new brick-and-mortar location just off Highway 101 in Encinitas is a boon for the fledgling juice company, which was founded with cash from a crowdfunding campaign online.

The company first debuted in local farmers markets in 2014, where its organic, local, and cold-pressed juice struck a chord with locals. Soon the company opened a location downtown at T Short Galleries, and last summer announced a new tasting room at its production facility in Carlsbad.

The company went from selling a few hundred bottles of juice per week at local farmers markets, to about 18,000 bottles per month.

But the growth has been tough, and expansion capital was in short supply, said Hanna Gregor, the company’s 28-year-old founder. The tasting room is not in a highly trafficked neighborhood, and passersby are few and far between.

“We really felt at a disadvantage,” Gregor said. “I’ve always thought, ‘If we could just afford a place with walk by traffic or a sign that draws people in we could do so much more.’ But it takes money to make money.”

Gregor said she spent the last year on the hunt for a special kind of angel investor. And she found one — a man who recently sunk $500,000 into the company. That investment is fueling Gregor’s expansion into Encinitas, she said. Gregor did not disclose the investor’s name, but said he was the spouse of a longtime customer who recently died from cancer.

“It’s important that you find people who invest in your company, not just for profit, but because they believe in what you’re doing,” Gregor said.

The company’s new location will be located at the corner of Highway 101 and Encinitas Boulevard. It will open in September, Gregor said.

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