Growing up in Jamaica made Tevin Thompson a produce expert.
"From a tender age, I was on my grandparent's farm," he remembers. "A lot of us do that in Jamaica—farming. You notice the difference in taste when it's growing in your backyard, with just water and regular fertilizer, not adding chemicals to force the fruit to grow bigger and faster. Natural gives a better taste."
Thompson says there's a different culture around food in Jamaica. People grow their own to cut down their grocery bills, but there's also a pride in being self-sufficient. From an early age, he made the connection between the quality of one's diet and overall health.
When he landed in Canada as a teenager, he noticed the difference between backyard cultivated fruits and the stuff you get at the grocery store.
"When I came to Canada, I had access to all this technology and information. I started researching as much as possible about food and nutrition of these different fruits I had been eating my whole life—sugars, calories, all that stuff."
How he got started
When COVID hit, his go-to juice bar shut its doors. He combined his knowledge and interest in nutrition and started his own cold-pressed organic juice business, Pure Vybz. With an initial investment of $300 for a juicer, some bottles and some fresh organic produce, his side hustle began with his co-workers.
"I always had an interest in getting into cold-pressed juices because it's something I had incorporated into my diet," he said. "During the pandemic, I could see the turnaround. Everyone was going in a healthier direction compared to five or ten years ago. There are more people making health a priority."
"I made a few sample batches to give away to co-workers, and they responded well, so I set up an Instagram page to start slowly promoting the business. My co-workers were my first customers."
Synergizing a side hustle with a full-time gig
Thompson works in the fitness space as a member of the sales team for a major gym. He sees juicing as a great way to introduce healthier habits to people who might think of themselves as "picky eaters" who shy away from fruits and vegetables.
"People are more willing and open to drinking something healthy rather than having it as a meal," he explained. "A meal is more time-consuming. You have to sit down and eat it—a struggle if you don't like veggies. But juice is grab-and-go. You can get your fruits and veggies down in a few gulps."
You can buy a single bottle, but Thompson's business provides juice cleanses customized to people's health and wellness goals. He starts the process with a consultation.
"I like to ask people what their' why factor' is," Thompson said. "Why is the question that helps me to understand their motivation, and then I can personalize a plan for them."
Someone looking to lose weight, lower their blood pressure, or manage their diabetes will have different nutritional needs than someone looking to bulk up. Pure Vybz provides blends that complement a client's lifestyle changes.
It'll cost you $96 for a two-week cleanse or $7.99 for a 350 ml bottle.
Riding the good vibes with Pure Vybz
Thompson isn't looking to expand the business just yet—he is planning on getting a nutrition certification, which will be helpful in his career and side hustle.
Thompson's looking towards the future where he can dedicate himself entirely to helping people improve their lives and longevity through diet and exercise. He sees a business beyond juicing as a potentially helpful holistic lifestyle service.
"I don't wanna limit myself," he said. "But if I don't have to work for anyone else but me in the next five years, I'll be happy."
His advice for other side hustlers? Squeeze the most out of life's opportunities!
"Don't think about it for too long—give it a try. The longer you think about it, the more time you give yourself to come up with reasons not to do it. It's a side hustle, so you have nothing to lose," Thompson said. "You will only gain knowledge and experience."