Andrea Luna Rodriguez may be young, but her experience in the restaurant industry is anything but.
The 22-year-old co-owner of the new build-your-own Craft Juice Bar on 48th Street and Ray Road has grown up in a family that has owned restaurants and has been helping out since she was 14.
So when it came time to open her family’s second Craft Juice Bar in Ahwatukee, Rodriguez was up for the challenge.
“I felt the difference when I opened up this location,” Rodriguez explains. “I was nervous, but I felt competent.”
Rodriguez has helped build Craft Juice Bar from the ground up, crafting the menu of her family’s first North Phoenix location which opened in August 2020.
“We signed the lease, and we just kind of had to get going because you know, time’s running, you’re paying rent. And we’re like, OK, so what are we going to do? What’s going to make us different from the other juice bars or other competitors?” Rodriguez says.
And that’s how Craft was founded, reaching out to customers who often find themselves tinkering with established recipes at juice bars and giving them the flexibility to form their own juice, smoothie or bowl.
The menu has a set of fruits and vegetables to choose from along with health add-ins, like soy or almond milk, or ginger and turmeric.
Rodriguez has taken on the Ahwatukee location in stride, facing challenges from back-ordered equipment to delayed inspections and renovation. This has all taught her to stay patient. To her surprise, it’s been a slower start than getting her first store ready.
“For my first store, I thought I was going to struggle because it was during the pandemic. I think I got all of that sooner than now,” Rodriguez says.
Ahwatukee is an exciting opportunity for Rodriguez, as it expands their brand into a more centralized location. Her original aim was to open up shop in late May. Delaying the opening was stressful, but as a young business owner she has learned the power of patience and positive thinking.
“I think everything happens for a reason,” Rodriguez says.
Whenever she gets stressed, she holds on to that sentiment and remembers all of the successful business owners who don’t begin their journey with a line out the door.
Throughout Craft’s journey, customers helped to mold the final menu into what it is today.
Rodriguez is grateful for all the support she received from customers starting out and their patience as she dove head first into the food science of smoothie and juice making.
For Rodriguez, a juice bar was a natural endeavor for her to take on. She’s always had a passion for healthy food.
Its family roots are embedded across the logo as well, with six vein lines on the leaf of the carrot, one for each sibling. The upside down “A” in the logo is also a nod to each of their names, which begin with the letter “A”.
Right now the store opens at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. on the weekend.
The early start time, hopes to attract gym goers from the nearby Mountainside Fitness.
Craft Juice Bar
4810 E. Ray Road, Suite 14, Phoenix