Hankering for a smoothie during the hot summer days? While living in Taiwan, there were plenty of cool drinks to choose from: iced water, tea, boba, juice. But we constantly had a yearn for smoothies, similar to Jamba Juice’s. Lo and behold, we met Jay Chen, co-founder of Woogo Smoothies, and we fell in love with their amazing smoothies. (Expert tip: our favorite is their berrypuff smoothie!)
Wonderland Organics: Where did the idea for Woogo start?
Jay Chen: It all started one of those hot and humid summer days in Taiwan. Two of WooGo’s co-founders, Robbie and Sagiv stepped out of the gym and Sagiv mentioned that he was dying for a cool and refreshing California-style smoothie. After conducting some research, they found that no such thing existed in Taiwan. They mentioned the idea of opening a smoothie shop to myself, my brother Adam and Tim. My brother and I were avid smoothie drinkers back in Canada and Tim had tried them on a trip to California. We all instantly agreed that opening up a smoothie shop here in Taipei would be a lot of fun, so we went ahead and started our business plan.
Wonderland Organics: That’s a great beginning! We absolutely loved that you found this niche market in Taiwan. What industry were you working in before starting your own business?
Jay Chen: I come from an applied health science background. Before I came to Taiwan, I was working as a clinical consultant for an orthotic company called The Orthotic Group. I always knew that I wanted to start my own business someday but I never imagined that it’d be a smoothie shop on the other side of the world.
Wonderland Organics: It’s awesome when life takes us in a new direction. Do you have partners?
Jay Chen: Yes, WooGo Juice has five co-founders, including myself. That’s why it’s called WooGo because it sounds sort of like 五哥(wu ge) in Mandarin which translates to five brothers.
Wonderland Organics: We love the play on Chinese words! (Have to agree, take a look at the 5 handsome founders). Tell us a little about your workday.
Jay Chen: I try to set aside mornings for exercise or getting things done around the house. Then I get on my bike and either head to the store to work or run other WooGo related errands. Any free time is generally dedicated to my passions which include enjoying music and spending quality time with good friends.
Wonderland Organics: It’s great to have that balance of work and personal life! What’s the best part of working in Taipei?
Jay Chen: It’s fun working in Taipei because it’s a big city and I have an opportunity to interact with all sorts of people on a daily basis. On any given day, I will get to interact with people from various age groups and cultural backgrounds. It makes me happy knowing that we sell a product that can brighten the day of just about anyone.
Wonderland Organics: You most certainly do! Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs starting out?
Jay Chen: I’m still new at this whole entrepreneur thing, but my advice would be to seek out as much advice as you can from experienced and successful entrepreneurs. We got tons of helpful advice and insights from trusted sources. I would also make sure that you are doing something that you love or believe in 100% because that’s what is going to keep you going during the harder and more stressful times. If you have any doubts from the start, then you should really sit down and think about whether this is the right idea or not.
Wonderland Organics: We agree: your drive for entrepreneurship is definitely important. And last but not least, what’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog?
Jay Chen: I like how it’s written. It’s written in such a positive and helpful tone. The posts are very informative and I could really feel the passion and desire to help people take care of their bodies. Keep up the amazing work!
Thanks Jay! If you’re interested in Woogo’s fantastic smoothies, feel free to drop by their store–No. 42, Lane 233, Sec. 1, Dunhua S. Road (台北市大安區敦化南路一段233巷42號), located around Exit 3 of Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT in Taipei, Taiwan. Also feel free to check out their website and Facebook!
Loved Woogo? Let us know in the comments below!