Photographer Jen Bernard met with Juicehead founder Sean Norton for a photo series and to learn about what led him to make the change from government work to cold-pressed juices. Visit her site to see more of her work.
There is no recipe to life; no simple straightforward way to succeed, and what is success anyways? To different people the word success has a different definition. Are you successful if you earn a high salary in an interesting and stimulating career, or are you successful if you stay at home and raise your family? Can you do both and be successful? I, for sure, do not have the answer and really, the answer is different for everyone. As I talk with more and more people I am coming to understand that the path to fulfillment and happiness is not straightforward; really there is no path – you have to create your own way.
That is what the founder and owner of JuiceHead is doing. Sean Norton’s path into cold-pressed juice was not straightforward by any means. Along his journey to find happiness he found himself in a juice bar in Costa Rica, but let’s back up a bit. Before Sean decided to start an organic, cold-pressed juice company, he had a job for life in a high salary career with security and benefits. Sean was a research scientist with the federal government. “I had many friends at work, and the work itself was intellectually stimulating, but I was desperate for a change,” said Sean as he described his motivation to leave the government.
“I was desperate for a change.”
In the same year he was planning to leave, Sean also described how a senior manager became deathly ill and a former manager was diagnosed with cancer. Another colleague had a heart attack while at the office the following year. He survived, but a fourth colleague was not so fortunate. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and has since passed. In addition to illness, Sean saw too many people “trudge to work each day” during his years in government, “anxious for the day’s end or counting the years until retirement.”
Knowing that life is too short and every moment is precious, Sean chose to make a drastic change. He decided to pick up and move to Costa Rica with his 11-year- old daughter and 9-year-old son. He wanted some time for self-reflection, to live more simply, and to have a new, incredible life experience with his family. Sean describes his two years in Costa Rica fondly, sharing many stories of the simpler life he was living. “My only concern each day was whether my car would start or leave us stranded in the jungle.” Everyone drove crappy cars, and money and social status were not a concern to the people who lived there.
“My only concern each day was whether my car would start or leave us stranded in the jungle.”
Sean enjoyed every minute of his time in Costa Rica, but he knew he had to return to work. He couldn’t afford to retire, and in any case, after two years, was ready for a new adventure. Returning to a cubicle job was not Sean’s preferred option, so he started thinking about how he could contribute to his community while still earning a living. Wanting to build a secure future for his family while each day living a fulfilling and happy life, Sean started brainstorming business ventures. His mind exploded with ideas, but he knew that he needed to focus his energy on something attainable. He latched onto cold-pressed juice as an idea with huge potential. Remembering how much he liked the juice bar in Costa Rica, Sean started JuiceHead, an online juice bar in Ottawa that delivers right to your door.
For the past year, Sean has been working to get his new business up and running, facing all of the challenges and obstacles that a new, small, business encounters. “Every day is a challenge. There’s so much to learn and always a problem or obstacle to overcome. I’ve never felt so much excitement and anxiety at the same time,” explained Sean. Sean is motivated to succeed with JuiceHead because he loves how healthy the juice is and he can see the company’s potential. He has learned that most people don’t consume enough vegetables and fruit. Cold-pressed juice is a super-convenient way to get what you need on- on a daily basis and stay healthy while you’re on-the- go. He also enjoys the challenge of creating a premium product line. When the days are challenging, Sean tries to remember the feeling of not loving what you do, and what it means to live a fulfilling and happy life.
He is launching soon and has a great promo on an 18-pack for home delivery.
Also thank you to Carley Schleck the owner of Urban Element for letting us use her wonderful kitchen space for the photoshoot. They provide cooking classes, corporate team building and private events, catering for weddings, as well as culinary consulting. To learn more check out their website theurbanelement.ca