Bowling Green Residents Have a Zest for Life

Nail polish in a crate.

Zest: Juice for Life has been open for five years in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Emma Napier, who took over the business in June of 2018, uses all natural and raw ingredients to make a variety of juices. Each juice is made with three to five fruits or vegetables with a specific health benefit.

The juices are created to help the body detox, better regulate the digestive tract, work to prevent diseases and offer an overall healthier feeling.

“We get customers coming over after a workout class, The Spot, which is next door, Western Kentucky University students, families, the list goes on,” said Napier. 

The target customer is “the holistic health Mom looking for healthy alternatives for her family, the health conscious senior looking for natural remedies for health issues, and the active WKU student that is conscious of what they put in their bodies,” she said.

The 16 oz. juices are $7 each. They also sell other food brands, such as “Gone Nuts” almond butter, gluten free and dairy free cookies, dark chocolate bars, granola, ginger shots, smoothies and refrigerated rawnola bars. Zest has evolved since Napier took over.

“We have added smoothies to the menu, moved our kitchen on-site, expanded customer base, increased awareness, partnered with numerous local businesses, and recently started our total rebranding process,” said Napier. “I am still learning every single day. Learning how to do streamline processes, manage people, advertise efficiently, and so much more.”

Bottles of things in a cabinet.

Napier didn’t have restaurant industry experience prior to Zest. Her mother, Charlotte Napier, is an instructor at The Spot and helps at Zest.

“I feel so lucky to be able to work right next door to my daughter, along with occasionally working together,” said Charlotte Napier.

Bowling Green is growing daily in the health and wellness field.

“I am watching more and more people become more aware of what they are putting in their bodies, coming into the store and asking questions and sending their friends this way,” Emma Napier said. “As stupid as it sounds, I am just trying to take it slow and not throw anything too crazy at them.”

Will Zest become a chain in the South?

“One of  my long-term goals is to eventually franchise Zest and add a second location,” said Emma Napier.

Different products on a table.

People in several surrounding counties, mainly Glasgow, come to town to get healthy juice and items. Emma Napier is thinking about creating a local delivery system and possibly a drop off location for Glasgow orders before opening up a second location. Both ideas would be beneficial, but the delivery system would be more economical. 

She offered the following leadership advice:

“Appreciate your team,” she said. “That has been the biggest thing for me. I do not like being the boss. Hate it, actually. But, I found that if you show appreciation, and your employees know that their work does not go unnoticed, you don’t have to tell them what to do as much, tell them no, correct them, because they want to be there and they want to come to work.”

Charlotte Napier said her daughter has done a great job improving Zest.

“I am so proud of my daughter, and believe she has the potential to take this business to the next level,” she said.


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