In the last year a plethora of shops offering exotic juice-based beverages have sprung up in Costa Rica. In the city of Heredia alone, for example, I have counted at least four franchises of Cosechas which is one of the companies selling smoothies and other concoctions made from a variety of local fruits. Said company has plans to expand to other countries in Latin America as the juice craze catches on.
Anyway about the two boys getting juiced. Their names are Mark and John and about 15 plus years ago they founded a successful bookstore specializing in English language books in the heart of downtown San José, Costa Rica. They eventually got into book distribution and even published a couple of their own books. They currently distribute travel, language and nature books to a variety of gift shops around Costa Rica. In addition they have published a line of colorful books about the flora and and fauna of Costa Rica.
To make a long story short, the boys saw the writing on the wall and realized that digital books are the wave of the future. What they have done is try to maintain their current book business and diversify into a new field of endeavor. A few weeks ago they opened the first outlet of Jungle Fruit in the front part of their downtown bookstore. They converted the area behind the front window into a beautifully designed and eye- catching juice bar to take advantage of the foot traffic in the downtown area. They are located on 7th Street between First Street and Central Avenue of Avenida Central. The latter has the most foot traffic of any street in Costa Rica. It is estimated that a few hundred thousand people walk up and down down the street almost every day. So, Mark and John are in an excellent location to watch their business flourish.
Together the boys have come up with around 50 exotic varieties of delicious smoothies. They have them listed on a colorful menu on the wall making it easy for customers to select the blend of their choice. I tried a couple of samples and found them to be very tasty.
I think the boys business will do well based on its location alone. When word spreads about their product I think their new business will experience even greater growth.
Some of the people on my monthly relocation/retirement tours and other who contact me by E-mail or phone ask about going into business here since they are not of retirement age and want to live here but still need to work. It’s not easy for a foreigner to start a retail business in Costa Rica. About eight out of ten gringos who try to go into business here, fail miserably. Internet-based businesses are the best bet for anyone who wants to make a living in Costa Rica. Far less headaches and more feasible. John and Mark have lived here for many years, have experience at running a successful business and know the local market. But a newcomer who wants to go into business here faces a significant uphill fight. The best candidates for living here are retirees with a pension, those who have a lifetime income form their investments or people with money because they don’t have to worry about making a living.