Meet a Mom: Andrea Young, Owner of Nekter Juice Bar
Andrea Young is the owner of Nekter Juice Bar Katy which opened here in Katy the week prior to Texas quarantine. This is Andrea’s 5th Nekter location in the Houston area and despite the timing of the opening, Nekter is thriving in it’s new location off Gaston Rd. Nekter Juice Bar is the nation’s leading expert in freshly made juices, smoothies, acai bowls and juice cleanses and their menu has nothing but the cleanest, freshest and healthiest ingredients with no artificial sugars or flavors. Andrea is an inspirational business woman and entrepreneur and also a local mama of 2. So, we knew we needed to sit down with Andrea and learn more about Nekter Juice Bar, opening a store during a national pandemic, and also how she manages to balance her career and mom life. She is passionate about keeping her business in the family and has her brother and mom working right along side her, and don’t be surprised if you see her kids put to work, too! Make sure to stop by Nekter’s Katy location and try their smoothies and juices because they are so good, Mamas!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
I grew up in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C.. I spent my high school years with my family in Dallas and moved to Houston after graduating from college 20 years ago.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
My son, Harper, is 13 and my daughter, Lily, is 10.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
We love how diverse Houston is while maintaining a southern charm. My whole family is here, and we all share in the family-owned business. I also like how open and supportive the Houston business community is. People really want to see others succeed, which is a great environment for my kids to grow up in. While summers can be rough, I always tell people we have fabulous weather eight months out of the year.
Least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc.)
Homework, especially during COVID!! (Teachers – I truly don’t know how you do it. You are the real ROCKSTARS!)
Best mom hack that makes life easier?
We live one day at a time and don’t aim for perfection. In the era of Instagram and other social media outlets, it’s easy to run yourself ragged and take onto much. I like to say I do the best I can.
What are your favorite local things to do in Katy? (with kiddos or just for mom!)
Watch and play sports… when they existed.. Earlier in my career, I worked for the Tennessee Titans and Houston Rockets. I obviously love sports.
We’re big on self-care for moms, as hard as it is to find the time, what’s something you do just or yourself?
Exercise is really the best medicine for me, as cliché as it sounds. I try to carve out four to five days per week to exercise and decompress. Somedays the best I may be able to do is a walk with one of our dogs, but that is better than nothing.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I went into labor at work and waited to go to the hospital until my meeting concluded (not something I’m particularly proud of or would recommend to anyone today, but it did happen).
Tell us about your new-to-Katy business, Nekter Juice Bar! When did you open the door to Katy’s location?
We opened our doors on March 11th, , the week prior to the Texas quarantine. Great timing, huh?
Nekter Juice Bar Katy is our fifth location in the greater Houston area and one I am particularly excited about because of the location and development of the area (in front of Villa Sport and across from Thompkins High School). We have an expansive shared patio with other tenants for hanging out on those eight nice months of the year that I mentioned earlier. During the warmer months, you can come in and enjoy our acai bowls, freshly-made to order juices, smoothies, and juice cleanses. We aim for total ingredient transparency by eliminating hidden fillers, unnecessary sugars, processed ingredients and artificial flavors. Just clean, healthy eating made convenient.
How did Covid affect your opening and how have you adapted during this time?
It made things really hard as all businesses around us closed and we stayed open, fresh out the gate. We could not have timed it worse, but who plans a worldwide pandemic into their business plan!? At the end of the day, we have persevered and done our best to make lemonade out of lemons. I’m excited for what the future holds as awareness grows and more people familiarize themselves with us. Now more than ever, I think people are looking towards essential nutrients and fresh ingredients to help restore mind, body and health
What was the inspiration behind opening your stores?
I’ve always wanted a family-operated business and love that I can expose my children to a healthy lifestyle brand at an early age. My brother and mom are heavily involved in the day-to-day operations and I put my kids to work at the stores whenever I can! They love it. I was also attracted to the company’s mission – happily over satisfied customers + employees, products and expansion plans.
What’s on the menu?! Okay, don’t list your menu, but what items do you serve and what are you best known for?
I firmly believe in our product and that Nekter is the nation’s leading expert in freshly made juices, smoothies, acai bowls and juice cleanses! We are a dairy-free establishment (minus our vanilla whey add-on boost) with nothing but the cleanest, freshest and healthiest ingredients with no artificial sugars or flavors. What you see is what you get and anything on our menu can be customized to your liking. We offer “Build Your Own” Juices and Smoothies – if you want 16 oz’s of fresh celery with lemon, a touch of ginger, and a sprinkle of cayenne, you came to the right spot!
Our loyalty programs work across all of our locations in the area and all stores nationwide, allowing you to order ahead (great for busy moms!) and rack up rewards towards free menu items!
We’ve just launched some exciting new summer exclusive menu items such as our 2 new acai bowls focusing on immunity and energy and just this week brought back our customer favorite – Watermelon juice and smoothies. All perfect for staying hydrated in this Texas summer heat!
Have you always had a love for juices and healthy eating? When did that begin for you?
I’ve been an athlete my whole life and eaten healthy since I was little. What I love about Nekter is we do not expect people to be perfect. Our brand message is we want people to build some sort of healthy routine into their busy lives to help them feel the best versions of themselves.
What did you do before opening Nekter Juice Bar?
Nekter is a part of what I do, but not all I do. I have a great team and support system that truly believe in the brand. I’m proud to have brought eight Nekters to Texas including five in the greater Houston area. When I moved to Houston in 2000, I worked for the Houston Rockets where I was fortunate to wear a lot of hats and learn a great deal. In 2007 after my son was born, I went to work as President of Sam Houston Race Park for over a decade. Today, I serve on a number of boards and keep myself busy with numerous investments in the direct to consumer space. I like taking active roles in small to midsize businesses where my experience can help me make a difference.
What’s your favorite part about being a small business owner?
I love building great teams from nothing and creating value for investors and our employees.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable and dreaded MOM GUILT? How do you balance being a business owner and Mama?
Mom guilt never goes away… It’s not a balance, it’s just a way of life. There are different sets of responsibilities from a working mom and a stay-at-home mom, both the hardest jobs in the world, so neither should ever feel “bad” or “guilty”. Realizing there are difference stages and ages that kids go through demand different types of mom responsibilities. Like anything in life, it has its ups and downs – there will be a year (or day) you feel like supermom and another, not so much. Some days you feel in control, some days you do not. We’re all just parents trying to figure out this thing called LIFE! Don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re doing just fine. Your kids did not come with a manual and life does not either.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
My mother. She was a working mom too and always seemed to have it together. I never think about the times she yelled at me, just the times she celebrated and supported me.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
Never make a decision from a point of crisis… and a glass of wine never hurts.
What are your future plans for Nekter Juice Bar?
We joined Nekter when the brand was at 45 stores in 2016. We are at 170 stores today and want to be a big part of getting it to 300 tomorrow. We will continue to grow the brand in Texas and have plans for our next store in Cypress to open end of October/Early November.
To learn more about Nekter Juice Bar, check out their website & social media: