Josh Adams is a senior in high school, and already he has done what most people only dream of accomplishing in their later years. Adams has successfully started two businesses and is in the process of opening a third, his own juice bar and café, with a twist. In addition to its encompassing menu, customized for all diets and food tolerances, Adams Apple features an open layout, which garners friendly interaction between locals. I had the opportunity to interview Josh and hear the arduous and inspiring story behind his latest venture, Adams Apple, located in Mansfield, PA.
Josh Adams, the owner of Adams Apple Juice Bar and Café
So tell us a little about how Adams Apple all began. Were you always interested in starting your own business?
I grew up in Pennsylvania, and I’ve moved many times within the state. I actually have always had passion of becoming an actor since I was 12 and moved to Florida to pursue that, but while down there, I realized it wasn’t who I was. I am a very social person but theater was more of a hobby for me.
I love cooking and the culinary arts. A friend of mine Vince Nance who co-owns a Contact Sports Club, wanted to get together and hear about my acting experience. We met up and I found out that his shop front was renovated to be a juice bar, and was looking for someone to take over the space. Vince knew that I was an entrepreneur with experience in running a business and asked if I would be interested in the space. I said yes! That was in October 2016.
Wow that’s amazing! You’ve come so far in four months. What business experience do you have?
I started two businesses; I had a balloon making business for 4 years, and a button/badges shop, which is still active. In a corporate job, you get paid so little for so much work. So that’s why I’ve wanted to always make work for myself, to better myself, and be happier.
Is health and wellness always something you’ve been passionate about?
Yes, my mom and sister are vegetarians, and me and my sister get congested when we consume dairy products, so we are aware of what we eat. Health and fitness have always been important to me; it’s good for the body, releases stress, and gives off endorphins. And come on who doesn’t like fruit?
Haha definitely! How did you make the leap from going to school to starting a business? Did your studies have any impact or influence on your entrepreneurial venture?
I was inspired by my friend Vince, and I knew if i started now I could open before college students came back. I also wanted to gain a client base and have community events in the summer. As one who values education, I’m not fond of how much college costs. If education was free I would be the happiest person alive. When you get out of high school you don’t really have the skills or money to take care of yourself. I wanted to find and set my heart on something, take a couple years to build it, and then go to college and while having a steady income. I do want to go college; I love learning and I learn everyday. By going to a library, for example, you can gain so much knowledge. And that’s what we are promoting at the juice bar, to better oneself, and to learn from others.
While reading through your kickstarter, I noticed you wrote about some challenges you faced while bringing this project to life. Were there moments when you wanted to give up on your journey? What made you want to keep going?
Money was a huge challenge for me; it costs so much to open a business. Everything I envision for my business is much more expensive than what I can afford. Trying to find the halfway point of what you want versus what you can do, and making it better than your original vision, is hard.
There were moments when I thought how am I going to do this, how can I continue when there is no support. Everyone had envisioned me as an actor, and many said I’m disappointed in your choice to do this or disappointed that you’re not attending college right away. It was discouraging, but it was about getting myself past that point. It’s motivating to know that one day I’ll be standing behind the bar making someone a drink and sharing our stories.
How did you come up with the name for your cafe?
It’s a funny story. I wanted the name to be catchy and meaningful, so I dedicated a whole day to thinking of ideas. I asked my mom to help me brainstorm as well. Later, I went to a rehearsal, and when I came home my mom said she saw my text and liked my idea of Adams Apple. I was confused, because I never came up with that name, let alone send her a text. She showed me the phone, and the text came from an unknown number. My mom dialed number, and it was one of her friends. I’ve never spoken to her friend about the name brainstorming, but she sent the text regardless. I liked how comical the situation was, and so I went with it. Adams Apple was catchy and based on your perspective, had different meanings (that’s why I left the apostrophe out). It fit the overall theme of the bar and café.
Can you give us a sneak peak of some of the items from your menu?
We have a specialty drink called the Greenade. It is a green apple lemonade drink!
In addition, we will have food and drink options that anyone can eat. There will be plenty of items on the menu for vegetarians and vegans. No matter who you are, you can come here, eat something, and leave happy.
What’s your favorite fruit? Favorite smoothie?
Oh that’s tough! Alright, I have three favorites:
- The spiked horn melon, I love how awesome it looks and how good it tastes (I had no idea what this fruit was, so I looked them up…they’re awesome. Here’s a picture):
- Strawberries are just a given because they taste delicious
- And lastly, lemons, for its flavor and versatility
As for favorite smoothie, it would be an Apple Pie Smoothie. It’s an original recipe, tastes sweet, and it’s very healthy.
So what can we look forward to hearing about in the coming months before and after your opening?
The vision for the shop is to provide an enjoyable atmosphere for everyone. Instead of radio music on a phone we are going to have vinyls. We are also planning to build a pavilion. There is not enough togetherness these days, and I want to help create a space to change that.
Is there any advice you can give to people looking to start their own business?
You need to push, and keep pushing. If you don’t push yourself you will never fail, but you will also never succeed. Failure is good, you can learn something and succeed next time. Push yourself past the point of fear and take risks. If an opportunity comes, take it.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Donate if you can please! And just follow along through the process. If you are nearby please come check it out! It would make my day if someone told me they found me through Facebook and came down to the bar and café.
Thank you so much Josh for taking the time to do this interview with me!
The café is set to open in April THIS YEAR (2017). Josh is working very hard to get Adams Apple up and running, so definitely check out his Facebook page and website! It’s definitely going to be worth the trip to Pennsylvania!