Nantucket Nectars is one of the fastest growing young businesses in the country. CBS "This Morning" Field Anchor Jose Diaz-Balart reports on how the company's two young
co-founders turned their juice business into a multimillion dollar company.
Maybe you've heard the company's radio ads: "Hi, I'm Tom, and I'm Tom. And we're juice guys." The ads claim Tom First and Tom Scott were just a couple of wacky guys hanging out on Nantucket whipping up fruit juice in a blender when they said, "Hey, this stuff's pretty good. Maybe people will buy it."
When they graduated from college, the two knew they didn't want to put on suits and ties, and get jobs. They had one goal: to support themselves while they hung out on Nantucket. So they started a tiny boat business with the slogan, "There is nothing them boys won't do."
Scott admits that they didn't know much about repairs. "We figured we could figure it out."
The juice division of the fledgling business was almost an afterthought. "We were always trying to think of ideas for businesses," says First. "This is one of the things we talked about. Let's make this fruit juice and call it Nantucket Nectar."
Soon the juice business went from chop to whip to puree. Tom and Tom were now "juice guys." But they weren't business guys.
"We did not know how to figure out if we were profiting," says First. "We didn't consider the expenses of anything we bought other than we sort of thought we've got to sell for more than what we buy for. We had a metal cash box and whatever was left at the end of the day was profit, and then we started all over again the next day."
Ironically, that naivete became the secret of their success. Tom and Tom didn't know the bottom line from a hole in the ground, so they didn't know how unprofitable it was to make fruit juice with fruit instead of imitation flavor and high fructose corn syrup.
After six years of operating on the verge of bankruptcy, Nantucket Nectars turned its first profit in 1995. Last year, the company sold a 50 percent interest to Ocean Spray. This year, the company is projecting sales of $80 million.
The research and development division of this $80 million company is headquartered in the office kitchen, and the CEOs still personally taste all new flavors. Back on Nantucket, they're staying close to their roots with the latest venture in their juice empire - a prototype juice bar.
The Toms claim that all they set out to do was make good juice, and that by focusing on the juice instead of the business, they stumbled onto success.
"I can tell you honestly that we started this business thinking we want to make a life for ourselves and live on this island, and it wasn't about sort of getting rich or making money. It really wasn't. It was more about how much fun we had doing it," says Scott.
Ironically, the business that was only supposed to allow hem to live on Nantucket became so successful that it forced the Toms to move to Boston. You see, a funny thing happened on the way to becoming "juice guys" - somewhere along the line, the goal changed from just hanging out to making Nantucket Nectars a success. Now the juices are available in 30 states, coast to coast.
As for the radio ads, the company doesn't have an advertising agency. The two Toms just walk into a radio station and start recording as they talk to each other and from that, their whole promotional campaign begins. They don't do market research. They just make their juice the way they like it and figure everyone else will like it, too.