Growth 5 min read

Fueling Recovery Through Business

The woman behind Luna Juice Bar embodies her unique name – Summer Shine – but that wasn’t always the case.

(Photo: Luna Juice Bar)

The woman behind Luna Juice Bar embodies her unique name – Summer Shine – but that wasn’t always the case.

A few years ago, Shine was homeless in New Orleans with a husband about to leave her, a son who wouldn’t take her calls, and a mother who was planning her funeral. The path to become her shining self again, and a successful business owner has been years in the making and included a painful, dark relapse.

But today, Shine’s juice bar employs fifteen people and grosses over $30,000 per month serving delicious juices and smoothies at locations in and around Waco, Texas. Shine got back on her feet with the help of Center for Peace, a Victoria, Texas-based social enterprise that helps women rebuild their lives. After nine months of sobriety, Shine and her husband, Ronnie, reconciled and began to pursue their long time dream of starting a juicing business.

 

They approached the business volunteers at the Center for Peace, a social enterprise of Perpetual Help Home in Victoria, TX for a micro-loan to launch Luna Juice Bar – and received it.

“We’re the most risky population of people you could hand a check to,” Shine told the Waco Tribune last year. “The crazy thing is, I took that $5,000 and I spent it on exactly what I said I’d spend it on. I didn’t buy crack or go back to New Orleans.”

Shine paid off the micro-loan ahead of time, then pitched to Center for Peace – and a few other potential investors – for an equity investment to expand Luna Juice Bar.

 

What a beautiful day! Come see us at the Silos and #getalljuicedup #wacotown

A post shared by Luna Juice Bar (@lunajuicebar) on

 

The pitch was successful: Luna Juice Bar secured a $40,000 investment with each of four investors owning 5% of the company. People one step away from incarceration and addiction don’t appear to be the most likely group of entrepreneurs. But Cheryl Miller, leader of Center for Peace, and her team see every person as created in God’s image and talented in unique ways, recognizing that some women are entrepreneurs at heart.

Shine says Luna Juice Bar played a “huge role” in her recovery. The first six to nine months are the hardest and most vital to recovery, Shine says. Resurrecting a business idea she has had since 1998 gave her purpose, with her faith in Christ strengthening every step of her journey.

The success of Luna Juice Bar, and the impact it has had on Shine’s life, highlight the opportunity we all have to serve others by helping them achieve their dream. 

 

Rudy Carrasco is the US Regional Facilitator for Partners Worldwide. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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