During a radio conference trip to the United States with her husband, Jeff Allis in 1999, the booming smoothie and juice industry caught Janine's attention. Upon her return to Melbourne, she studied the local retail sector and observed that there were very few healthy fast food choices in the Australian market. Janine started to develop a business concept that was different to anything else in the world. Her vision was to "do retailing differently" and deliver a unique customer experience based on the "love life" philosphy.
With the financial help from friends, Janine and Jeff raised $200,000 and opened their first Boost Juice store in Adelaide's King William Street in 2000. Their decision to open their first store in Adelaide was a pragmatic one; as a smaller market it was a less financial risk. Janine continued to successfully control all operations from her kitchen table in Melbourne, she consulted with nutritionists and naturopaths to create a menu of healthy smoothies and juices that were free from preservatives and artificial flavours and colours.
“The vision was simple: every customer will leave a Boost Juice store feeling just that little bit better.”
The success of their first store, allowed Janine and Jeff to open additional stores in Adelaide's Topham Mall, Marion Shopping Centre and in Melbourne's Chapel Street, Jam Factory Precinct and by the end of 2001, they had negotiated and committed to opening twenty more stores Australia-wide.
“I really learned the business from the ground up. It meant I was continually developing and growing it and that was incredibly valuable when we started thinking about the next one.” - Janine Allis
By June 2004, (with more than 100 outlets Australia-wide), Boost Juice purchased rival chain Viva Juice. Janine's strategy was to rebrand the outlets as Boost Juices and sell the newly branded stores to franchise partners. This meant that during September 2004, one new Boost Juice store opened nearly every day. In 2005, Boost Juice was voted one of the top three most admired franchises in Australia. In the same year, the business was awarded the prestigious 'American Express Franchisor of the Year' award.
Another successful year for Boost Juice (2010), saw Riverside Company become the first major investment group to buy a significant share in Retail Zoo Pty Ltd (the holding company of Boost Juice, CIBO Espresso and Salsas Fresh Mex). Janine also participated in Network Ten's Australian series of 'Undercover Boss', which was filmed at both company and franchise-owned Boost Juice stores in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. In 2014, Bain Capital (one of the world's leading private investment firms) in partnership with Jeff and Janine, bought out the Riverside Company's share in Retail Zoo.
In December 2015, Boost Juice won three awards with the Franchise Council of Australia, in addition to Janine being inducted in to the Hall of Fame. Boost Juice was awarded 'Australia's Established Franchisor of the Year', the 'Excellence in International Franchinsing' and 'Regional Franchise Winner NT/QLD' awards. Boost was also a national finalist in the 'Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year' category.
“Boost has a can-do attitude. We don’t believe in the word ‘try’ because that means I’ll give myself permission not to succeed. You don’t try, you just do it.” – Janine Allis
In April 2016, Boost Juice opened its 250th Australian store, a huge achievement for a brand that only opened its first store sixteen years ago. “Boost is not only about providing customers with healthy and great tasting smoothies and juices, it’s about the entire in-store experience – we want our customers to experience the energy, passion and love-life ethos that infuses everything we do. We believe that there is still room for growth and innovation and have no plans of slowing down” – Janine Allis.
Janine still loves getting up every morning and being a part of the great adventure that is Boost Juice and Retail Zoo. She says that she’ll keep working hard, as long as she is loving what she is doing. The core of the Boost Juice brand remains around health, fun and a love for life.
“Boost has a can-do attitude. We don’t believe in the word ‘try’ because that means I’ll give myself permission not to succeed. You don’t try, you just do it.”
– Janine Allis
Janine Allis is not your everyday, self-made Australian entrepreneur. She recognised a gap in the Australian retail market and grew her smoothie and juice dream to become what is now an international franchising success story.
Born in the outer Melbourne suburb of Knoxfield, Janine was the youngest of four children and left school at age 16 years 10 months with the ambition to save money and travel the world. She was temporarily employed at the McCann Ericsson Advertising Agency before returning to school and completing her leaving certificate.
At the age of 21 and with $6000 saved, Janine commenced her six year hiatus across Europe. Her travels provided her with the opportunity to work as an au pair for a few months in France and in sales roles in the Canary Islands. For three out of her six years abroad, Janine was employed as a stewardess on David Bowie’s yacht.
Before Janine was a shark in the Tank, she needed to hunt for her own investors.
Early investors were Flight Centre founder Geoff Harris, entrepreneurial Melbourne family, The Besens, and investor Rod Young. In 2010, Riverside Company became the first major investment group to buy a significant stake in Boost Juice followed by Bain Capital who bought them out in 2014.
In February 2015, Janine appeared as one of the five sharks on the first Australian season of Network Ten’s Shark Tank. Based on the international Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank format, Janine and her fellow sharks use their years of experience and success to take the inventions presented to them and turn them in to real business ventures. The show’s purpose is to entertain and present to the Australian public, a new generation of millionaire entrepreneurs. Due to her time as a ‘shark’, Janine now owns significant stakes in a multitude of companies including a 10% stake in a portable washing machine service (Scrubba Washing) and a 35% stake in Flyabee, a company angled towards easier aviation travel for infants. Janine returned for Season 2 of Shark Tank in 2016 and is expected to return to Network 10 in 2017
“Our franchise partners are such an important part of the Boost family – it’s really important for us to take care of them and do everything we can to help them succeed.”
Janine believes that “people need to live a good life, have great experiences and find out what they’re really passionate about”. It was during her trip to the United States with husband Jeff in 1999 that she realised what her passion and dreams were and turned them in to a reality. “The fact that I had no business ownership experience didn’t worry me at all because I was so focused and passionate about the product. I thought that Australian consumers would love the ability to grab something on the run that was fresh, healthy and blended right in front of them”. Today, Janine is the Executive Director of Retail Zoo, a multi-brand food retail business platform. She is a perpetual student, continues to soak up ideas like a sponge and constantly surrounds herself with amazing business-minded people. Janine’s leadership style is natural, warm, giving and inspiring. These attributes drive her support office team to strive for continuous improvement and deliver outstanding achievements. Janine describes herself as having a very hands on approach toward the running of Boost Juice and to this day attests that this has contributed to the expansion of the company.
Janine has said that, “there’s nothing special about me. I wasn’t one of those children in school that people voted most likely to succeed. I was just a very average, ordinary kid from Ferntree Gully that gave her dreams a crack and failing was not an option. My recipe for success was a great idea, an enormous passion for the product and my willingness to work my butt off until it succeeded, whilst solving the millions of problems and surrounding myself with the right people”.