You may know him as the man behind Maui Acai at the Baxter YMCA serving acai bowls to the community with a smile, but to us, he is our dear friend. At Beyond Marketing, we have always been big fans of his. From declaring Thursdays at our office to be Maui Acai Thursday to having Juan in our office just to talk, his hard work, and dedication in everything he does shows. This is why we also wanted to share his story with the community. Here’s Juan’s story:
I am originally from Ecuador, South America. I grew up with an older brother and an older sister, in an amazing family full of love and support. I played soccer, tennis, and I enjoyed surfing. I am lucky to have hard-working parents, who are always there for us. My parents will be celebrating 39 years of marriage this year, which is pretty amazing, they are my role models. I have a lot of cousins and we grew up seeing our family getting together every week; family time for us is very important.
While living in Ecuador my parents used to travel to different countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Panama, and the USA to import merchandise to Ecuador and resell it. I grew up seeing my parents running their own businesses. They not only imported goods to Ecuador, but my dad helped my grandfather with his chicken farm they had for over 25 years.
The reason why we are open today is because of my daughter, Ivanna. I used to make the bowls for my family as breakfast and she pushed me to start the food truck. She believed in our product and she was very persistent to go in business with our açai bowls. Once we decided to actually go through with the idea, I started doing my research to find our name, and one day I was driving and it came to me; Maui Açai and it has stuck ever since.
The most rewarding things as a business owner are getting to know the amazing people in our community, and I get to see the acceptance of our bowls and having their support is priceless. And because of the support, it has helped me to start thinking more like an entrepreneur and thinking about what is next and what the future holds for Maui Açai.
Managing my time is hard to do, but I do try to separate business from work and family. My biggest challenge was going back to school full-time, working a full-time job, being a full-time husband, a full-time parent, and achieving my goal of graduating with straight A’s. Those 4 years taught me to value my family and the people who supported me. Without their support, my dreams wouldn’t be possible.
My business philosophy is all about our customer’s experience. Our goal is to make sure every customer is treated with respect and thanked for giving us the opportunity to serve them. At Maui Açai, all our fruits are fresh when we serve our açai bowls, even though we are a food truck, our customers appreciate our kindness and our friendly staff. We love hearing our customers about their amazing experience at the truck.