Thirty years ago, Marygrace Sexton’s husband, Bobby, a fourth-generation Florida citrus grower, dreamed of producing fresh-squeezed juice but was too busy to pursue it. She was determined to bring her husband’s dream to fruition and launched Natalie’s Juice, a family-operated, women-owned business that produces some of the finest juices on the market. (The brand is named for the Sextons’ daughter Natalie, who is currently the brand’s vice president of marketing.) Thirty years later, the brand produces 20 different juices, all of which are minimally processed and squeezed daily and can be ordered straight to your door via the brand’s website or found in grocery and specialty stores. We spoke to Sexton about the secrets of her success.
What made you decide to found this brand?
The story of Natalie’s Juice begins in an orange grove with me pulling my daughter in a red wagon. I knew the superior qualities of Florida citrus firsthand. Though I had exclusive access to the country’s best citrus, I didn’t have the same access to fresh juice unless I squeezed it myself or purchased it from a roadside stand. With the world’s best fruit at my fingertips, I was determined to bring my husband’s idea to fruition and I launched the first batch in 1989.
What were the first juices you squeezed?
Orange and grapefruit. Soon after, we increased the number of juice extractors from two to seven to include lemon and lime juice.
When did Natalie’s Juice launch the new functional juice line?
The Holistics line was inspired by the demand for functional beverages, as consumers have been increasingly using food as a method to improve their overall wellness. The initial line launched with three varieties: Purify (blood orange, grapefruit, dandelion, ginger), Relax (orange, pineapple, chamomile, passion flower) and Resilient (blood orange, elderberry, turmeric, ginger, black pepper), with the newest Aura (blood orange, strawberry, ashwagandha) added last year.
What do you love about living in Fort Pierce, Florida?
Aside from the access to citrus, I love the warm climate and the ability to ride my bike year-round. Each day, I get up at 5 A.M. and cycle at least 30 miles. My dream is to become a competitive cyclist.