A locally sourced cold-pressed juice business started with a young woman’s passion for a nutritional lifestyle paired with the desire to connect the community to accessible, local produce. Mindful consumption and hydration are at the heart of Megan Rigg’s entrepreneurial journey with the Crunchy Carrot.
Megan’s electric and bubbly character greets you at the Leaping Lizard Café and an instant shift occurs, luring you in to sip and learn more.
Her driver is to create a back-to-the-basics nutritional juice and hydration experience that allows people to feel replenished and rejuvenated, ultimately revealing the best version of themselves. “At the end of the day, that is what matters: who you are as a person in this world.”
How It All Began
After graduating from the University of Virginia and spending time in the corporate world, Megan was on a quest for a fulfilling career path. She moved to Thailand to reset, where she was quickly influenced by their culture’s simplistic and fruitful way of life. She would visit a small juice shop every day, where she’d grab a juice or smoothie to refuel. “I realized it was all I needed to survive,” she says. This realization became the seed to bring this notion home to her community. “I wanted to bring back the simplicity of that lifestyle to my hometown.”
In June 2017, Megan launched Crunchy Carrot with a vision to create simple juices handcrafted from fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from local farms, including Cromwell’s Produce. Home base for juicing is at the Leaping Lizard Café where Megan works alongside Paige Welch of Empowered Plant Cakes, who whips up the most flavorful plant-based, gluten-free cakes. The two small business owners make a dynamite duo in the shop with ongoing collaborations. Crunchy Carrot’s leftover juice pulp is often an ingredient in Paige’s sweet treats.
Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Megan reveals her established network in the area helped create a base for her business. From the beginning, Megan’s idea was inspired and made possible by the local community, including Cromwell Farms, Leaping Lizard Café, local farmers’ markets and many more. It is a common thread woven throughout every part of her business—from local ingredients to the local partnerships and collaborations, which help keep Crunchy Carrot accessible around town. For example, the branded sticker displayed on every bottle is sourced from Copy Connections, which stemmed from a relationship with a former highschool classmate, and the idea for the Kickstarter juice was born from cantaloupes and jalapenos her friend at Urban Farm shared with her. She’s built a community, or a “Crunchy Crew” as she calls them, and expresses how so much of what she’s created has been made possible because of this team of supporters.
As for the story behind the name, Crunchy Carrot was born from a nickname Megan’s brother would repeat as she was experimenting with her first juice recipe. The first few iterations of the Crunchy Carrot juice turned out rather crunchy in an effort to keep the rich fibers of the vegetable prominent, plus there was an extra crunch from almonds — an ingredient that didn’t make the cut in the final recipe. Megan says, “I didn’t want to strain any of it out. I wanted to make a crunchy juice made of carrots!” Well, it stuck and has become a fan favorite.
What we cannot forget to mention is how grateful Megan is to have her right-hand woman Chrissy, fellow juicer and Crunchy attendant, working alongside her to keep this juicy operation afloat. She says, “she is my life saver.”
The Crunchy Carrot Experience
Whether enjoying Crunchy Carrot juice, water or cocktails, each sip is infused with rich vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Megan is thoughtfully intentional with her craft and hopes each Crunchy customer is positively impacted by her traditional and basic approach. She further explains, “if you’re eating fresh and local, and you can see where it’s coming from, you’re going to feel good.”
The proof is in the juice! There are eight juices and a wellness shot to savor. The green juices, Detox Dandy and Dr. Greens, contain over eight servings of vegetables and leave you with a bolt of energy. The most non-traditional juice on the menu is the Kickstarter which contains a sweet kick of jalapeño along with cantaloupe, orange and lime—the only of its kind locally— which also happens to be the R&A Team’s favorite!
Insiders’ tip: once you’ve enjoyed your juice, bring your bottle(s) back to the café for a punch card. After 10 punches, you’ll receive a free juice!
Crunchy Carrot juices became such a local favorite, customers of Leaping Lizard Café began requesting to shake up their cocktails with Crunchy Carrot juice. Now, Crunchy Cocktails are available as you dine at the café.
The Crunchy Crew’s latest addition, Crunchy Hydration, is handcrafted herbal alkaline water that encourages the body to resist response from daily stressors and promotes brain function. This idea developed in conversation with the team at Back Bay’s Farmhouse Brewing as Megan was bringing a routine drop-off of Lavender Rose Lemonade to their property. With an extended invitation to use Farmhouse’s on-site production facility, they put their heads together to create a shelf-stable product that includes a diverse array of adaptogens. Get hydrated with the ‘Calm’ or ‘Energize’ cans.
Left-hand photo courtesy of Crunchy Carrot
Proudest Moment & Biggest Obstacle
Megan’s proudest moment running Crunchy Carrot has been when people in the community know and support her brand, even if she isn’t present. She shares how local clothing boutique, TRISH, is a weekly subscriber who routinely orders six-packs of juice and has said, “I don’t know what I would do without your Kickstarter juice every week.” This strong desire and demand has created a bond with her Crunchy Crew that she holds close to her heart.
As for her biggest obstacle, it is challenging to manage a perishable product. She strives to provide high-quality, fresh-tasting juice every sip of the way. This means continuous juicing in an effort to prevent product waste, which often leads to sell out. She says, “learning to manage demand and short shelf-life is the hardest thing.”
Advice for Aspiring Business Owners
When asking Megan to share her best piece of advice for others looking to start or grow a small business, she says to find local partnerships. “I would not be where I am today without utilizing the community,” Megan gleams. “Don’t focus on yourself. See what you can do to help others, and it always comes back.”
She always tells people, “think about what you would do if you woke up every morning and had everything in the world.” Pursue that and give it everything you have.
Future Goals & Favorite Things
There are very exciting plans and ideas brewing for the Crunchy Carrot. Megan shared she wants to plan a summer Crunchy Festival that aims to build the Crunchy movement by bringing together juice, fresh produce, yoga, live music and more.
Outside of the business, Megan is jumping in the ocean or the bay and connecting back to the natural elements that inspired her from day one.
How to Experience All That Crunchy Carrot Has to Offer
The best place to get a taste for the Crunchy goodness is at the Leaping Lizard Café. You may even run into Megan around the restaurant and shop.
Crunchy Carrot juices are also at the Kings Grant Farmers’ Market every other Thursday and at the Old Beach Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.
You may also order juices online at www.crunchycarrotvb.com.