Main Squeeze Juice Co., the burgeoning 30-unit juice bar and smoothie franchise that's dominating the health and wellness industry, is thrilled to announce the promotion of Julie Canseco from Chief Operating Officer (COO) to a groundbreaking new role: Chief Dietitian Officer (CDO).
""It's an incredible, exciting and humbling opportunity for me," said Canseco. "There isn't another franchise company I know of that has a CDO like me."
Canseco’s journey into the world of nutrition began at Louisiana State University, where she studied to become a registered dietician. Unlike many in her field who ended up in hospitals, she set her sights on community and public health.
“I wanted to live our mission of helping people before they got sick with preventative wellness by combating those common diseases I’ve seen growing up in Louisiana,” Canseco said. “Since the age of 9, my dad has dealt with heart bypasses, strokes and other health problems. It was due to our typical south-Louisiana lifestyle, not just genetics. I want people to live their best life.”
This desire led her to work at an out-patient clinic at the young age of 22. “That was a great experience and I learned a lot about managing my own practice," Canseco said. “I was helping clients who wanted to meet their weight loss goals or get off their blood pressure medicine or be able to go out to eat with their grandson again. It was a very meaningful role.”
Canseco then ventured more into community nutrition with the nonprofit health initiative Eat Fit NOLA, where she worked directly with restaurants to create healthier menu options. Through her efforts, she was able to secure grants with BlueCross BlueShield to expand the program statewide.
“Louisiana isn’t known for its healthy food, so it was quite a challenge, but I was able to work with the best dietitian in the business,” said Canseco. “We held community education classes, we worked with teachers to provide cooking classes, we connected restaurants with vendors. It was a very exciting time.”
When it comes to her introduction to Main Squeeze, Canseco’s connection is stronger than most — she’s actually part of the brand family. Her brother Thomas Nieto and husband Michael Canseco are the two co-founders.
"I had my first visit to the first store in Lake Charles and I saw a little kid drinking (and enjoying!) a green juice,” said Canseco. “That's when I knew this was it. This is how I can bring healthy eating to the people in a way that is approachable, accessible and delicious."
Main Squeeze’s dietitian-designed, superfood-inspired menu includes proprietary recipes that focus on combining nutritious and delicious ingredients. The selection of fresh and raw cold-pressed juices is made daily with 2-4 pounds of produce in each bottle, which is never pasteurized or HPP'd, and the superfood smoothies are made with whole fruits and vegetables; no ice, fillers or syrups. The menu also includes several acai and pitaya bowl options, fresh food like avocado toast and breakfast sandwiches and made-to-order smoothies.
Canseco officially joined the Main Squeeze corporate team as the Quality Assurance Manager and gradually climbed up to the role of Chief Operations Officer in 2020. “We built our first corporate location and I was involved in the design, the construction, the product development,” she said. “I moved more into the operations side — the training, in store operational efficiencies, the distribution. Eventually, I was working between all of the departments to ensure stores were operating the way they needed to.”
The concept and business model proved to be a hit. With 30 locations open in five states, 80 committed franchise locations and a plan to open nearly one per month in 2023, Main Squeeze Juice Co. is on an explosive growth trajectory soon to become the nation’s largest fresh-made juice franchise.
"We’ve been growing the franchise rapidly — we have a lot of faith in the business, the team and the franchisees,” said Canseco. “Being able to impact every department as the COO was an incredible experience.”
In order to fully harness her skill-set, Main Squeeze worked on creating a whole new role for Canseco. While CDO may stand for Chief Development Officer at other franchise brands, at Main Squeeze it means something a little different: Chief Dietitian Officer.
In this role, Canseco is focusing on product development and media outreach, with ambitious goals like creating a 30% fresh food category by 2024. She is also closely working with the marketing team, launching a fall LTO line that includes a new protein bowl and toast, revamping current menus and recipes, adapting to changing consumer demand for grab-and-go hot food, organizing food design, photo shoots and more.
In addition to the product, Canseco will also be responsible for strategic partnerships and development, whether that be finding new vendors for the e-commerce site, working with the LSU Tigers or aligning with other dietitians.
“We really want to find new revenue streams for the brand," Canseco said. "We want to ensure this new role has the best impact on Main Squeeze franchisees as possible.”
At the end of the day, Canseco says the CDO role is primarily about building a brand that people can connect with. "People connect with people and we want that for our brand," she said. “We are also considering the possibility of launching a podcast and blog channel. We just want to educate people on nutrition, what we stand for, our products and our standards. I'm so passionate about our mission and honored to be the voice of the brand.”
Overall, in this role and beyond, Canseco says her primary focus is on “servant leadership,” a value instilled in her by her parents.
“The reason I got into nutrition in the first place was to empower people and help them live their best life,” Canseco said. “Main Squeeze allows me to do that on a much bigger platform. I want to make a change in the world — one little change leads to another change and then another. That is how positive habits stick. We can have a true impact here and I’m ready to bring my experience and my passion into this role.”
With this transition, Main Squeeze Juice Co. reinforces its commitment to bringing the highest quality nutrition to its customers. “Julie's unique blend of clinical experience, entrepreneurial spirit and deep-seated passion for public health makes her the perfect fit for this new role,” said Thomas Nieto, CEO of Main Squeeze Juice Co. “As Main Squeeze continues to make waves in the health and wellness sector, we’re thrilled to have Julie out front and center educating and delighting the communities we serve.”
The initial investment associated with opening a Main Squeeze Juice Company store will range from $385,050 - $682,750. For more information on franchising with the brand, visit https://www.mainsqueezefranchise.com/.
Posted on: September 18th, 2023
Main Squeeze Juice Co.
International Franchise Association
About the author