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Main Squeeze Juice Co.’s First Franchisee Continues to Expand in Houston

With a drive to bring healthy and clean eating to more people, Jeff Drost has become a pioneer for the emerging smoothie and juice franchise.

Jeff Drost, the inaugural franchisee of Main Squeeze Juice Co. in Houston, TX, has a rich background that led him to the world of franchising. Before venturing into the juice and smoothie business, Drost spent 11 years in the healthcare sector. His journey into franchising began serendipitously when his business partner and health enthusiast, Tabatha Jones, visited the original Main Squeeze store in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Impressed by the store's commitment to natural and healthy ingredients, she convinced Drost to explore the opportunity. At that time, Main Squeeze was a local mom-and-pop store, but after persistent engagement, Drost, Jones and third business partner Marc Miller became the brand's first franchisees when the company decided to expand.

Drost's perception of franchising evolved from a desire to be an entrepreneur, seeking the right concept in an unsaturated market. He saw potential in the juicing sector, especially with its health angle, which was relatively untapped in the south. The health and wellness trend's continued growth further solidified his decision. Their first store in Webster, TX, was a resounding success, and despite challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, they managed to open two more stores — Pearland, TX and Cypress, TX. Now, Drost is gearing up to open his fourth store in the Houston Heights area.

Drost attributes this success to the franchise's refined model, which eliminates guesswork and provides a solid template for success. With almost 40 stores now, Main Squeeze has continually improved its processes, recipes and operations.

Looking ahead, Drost has ambitious plans for the future. He aims to open a total of nine Main Squeeze locations, solidifying the brand's presence in the area. With the support of other franchisees, he believes Main Squeeze is poised to dominate the market, given its healthy and clean product offerings. Drost's journey also showcases the flexibility of the franchise model. He has hired a general manager, allowing him to re-enter the workforce and enjoy passive income.

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Drost: I was in the healthcare industry for 11 years prior to this, but after a while, I got tired of that industry. I eventually moved back home to Lake Charles, Louisiana, which is where the original Main Squeeze store is located. My wife at the time worked for a commercial cleaning company and she went into the store to set them up. She has always been a healthy eater, so she asked them: “Be honest, what junk do you put in the smoothies?” All the other smoothie places use unhealthy ingredients. They said it's all natural — all of the good, none of the bad. So, she asked them to let her watch them make a smoothie. On the way home, she called me and told me we’re getting in the juice and smoothie business. She was blown away. At the time, Main Squeeze wasn’t designed to be a franchise. It was just a locally-owned store. But we continued to reach out to the team over the next few months, and finally they told us they had decided to franchise. It was time to put our money where our mouth was. We were the very first franchisees with the brand. 

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Drost: I was always tethered to the idea of being an entrepreneur, it was just always hard to know which concept to invest in. What market isn’t oversaturated? You are always looking for that specific thing and then sometimes it just hits you in the face. The smoothie business is already out there, but the juicing part of it and the health angle was’t really out there at the time, especially not in the south. It felt like it was an industry that was really open to growth. It didn’t hurt that it was in the health and wellness segment, which is continuing its upward trend. It is nice to offer a product that is actually benefiting customers. 

The franchisor ultimately has the majority of the say on what goes on. But there is a reason for that. As a brand, you want to be consistent. If someone orders a smoothie in Jacksonville and then they come to a store in Houston, you want the smoothie to taste the same. The franchise is designed to keep things uniform — make things taste and look the same. When you are a part of a franchise, everything is taken care of for you, which really makes the process a lot easier. With Main Squeeze, these recipes are there for us. We don’t have to spend a lot of time and money blending smoothies everyday to try recipes. There is a lot more positive than negative when it comes to being part of a franchise. 

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Drost: Our original store was in Webster, TX. It went fantastic — it was actually the third store open. We were the first franchisees, but by the time we actually opened in 2019, there were already a couple other stores open. It was a smooth process overall. The demand was definitely in the area. We did really well right out of the gates. 

We wanted to have a little bit of time under our belt before opening the second store. Then COVID-19 hit, but we actually went ahead with opening our second and third store during that period. We continued moving ahead, and we are now building out our fourth store in Houston Heights.

The way the franchise model is set up means there isn’t a whole lot of guesswork to be done. The model has been refined. From our first store to now, I’ve seen it get better and better. They are continuing to evolve. They don’t stay stagnant. The brand has opened close to 40 stores at this point, so they’ve really fine-tuned the process, the real estate requirements, the recipes and the operations. That is why franchising makes sense. There is a lot that goes into opening a business and the franchise has already thought of all those things and gives you a template to succeed. 

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Drost: Ultimately, we want to open nine locations and establish a firm footprint in the area. We also aren't the only franchisees here, so we have a lot of help establishing a brand name. Main Squeeze is primed to dominate the market — we have a good, healthy and clean product, so now it is all about getting more visibility through word-of-mouth. 

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Drost: I’ve hired a GM at this point, so I am back out in the workforce. The model is such that you can be a really hands-on operator, or you can hire a very experienced general manager and enjoy passive income. We still communicate multiple times a day, but I have the time to pursue another career. 

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Drost: Ultimately, it comes down to overcoming the nerves. Everyone thinks they want to do it, but when they are presented with the opportunity, are they gonna take the leap? Sometimes you just gotta go for it — have faith in yourself, put in the effort and make it work. I have so many friends who talk about doing it, but what's stopping them? If that is something you really want to do, and you do the homework, chances are you will be successful. 

The initial investment associated with opening a Main Squeeze Juice Company store will range from $385,050 to $682,750*. For more information on franchising with the brand, visit

*To see the full fees and financials, please reference the 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document Item 7 and Item 19.


Main Squeeze Juice Co. is a fast casual juice and smoothie bar concept based out of New Orleans, Louisiana. The original Main Squeeze was built in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 2017, and its immediate success attracted the attention of CEO Thomas Nieto. After taste testing Main Squeeze Juice Co.'s incredible juices and smoothies, he was sold on the spot – and the rest is history. Main Squeeze Juice Co. is committed to always serving the highest quality and most nutritious non-pasteurized, non-HPP’d cold-pressed juices, handcrafted superfood smoothies, organic and wild-harvested bowls and other healthy food items we can find, and to do so using the most responsibly grown produce packed into the most eco-friendly containers possible, while helping as many people as we can fulfill their nutritional goals in the most convenient manner imaginable. We will always strive to help others in Making Healthy Easier®.