Xavier Dillard had a childhood passion that he has now developed into a thriving business. When he was younger Dillard´s grandmother found a unique way to get him to eat all his fruits and veggies. His grandmother, RAW food Chef Sharynne, made a vegetable- and fruit-packed smoothie. She would get him to drink 15 fruits and veggies in one smoothie. Ever since then, Dillard has loved smoothies. Now it is his business– The WoRx, a private label smoothie brand. And he is just 22 years old.
For Dillard, WoRx is not just about building a successful business. It is about promoting a healthy lifestyle. “I want to help people get over their fears of being healthy. As a society, we connect being healthy with only the physical aspects, not knowing what is going on internally. Someone with the right height, weight, body mass index and in shape can drop dead in a heartbeat, literally,” says Dillard. “WoRx is about giving the body nutrition in a form where everyone can enjoy it. We all know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, but when? This is where The WoRx is so vital. Your ‘prescription smoothie’ is disguising your normal, favorite smoothie flavors with 15 vegetables and not tasting the difference. It’s an art called ‘smoothology.'”
The smoothie business is hot right now. According to SmoothieStatistics.com, which following smoothie industry trends, the USA smoothie market brings in over $2 billion in sales each year for the more than 6,000 smoothie shop business locations in the country. And smoothie consumption grew more than 80 percent in the past 5 years.
Dillard tested his smoothie blends when working at Starbucks as a barista. He would mix up different, off-menu concoctions that soon created a following. It was then he knew he was on to something. But making it into a real business was another matter.
Again, it was his grandparents who prompted him to make his smoothie passion into a brand. They had opened a raw food business in Las Vegas called Raw Food Express, which now has branched off to include two locations. Dillard, who went on to get his raw cooking chef certification, went to work for his grandparents and eventually decided to create his smoothie line. The WoRx smoothies are on sale at the Raw Food Express restaurants, which serve a full variety of Vegan/RAW food items as well. “But we are not a restaurant; we are a teaching facility with a side of RAW food and the best smoothies,” says Dillard.
One of Dillard´s main obstacles, however, has been attracting people of color to try the smoothie line. “The main obstacle is getting people past the color and enhanced fruit and vegetable textures [of the drinks],” he says.
And while Dillard´s grandparents tried to instill healthy eating habits during his childhood, Dillard himself got out of shape. “When we opened in Jan. 2012, I weighed 210 lbs. I knew I needed a change,” he shares. “So I started drinking our smoothies twice a day and having a regular meal. Doing this consistently, I shed 60 lbs. by June 2012 without working out.” He incorporated his own personal success into “The 5 day Smoothie Program.” This entails having clients pre-pay for their five-day supply of two 16 oz. servings per day with bonuses of five free Pilates classes, sports medicine chiropractic evaluations, pH. strips to test acid-alkaline balance, and the store’s frequent buyer card.
“What we offer is a full program and support system. This is why we have a 100% success rate,” notes Dillard.
WoRx, of course, is not the first line of smoothies on the market, so how does Dillard compete with the major players like Jamba Juice? “Easy, we don’t,” he says without hesitattion. “You have competition when products are similar and that is definitely not the case here. Other smoothie chains are there to give the public something tasty, not to empower people with combinations like ours. Our mission is to help give back health, one smoothie at a time. This is your prescription without the pill.”
And with this mission in mind, Dillard has great plans for WoRx. Our long-term goal is to have the WoRx smoothies in every school in the nation. Our children need to be exposed to whole fruits and vegetables but with knowledge of the great things they will do for their growing bodies,” he reveals. “I would love to introduce the smoothies to the hospitals as well. How many people get sick and can’t eat or don’t have an appetite? They can still get the nutrition, by just drinking. Another goal is to break into the sports world. There are great athletes performing at their peak with no nutrition. So can you imagine what would happen if we pumped our athletes with the best nutrition consistently. I already know the response. There will be improvements in every area.”
Dillard has actually also introduced the line to athletes, with The WoRx Fit program. “This was designed to enhance athletes’ performance and recovery time. The program has featured a world champion triathlete, pro golfer, body builder champion, boxers, master swimmer, and many more to come. But it starts with educating them,” he says. “You just have to try it.”