To say Zest Short North manager, Amanda Shaw is unique is a bit of an understatement. After a year as the weekend manager in Grandview, Amanda left her full-time job in corporate America to dive into the juice business headfirst.
“I started out part time at Zest, keeping my interior design job during the week. But the weeks dragged on, I looked forward to the weekend because working at Zest wasn’t work to me, it was just fun!” Amanda tells us.
Originally from Westerville, Amanda is a graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design majoring in interior design. While she loves design work, health is her passion.
“Last year I lost 120 lbs. I was on Pinterest and I saw the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I wanted to participate in it, so I immediately decided to change my lifestyle. I started eating healthy and gradually worked my way into jogging. I started running marathons, so I took the part time job at Zest as a way to fund my new love for running.”
Amanda first heard about Zest before the Grandview location even opened. “I taste tested the juice at an event. It tasted amazing, I liked the design of the bottle, so I applied for a job the next day.”
It didn’t take long for Amanda to realize her heart wasn’t behind the desk at an interior design company…it was at Zest.
“I was longing to help people. I think I finally realized while sitting at my desk at 2 in the morning, crying and working on a design job. It dawned on me that making smoothies made me so much happier. I wanted to interact with people, to share my story and journey, and my passion for a healthy lifestyle,” Shaw says.
Today, Amanda is the manager of Zest’s newest location in the Short North (912 N. High Street). “I’m pumped! It’s a great spot for locals, for people who live here for people who frequent the art district. It’s perfect for me.”
Working for co-owners, Natalie and Jordan Helman, is more like working for friends. “They just get it. They understand their business; they care about their employees. They embody the same ideas and goals I have. There are three people who work at the Short North who are vegan. Natalie and Jordan do a great job of hiring people who genuinely want to work here.”
When she’s not working, Amanda tells us her lifestyle mirrors her day job. “I’m juicing. Working on my personal fitness. I would love to be a health coach, so I’m looking into that. Last year I made a lot of goals, marathons and a long road trip. I decided to juice my entire way from Columbus to Seattle, keeping a juicer in the trunk of my car. I stopped anywhere that had electricity. I’d spread everything out on the ground, make my juice and hop back in the car on my way to Seattle.”
If she could describe Zest in one sentence she tells us it’s simple. “We are a friendly neighborhood juice joint. You can call me your friendly neighborhood juice girl.”