Happy New Year! We made it. It's the year 2021. Well... to say the least, 2020 was a quite *unique* year. A year of pivoting and adapting, learning and understanding, educating and standing up, changing and creating... a year full of unknowns. Along with the rest of the world, we were forced to face challenge after challenge. Nonetheless, this was a significant year for Junbi and we are stronger as a team because of it. We explored strengths we didn't know we had. Most importantly, I'm sure we can all agree that we learned to not take anything for granted. 2021 is a fresh start. Let's rewind and reflect on the past 12 months.
January 12 - Rebrand from Sip Matcha to Junbi!
We announced our rebrand at Smorgasburg LA, along with the launch of our new drink, Yuzu Dragonfruit Matcha. Over the years as Sip, we have been receiving requests to expand across the globe, which inspired us to franchise Junbi. In order to bring Junbi to cities all over the country (and world one day), we needed a registered trademark, which didn't work out with Sip Matcha. But everything was meant to be because our journey with Junbi has been an incredible one so far. Thus, our story with Junbi began.
January 18 - Grand Opening at Junbi Westwood
We hosted a grand opening celebration at our Westwood location. We gave out 100 free Yuzu Dragonfruit Matchas, held a raffle with fun giveaway prizes, hosted a meet & greet with our 3 Founders, and sooo many of you showed up! Thank you. Your support truly means so mcuh 💛
February 1 - Grand Opening at Junbi Rowland Heights
Two weeks later, we hosted a grand opening for our Rowland Heights location! We are so so grateful for the support of our rebrand and both grand openings. It was so nice to meet all of you who came out and to see your sweet faces!
February 8, 15, 22, 29 - JKFilms + David So Meet & Greets
The rebrand celebration continues! Over the next few Saturdays of February, we hosted meet & greets with the JKFilms fam and David So! We met so many of you who traveled both near and far.
February 19 - Launched E-Commerce
March 3 - We're Franchising!
We announced on our Instagram that we're looking for franchising partners! Our goal is to make high quality matcha accessible to everyone. In addition, we hope to continue building communities that provide jobs, value, innovation, and better-for-you options.
For more information on franchising, click here
March 4 - Matcha 101
On this day, we held an exclusive Matcha 101 event where invitees and their guests learned more about our matcha and our story, taste test different kinds of matcha, received fun goodie bags, and so much more! It was a fun night getting to mingle with one another... you know, the calm before the storm.
March 19 - Covid-19 Lockdown
After days of watching the news closely, we closed our doors in response to the California statewide "Stay-at-Home" order. The global pandemic put the world on pause, but the show still had to go on for us. Our teams in all departments had to pivot and quickly but safely transition into a new work lifestyle. We, like everyone else in the world, had no idea about the future ahead of us, but were ready to Prepare Daringly.
We started a separate Instagram account to focus our content on sharing matcha-focused recipes. We absolutely love seeing your matcha creations. What recipes would you like to see on our blog?
April 5 - Surprise! We're Expanding!
We shared our first franchise location with the world! Princeton, New Jersey, we're coming for you in Q1 of 2021 😉
With Covid restrictions still in effect, we launched our first at-home matcha recipe on our blog for our community to enjoy our matcha whenever and wherever they were. Our Blueberry Milk Matcha is one of our best sellers in-store and we decided to release an easy-to-make version to do in the comfort of your own home 😋
April 10 - Blueberry Matcha Latte
Yup! You heard right! We announced that Richardson, TX would be our next franchise location opening in Q1 of 2021! 😉 Where in the world should we head to next?
April 29 - Lone Star State
With the ongoing pandemic, we launched our Junbi face masks with an initiative to give back to the healthcare community for tirelessly working to provide for those in need. Our Buy a Mask, Give a Mask campaign allowed us to donate medical-grade masks to healthcare workers at hospitals in our local area.
May 15 - Boba
With everyone practicing new recipes at home, we launched our raw boba in-store and online! In addition, we also released a video tutorial to show you step-by-step how to prepare boba
What's your favorite drink topping (boba, almond jelly, aloe, chia seed... mmmm 😛)?
May 16 - Shops Reopening
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to open our doors again. The pandemic has forced many small businesses to shut down, some forever. Fortunately and thanks to you guys, we were able to come back safely in compliance with the CDC guidelines.
June 2 - Amplified Black Voices
This year, a lot of darkness was brought into the light, deep issues rooted in our country's history. We muted our own Instagram content for a week in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and resposed resources to amplify Black voices, but our internal conversations were far from silent. As a company, we looked within, had deep discussions, shared and consumed resources to learn, took time to reflect and understand, and developed action steps for how to be better. The fight doesn't end here and is far from over, we will continue to fight alongside as allies against racial injustice and inequality.
June 22 - Feeling Bubbly?
To beat the summer heat, we released our Sparkling Summer Series in-store. Our limited-time offers included Sparkling Matcha and Sparkling Watermelon Matcha. We also released an at-home Sparkling Matcha Lemonade
recipe. A fizzy drink for a relaxing summer day ☀️
August 19 - Give Junbi
We recognize and are so grateful to all frontline and essential workers. We introduced our Give Junbi campaign to pay it forward, allowing our customers to buy a drink for an essential worker. In September and October, massive wildfires blazed through California. With one was particularly close to our area, our team decided to make a several trips to fire stations to thank them for their service. Thanks to our community (you guys!!), we were able to donate over 300 drinks 💚 This is an ongoing campaign and in 2021, we have already delivered donated drinks to healthcare workers on the frontline of Covid. If you'd like to give back, you can do so by ordering online or at any of our in-store kiosks.
September 28 - Fallin' for Matcha
As the weather gradually cools down and the leaves changes its colors (...well not in California but you get the point), we introduced our new fall drinks: Pumpkin Spice Matcha and Madagascar Vanilla, while re-introducing our seasonal favorite White Chocolate Matcha.
October 23 - Reiwa
We launched Reiwa by Junbi
, our highest grade matcha. It is produced exclusively from the first harvest of the year, from the softest and youngest bud creating a creamier, sweeter, and smoother experience. You'll taste the luxury in each sip!
In efforts to strive towards a more sustainable lifestyle, we wanted to start a series on ways to reuse our matcha tins. We teamed up with Marie from Green Valley Made
to turn your empty matcha tin into a cute mini candle.
October 31- Spooky Rice Balls
In honor of spooky season, we offered squid ink rice balls in-store for the weekend only.
November 8 - Lifestyle Merch
We came out with a lifestyle wear line that is both stylish and comfortable. These tees and hoodie were designed to inspire you to Prepare Daringly to take on your goals!
December 1-12 -
On the 12th Day of Christmas Junbi Gave to Me As the holiday season is among us, we hosted 12 Days of Matcha to give back to our wonderful community. On the first 11 days, winners each won their own matcha tin plus an extra one to gift to a friend! On the 12th day, the grand prize winner won a one-year supply of Junbi matcha!!
Doggos of Junbi
So like.... can we just talk about the pups!!! I bet you're smiling from ear to ear 😄
(This is a PSA to tag us in all your pet photos, we want to see them all!!🤭)
Thank you, like seriously. What a year. Seeing the support you've all given Junbi is what keeps us going. We still don't know what the future holds but what we do know is that we will never stop working hard to serve you the best quality matcha with a smile. We are looking forward to tackling whatever comes our way this year and hope our matcha can help you do the same. Stay safe, stay strong. We appreciate you all. Continue to Prepare Daringly!
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