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Meet Valerie Fullen of Oasis Juice Bar in Galveston Island

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Fullen.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I first started working at Oasis in September 2015 as a waitress. I was 22 at the time and fresh out of college. Being a vegetarian and novice juicer, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the place. Just a couple months into my job, the owners at the time were wanting to sell the juice bar to focus more time on other passions. Eager to keep Oasis up and running, my wheels started turning. As soon as I got home that day, I called my parents to ask them if I was crazy to buy a business. They almost immediately agreed that it sounded like a great idea and encouraged me to pursue it. Next thing you know, we were sitting down for meetings, trying to see if this whole thing was feasible. On January 18, 2016, I shook a few hands, signed a few papers, and within a couple of hours, I was a business owner.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Owning a business has been the most challenging and liberating experience of my life. People will tell you that it’s tough work, but no one can prepare you for the realities of it all. Being so young, as well as the newest member of the juice bar crew, it was very difficult for me to step into my shoes as boss lady. I’ve come a long way since then, but it’s still something that I struggle with often. The biggest challenge I faced was last December when we had to shut down for repairs. We had a tough health inspection that deemed our kitchen not suitable for commercial use. We were closed for 2 weeks. The hardest part was trying to explain what was happening to the public. I received many questions, concerns, and complaints that I simply didn’t have an answer to. The beauty of it all, however, was all of the support I received. Friends and neighbors donated their time and materials to help us get all of the work done.

Customers and patrons sent warm wishes and donations to get us through those couple of weeks. I will never forget the love and support I received from everyone during that tough time. After all, it is during our darkest moments that we see the light.

Please tell us about Oasis Juice Bar.
We are a small cafe that offers juices, smoothies, coffee, tea, and vegetarian/vegan fare. My focus over the last year has been to make the move toward organic. When I first took over the business, it wasn’t a priority. I’m proud to say that we are now 90-95% organic. I just don’t feel comfortable feeding others something that I wouldn’t feed to myself and my family. I love being able to tell customers, ‘Yes, that is organic!’ or ‘Yes, that is vegan!’ The juice bar is the only place of its kind in Galveston. Our restaurants here offer mostly deep fried and over indulgent foods. There is no other place on the island where you can find an all vegetarian/vegan menu and order with confidence knowing that you are doing the best thing for your body. Also, basically every item on our menu can be made gluten free by request. We truly are an Oasis for the people of Galveston.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Call it luck, but I call it intention. What you put out in the universe is what you get back. I believe that we manifest for ourselves, the visions and intentions we focus on. If you really concentrate on what you want, eventually, it will find you. It might take a couple hours or a couple of decades, but it will come. I think that success is half luck, half hard work. My parents instilled a great work ethic in my sisters and I. We have always been very hard workers. This is all what led me down the road I’m on now. Ask, and you shall receive.

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Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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