Small Business Success Story: Heart Juice |

Blog post   •   Jul 16, 2012 12:04 EDT

By AnnMarie McIlwain, Founder and CEO,

“Lead with your heart and the rest will follow” sums up Ray Li and John Vitug’s Heart Juice story. These two young guys, with a passion to make a difference, were inspired by a young professor’s heart attack, a family history of heart disease, and consumer desire for nutraceuticals. Enter Heart Juice, the first beverage containing hawthorn berries and resveratrol, formulated to promote heart health.

Following the often heard “don’t quit your day job” maxim, Ray and Li developed the product over a two year period. Throughout, they saved money and honed their business plan, eventually winning the prestigious Rutgers Business Plan Competition in 2011.

Now, Heart Juice is on the shelves of 200 stores, and they are on their way to commercial success—perhaps becoming the next Vitamin Water.

If you have an idea that needs to be tested, here’s a map of business plan competitions around the country, many of which come with a cash award. This is a partial listing of business plan competitions, so make sure you do a little extra online searching!

Video production by darQlight Studios

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