The Exeter Bulletin — Fall 1998
Doug Levin '79
October 15, 1998
Making A Big Splash In The Juice Business
By Stephanie Casale
You've watched the infomercials, maybe you even bought yourself a juice machine. But now there's an easier way to get your five daily servings of fruits and veggies, and thanks to Doug Levin '79, all you have to do is "Shake it up, baby." Fresh Samantha, a line of ultra-fresh, ultra-tasty fresh-squeezed juices is available in supermarkets, health food stores and college campuses all over the New England, and now New York City and the nation's capital as well. Exonians can stock up on their favorites at The Grill, whether it's Mango Mama, Desperately Seeking C, or my own personal favorite, Super Juice with Echinacea.
After graduating from Wesleyan in 1984, Doug took off for the Big Apple and a career in advertising, where he worked as an art director at Doyle, Dane & Birnbach, and then at Saatchi & Saatchi. Seven years later, suffering from a severe case of big city overload, Doug traded in the Big Apple for a big carrot, moving to Maine and buying out a local carrot juice company called 24 Carrot. In 1992, with the help of his wife Abby Carter and Abby's family, Doug founded Fresh Samantha.
"It's a family business," explains Doug, the company's CEO. "When we sat down to strategize about making this juice company work, my wife, my in-laws, my brother in-law and his wife, were all actively involved. I thought it would be charming to name the line of juices after our daughter, Samantha. My wife is an illustrator and it was she who came up with the bright and energetic logo we have—a sketch of Samantha cavorting among fruits and vegetables. My in-laws all had experience in running a small business in the natural foods arena. Together, we came up with a plan we thought could work."
The plan has more than worked. According to an April 1998 Forbes magazine article, Fresh Samantha squeezed out its first profits last year when sales jumped to $7 million, up from $2.8 million in 1996. Sales in 1998 are projected at $14 million. Levin's goals for the future are ambitious. "We want to dominate every market as the highest quality supplier of super premium juices in the Northeast." Because of their just-in-time manufacturing process, taking the product nation-wide would require opening new processing facilities outside of the one in Buxton, Maine. But according to Levin, "There's a place for this product in the mass market—I'm convinced of it."
— Stephanie Casale