Rooted in Community: A conversation with Leslie Zinn, owner and CEO of Arden’s Garden.
Leslie Zinn, an entrepreneur, wife and mother, lives right here in South Fulton’s beautiful College Park. She has an awesome story of overcoming adversity in her life. And, as we chat in the office of the East Point production factory, the overwhelming theme is giving back. The healthy food store that focuses on nutritious juice and the famous 3-day detox was founded by Arden, Leslie’s mother, a woman more motivated by helping people improve their diets and eating habits than making a profit. But her passion along with perfect timing has translated to success. Where Arden left off with creativity, Leslie picked up with business acumen, in spite of some of the unique challenges that face family businesses. My publisher and I sat down with Leslie at their beautiful East Point headquarters facility that at first housed a factory for the famous assortment of juices but soon transitioned to include into a retail store due to popular demand for the products onsite. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for South Fulton Lifestyle.
1. I read a little about the Arden’s Garden story on the website. Can you tell our readers a bit more about the history?
My Mom, Arden, has always been a HUGE health nut and she was into juicing back in the 60s. All my life, she fed my brother and me a weird blended concoction which was a mix of whatever fruits, vegetables, and herbs that she was into at the time. We NEVER had real FOOD for breakfast. In 1963, she learned about a juicer called a Norwalk, which she really wanted to get but it cost $1,500 which she could not afford. Fast forward to 1993, she is still pining away for this Norwalk Cold-Press, only now it is $2,200, and she still cannot afford it. But she decides, I don’t want to go my whole life never getting this juicer so she chooses the All-American option and buys it on her credit card. To make herself feel better about the purchase, she called all of her friends and offered to make them juice. And that is how Arden’s Garden was born.
2. This is our fitness issue. What are some of the health benefits of juicing?
There are so many benefits to juicing but here are the top 3.
Rejuvenating – Fresh juices contain about 2-2.5 pounds of produce in every 16 oz. bottle. Because fresh juice is absorbed through your abdominal wall, digestion never happens so your body gets a lot of nutrients without taxing itself trying to assimilate them. Juicing promotes healing in our bodies.
Great nutrition – With juicing, you can mix some super healthy veggies (kale, spinach, celery, cucumbers, beets, etc.) with fresh fruits and have something that tastes great and is extremely healthy. You can easily get all the green veggies that you need for an entire day in one smoothie or juice. Juices are also a great way to get kids to have their fruits and vegetables. You can also teach kids that sweet stuff does not have to contain sugar.
Expedient – You can drink a juice (or 2), instead of a meal. Juice is convenient and easy, as long as you have us make it.
3. Tell us a little about the magic of creating your product here in South Fulton in the heart of East Point.
Moving to South Fulton has been the MOST unbelievable transition for us. We moved from midtown in 2003 and the change that has occurred in our business has been amazing. We had not planned to open a retail store in South Fulton for many years but people kept knocking on our door so we opened much earlier. Now, our East Point store is our #1 store. We NEVER expected it, but we are thrilled for ourselves, as well as, the community. It speaks volumes to how dynamic this area is.
4. Is there anything else you want to share with the South Fulton Lifestyle reader?
We have found being in South Fulton to be a very inspiring and energetic place to work. We feel very optimistic about the opportunities that are available to businesses here and we are hoping to continue to grow in the area.
Leslie Zinn is the most unassuming of CEO’s. Her life serves as a testimony to the healthy lifestyle juicing brings from weight loss, energy, and fertility to skin elasticity and youthful appearance. The mission of Arden’s Garden is to bring convenient, healthy items to people throughout Atlanta and across the southeast. This is especially important in parts of South Fulton where fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce. Zinn recounts a time when taking her kids to play in an area park and other children had never even seen basic vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, and celery. Juice is a tasty introduction to some other veggies and Zinn recommends Multi Max flavor as a point of entry to juicing, with a light flavor that even kids can enjoy.
Zinn is deeply rooted in South Fulton. The East Point headquarters is bursting at the seams but they would love to stay due to their commitment to this community. Zinn looks forward to revitalizing a previous internship program with Tri-Cities High School. In addition, Zinn would love to help people struggling with addiction make a fresh start. The best is yet to come.