Meet Jennifer Moon-Huggett
Hence the name of New Moon Market
By Kristine Thomas
Florida girl through and through, Jennifer Moon grew up right here in Central Florida. During her high school career, she was a competitive swimmer, which helped her get through school because she admits, “I struggled with my grades. I struggled with paying attention and staying in school.”
Moon later moved to Gainesville and attended the University of Florida where she also met her husband, who was on a visit from England — “We met on the dance floor at an underground rave. I was one of those kids!” she claims. As it went, she was not ready for college and moved to England for 10 months. Moon and Huggett married and the couple had their first baby within two years. After a total of five years off, she did graduate from UCF in interpersonal communications “because I clearly needed to learn how to communicate,” Moon-Huggett said.
Moving right into sales, she spent 13 years hitting the pavement, knocking on doors, selling medical devices, pharmaceuticals and payroll services. Each one of these jobs led her to where she is today.
It all started by watching the “Food, Inc.” documentary, followed by countless other documentaries, and very soon Moon-Huggett was the attentive student! People like Kris Carr and David Avocado Wolfe inspired her to learn about juicing. “I was in love with the entire process from start to finish. I loved shopping for local, organic produce, washing it, juicing and drinking out of our fancy wine glasses. How could I make this a living?”
From Dream to Reality
Knee jerk reaction: she quit her sales job and set up her first tent and table and prayed someone would come over to try the juices she’d prepared. New Smyrna Farmers Market was where New Moon began in June of 2014. She spent 12-14 hours in the kitchen juicing and learning. She even stood outside a building on Orange Ave., downtown Orlando, sampling concoctions [where this writer first learned of New Moon juice].
Finally, New Moon Market found its first location in the College Park area of Orlando. “You know when you know. It’s meant to be when every door opens and all the right people show up in your life.
Of course, any foodpreneur will tell you the buildout took longer, the costs of required permits needed was overwhelming. We were fortunate to get the loan from my father, Tim Moon, and will be juicing for the rest of my life to pay him back,” Moon-Huggett said jokingly. “It takes a lot of capital to start a business right!
We would not have been able to do this on our own — a reality many foodpreneurs struggle with. Capital is key!”
Moon-Huggett worked farmers markets for two years testing products before opening her location and recommends this to anyone getting started in food or juice. “It is the perfect platform for people to get to know you and your products. I went to local yoga studios and sold juice from the trunk of my car and drove all over town to deliver. When we opened, we knew our juices worked and then we started building our food menu. We make everything in house and our products have a short shelf life, which is why we make smaller batches to guarantee the freshest juice. We juice every day,” Moon-Huggett shared.
Moon-Huggett describes herself as “over the Moon grateful to my parents who believed in me and helped get this dream off the ground and into reality.” She also thanks her husband and children for their generous support throughout the process. Her children are seeing firsthand the long hours of hard work and dedication that it takes to open a business. You can even find her kids sitting at the juice bar doing homework, drinking their favorite Smoothie – Cheeky Monkey! In addition to her own family, Moon-Huggett has a love for the staff she employs at New Moon Market and they continue to “open our minds up to the New Age way of thinking.”
“Any business owner will tell you it’s the customers they are most thankful for; we call them friends. This is a gift and I am grateful to be of service to our community and to offer access to a healthy way of living.” #eatwelllivewell
* New Moon Market has surpassed its goals by quite a bit in its first year and will expand to locations number two and three in fiscal 2017.
2314 Edgewater Drive | Orlando, FL 32804 | 407.440.8147
Kristine Thomas is the Executive Director of the ORL Food Lab. The ORL Food Lab is dedicated to celebrating Central Florida’s extraordinary culinary community and connecting foodpreneurs with new opportunities.