Julienne and The Colombo Gre3n team, Nova and Briten

Julienne Petherbridge, GRE3N

I’m Christchurch born and bred. I moved to Australia and launched into a marketing career. After nine years I came home to become a mother and then embark on a career in real estate, which I enjoyed for 12 years.

I always had a side hustle, being an entrepreneur at heart. We started and owned the real fruit ice cream trailer that sits on Cashmere Road in the summer.

I travel to the Gold Coast often and on one trip I realised Christchurch was so lacking in healthy and nutritious food and drink cafés. I loved the acai bowls, fresh juices and smoothies and raw vegan food options over there.

That’s when I had an epiphany – to come home and open a juice bar that serves all the things I love. Fresh juice, smoothies, smoothie bowls – clean and simple, not processed.

So we sold the ice cream trailer and opened the first Gre3n, in The Colombo. That was in 2015.

It went crazy. Within months we had opened several other bars in Christchurch and also in Nelson. We needed more space here too – we only had 9 square metres to start – so when they opened up this part of the centre, we moved shop.

It’s a family business. I’ve got three daughters and they’ve all worked in it. Two of them still do – they run the city café.

This Gre3n feels like home, really. It was the first one, the birth of Gre3n. It hasn’t always been easy , with all the challenges COVID brought, but we have survived.

I love that The Colombo offers a sense of always being able to get a park, of being part of a neighbourhood. It’s a real family environnment. All the retailers are very friendly.