Jack and Joe Fitzgerald are now making their own orange juice. Not bad for an eight and 11-year-old.
The enthusiastic young entrepreneurs live with 700 orange trees and while discussing what to do with the fruit with their family, decided making juice was a journey they were willing to take.
It’s aptly named Jack and Joe’s, and is available at the Condo Bakery. Jack came up with the name, and as he has a long record of naming the family’s pets, it was natural progression for him to find the right title for their product.
Their Dad, Ben Fitzgerald and Mum Elaine, had been fielding questions on what they were going to do with all of the oranges after they purchased “Fair View”, or the orange farm, as it is known locally, recently.
“People just kept asking me what we were going to do with all of the oranges,” Ben said. “ In the beginning we were not sure what we were going to do. “As a family we asked each other should we keep selling the oranges, make marmalade or make orange juice? “Jack and Joe really like the idea of making orange juice, so as a collective family decision we decided on making orange juice.”
Jack and Joe pick oranges before and after school and on weekends, to get them ready for juicing and for sale. In their own words – “We have to pick heaps of oranges!”
“We have to pick 10 crates of oranges for juicing,” Joe explained. “The juicing oranges are separated from the eating oranges. You have to know what size and colour are perfect for juicing. Little oranges are good for juicing. If they are too big you cannot put them in the juicer.”
Jack drives a ute down the Orange Tree rows, and once picked the oranges are placed in there.
“When the oranges are picked, we take them to the house, they are placed in big tubs of water and then we have to grade out the eating oranges from the juicing oranges,” Jack stated.
“Then we bag up the oranges and put them in the fridge overnight. We usually put about 10 bags in the fridge to chill them down. Then the ones we want to sell are taken up the road and the juicing oranges are taken to the Bakery, where they are put in the cool room for a couple of hours before we juice them.”
Both boys helped design the label with Condo Bakery staff members Liam Harris and Kiara Harris. Orange and Green have special meaning for Jack and Joe, as they are their favourite colours.
“Liam and Kiara helped us design the label and we worked with them on the design. It was designed on the computer,” both Jack and Joe said.
“The colours are green and orange. Our favourite colours are orange and green, so it worked really well with the design.”
The oranges are put through a Zummo Juicer, which is now part of the equipment at the Condo Bakery.
“Customers can have a theatrical experience and watch the oranges being juiced,” Ben said.
“None of the peel contaminates the juice. That sets the Zummo juicers apart from the rest. The colour is pure. They are a 100 per cent cold pressed juice. This makes sense for us.
“The idea is just to keep it local and in the community, and sustainable for Condobolin.”
Ben added the boys have made a business plan, and this was a great way for them to learn about the value of hard work, making money and how much it costs to make your own product.
“It’s a great learning experience for them,” he said.
“It takes a lot to run a business, and they are actively involved in making decisions when it comes to Jack and Joe’s Juice. They are asked on what direction the business is taking and are really involved in that side of it.”
Both Jack and Joe love being part of the Condobolin community and learning about what it means to be in business.
“We want to pick oranges and give them to local sports clubs to use at half time,” they said.
“We want to encourage kids to have big dreams. You have to have a go in life. Sometimes you might get in trouble, but you can learn from that. Just make sure you have a good life.”