FROM FARM TO SMOOTHIES: A Health-Conscious Company Selects KCMO for Headquarters

24 Jul 2019 1:31 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

For seven years, award-winning Thirsty Coconut (TCI) has been distributing healthy beverage products to commercial accounts across the Midwest.  The company offers healthy, smoothies and frozen drink products to food service programs, and is redefining beverage distribution.  The company also supports clients by helping them start new beverage programs and supplies modern technology to get them going.

Luke Einsel, President & Co-Founder of Thirsty Coconut, selected Kansas City after finding tremendous value to relocate onto what used to be Richard Gebaur’s Air base.   “It isn’t very easy to find everything you are looking for in one location.  We are a resilient young company that was looking for opportunity and found it in KCMO.   We are now poised for tremendous growth for the foreseeable future because of some bold bets that have paid off.” 

Luke Einsel, President and Founder/Majority Shareholder is a first-generation college graduate and graduate of the SBA/Kaufman Foundation ScaleUp program, Luke has pushed every opportunity to the fullest, becoming an ambassador and featured speaker for the ScaleUp program, UMKC’s, and Johnson County's Small Business development centers and a 2018 25 under 25 winner. TCI also has some large opportunities to scale the operation.

Their new location will be a place for employees that help maintain the warehouse while also servicing the machines. It will also provide office space for administrative purposes.

Moreover, servicing nursing homes and hospitals and upscale businesses is not a new idea. Many times, having businesses be able to sell smoothies out of machines like you might find at a gym, hotel lobby or upscale food service location are easy to set up and implement.   TCI has currently made the strategic decision to focus primarily on the school market finding other markets as an added opportunity until funding is able to support this expansion.

“In Kansas City, we’re committed to creating an environment that provides entrepreneurs the resources and support they need to thrive,” Mayor Sly James said. "Thirsty Coconut demonstrates how these efforts not only lead to innovation, but also to job creation and economic development for our city and region. We’re thrilled they’ve chosen Kansas City as their new home.”   Mayor Sly James said.

A number of partners worked together to assist Thirsty Coconut with its relocation to the KC area: The City of Kansas City, Missouri; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri; The Missouri Department of Economic Development; The Kauffman Foundation, and Port KC.

Thirsty Coconut relocated to KCMO to grow into a bigger space and to qualify for the New American Tax credits and be able to grow nationwide and globally.

“We are very excited to welcome Thirsty Coconut to our City, a City of rapid growth.  I hope Thirsty Coconut continues to use all the resources available. KCMO is a place of destination, no longer a fly over City. Our region has many advantages its affordability, low corporate tax, a transportation hub, the world’s most connect Smart City, one of the top 5 emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems in the world and so much more”, said Narbeli Galindo, Economic Development Corporation Director of International Affairs for Kansas City, Missouri. 

About Thirsty Coconut.

Thirsty Coconut, TCI, provides frozen drink machines and similar equipment to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, health clubs and businesses that have a desire to provide healthier products at an up-charge to their clients. TCI’s main product, Juice Alive, is sold by the case to schools, who in turn serve the students a healthy beverage they enjoy. TCI currently has over 600 schools as customers, and is adding new schools rapidly. Each district or school has a nutrition manager, and as word of mouth spreads, they are eager to get set up.

About the Economic Development Corporation

The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri (EDCKC) is a recognized economic development leader. With a mission to provide job growth, job attraction, entrepreneurship, public financing, international business development, and real estate development support services. It serves as a resource and advocate to cultivate the competitiveness of business locating or expanding to the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

About Port KC

Port KC, a political subdivision of the State of Missouri, was established in 1977 by the city of Kansas City. It is governed by a nine-member citizen Board of Commissioners, appointed by the mayor of Kansas City. Port KC is granted broad governmental and business enterprise powers for the purpose of promoting economic development and job creation.  Port KC’s statutory powers of issuing bonds, land reclamation and the ability to enter into contracts to implement its development projects, make it a unique and influential agency that has the flexibility to engage in a wide variety of strategic economic development projects that are vital to the economic progress of Kansas City.

South KC Chamber of Commerce

406 E. Bannister Road, Suite F
Kansas City, MO 64131-3028

Phone: (816) 761-7660
Fax: (816) 761-7340





South Kansas City is one of the fastest growing areas in the KCMO metropolitan area. Millions of investment dollars are being spent in this region, which makes it a prime location for businesses to grow and prosper. 

The South KC Chamber is dedicated to working with KCMO's city leadership, our business members, and local community organizations to create a positive, growth-oriented business environment in South Kansas City. We would love to support your company's growth too! 


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