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Drought to close four locations, expand wholesale operation

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Berkley-based organic juice maker Drought said Friday it is shifting its focus to primarily wholesale.

The company will close four locations in favor of operating one factory-direct retail storefront at its Berkley headquarters, according to a press release. The storefront will open May 7.

Drought juices: Coconut Shake, Carrot Coconut, Beet #1, Apple Lemon and Ginger, and Green #2.

“The ambition to evolve DROUGHT beyond just the metro Detroit area has been in the works for years, and we are grateful for the opportunity to make some significant changes," Cait James, CEO of Drought, wrote in the statement. "Reducing our company-owned retail footprint allows for improved operational efficiencies needed to keep up with our exponential growth in wholesale sales."

Jenny, left, and Jessie James, sisters and co-founders of Drought Juice, load bottles of organic juice that have gone through the HPP machine.

The Detroit store has permanently closed and locations in Plymouth, Bloomfield Hills and Royal Oak will close beginning later this month.  An Instagram post Friday with the announcement showed rows of brightly colored juices in glass bottles. Overlaid text read, "Farewell shops. Hello HQ."

James and her sisters founded the cold-pressed juice brand in 2010 through Kickstarter, a crowdsourcing website, and spent several years growing its presence through retail shops. Drought offers more than a dozen products: Beet No. 1 is a blend of apple, beet, carrot and lemon, and Recovery Water contains filter water, spirulina, ginger, lemon and sea salt. 

The company said it continues to expand its wholesale operation in the U.S. with emphasis on the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. The Berkley storefront will be at 2070 West 11 Mile Road.

Consumers may order juices delivered to their door via the company's web site

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN