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Kim Holstein

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Liquid Assets

By Marjie Killeen

Photography by Nathanael Filbert | Photographed on location at Porter Kitchen in Chicago

03.28.18

Serial entrepreneur Kim Holstein adds a spritz to the cocktail world with the launch of Industry Juice.

Kim Holstein found her entrepreneurial drive early in her professional life. She landed her dream job with a Chicago advertising agency and promptly discovered she was miserable. “The real world was nothing like grad school,” she says. When she read about a woman making pretzels at a farmers market, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. “I’d be in meetings about Sears paint commercials and I’d be dreaming about pretzels and pretzel flavors,” she says. It wasn’t long before she teamed up with her then-boyfriend and now-husband, Scott Holstein, to realize her vision. “On a credit card and a lot of hope,” Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels was born. It was the first of several successful businesses the Wilmette couple has launched over the last 22 years. They also created The Crave Bar, a decadent ice cream treat. Now they’ve started Industry Juice, a company that makes high-quality cold-pressed juices for restaurants, bars and hotels. Custom cocktails are all the rage, and mixologists require gallons of fresh-squeezed juice for their handcrafted concoctions. But squeezing juice on-site is time-consuming, costly and inconsistent, and the juice is highly perishable. When Scott tried to source fresh-squeezed lime juice for the couple’s annual margarita bash, he realized how hard it was to come by. Industry Juice solves a big problem for bar owners, and spirits are a fun area for the Holsteins to play in. “We’re not only creating a solution; it’s higher and bigger than that,” Kim says. “We’re part of this experience that people are craving. The world is challenging, but you can take a breath and have a cocktail or mocktail made with awesome juice and a custom recipe—there’s a lot of creativity in that.” And with that creativity has come fulfillment. “Entrepreneurial skills can help anyone to pave the path to their own future,” she says. “It’s exhilarating!”