Now 36, Turner owns and operates
Turner was a cheerleader, participated in track & field and was power forward on the girls basketball team at Lincoln High School, while attending classes at and graduating from San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in 2003.
She continued staying active and healthy, performing as part of the dance team at Hampton University in Virginia, a private, historically Black university where she earned a degree in Liberal Arts, Theater Production.
And while her post-college background includes working in the field of performing arts, the social justice world, managing youth programs for nonprofits, by 2017 she said was looking for a different way to help others — and fill a missing link in San Diego.
“I saw that we didn’t have anything on wheels for smoothies,” Turner said. “I did research looking for one and saw there was a guy in Alabama who had one. But I could find nothing in California. I thought, ‘How is this not a thing?’”
So, with the support of her family and friends, Turner made it her thing.
Ambition Leads to Entrepreneurship
“I was always a pretty ambitious child,” she said. “I was always going after what I wanted. I knew I wanted to use my creativity. But I didn’t grow up thinking I was going to be an entrepreneur.”
The truck is a thing of beauty, a repurposed FedEx vehicle with a blue and purple backdrop with splashes of yellow and red, a vibrant hodgepodge of colors with graphic designs and “The Write Juice” name in large, bold letters on both sides of the truck.
Painted on the truck are community landmarks that pay homage to the Skyline area where she grew up and the front has the saying “The marathon continues.” That, Turner explains, is an important message — one that the late rap star Nipsey Hussle embodied, that “life is not a race, it’s a marathon,” she said.
Inside the cozy confines of the truck is just enough room for Turner to work with bags of cut up fruit and vegetables, juices, organic granola and menu favorite add-ons like blue spirulina, hemp protein, chia seeds and maca powder that she said have great benefits for the immune system.
“My mission is to blend health back into the community,” she said. “I know that for a lot of African-Americans in my community, they have a sweet tooth, they love sugar. I want to ease them into having a healthy option that tastes good.”
The Write Juice started in 2019 and was popular almost as soon as it began, booked early and often, she said.
Turner said The Write Juice struggled a little during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but she used the down time “to sit and think about what I needed to do that would be good for me.”
Catering Helps The Write Juice Have Its Best Year in 2021
The Write Juice then had its best year in revenues in 2021, with more than half of its income coming via catering bookings.
One of Turner’s biggest contracts came at the end of last year when her truck was hired to serve patrons at the grand opening of the new San Diego Trolley line that heads up to University City.
“Blending health back into the community,” is the company’s motto and the side of the truck notes that it is “helping you rewrite your health story, one drink at a time.”
The “Write” part of the name is an homage to Turner’s lifelong love of writing.
Among other regular contract work, her truck is a contracted lunchtime visitor to the Amazon Distribution Center in Otay Mesa, where employees line up to buy acai and dragonfruit bowls and smoothies with names like “Ride Your Own Wave,” “California Dream” and “Year of the Glow Up.”
Since 2020, Turner has added to her business resume a greeting card/calendar company called “The Write Expressions,” which allows her to connect people through universal messages of love.
She also has a coloring book out, called “Black Girls Got the Juice.” The book highlights different career fields of pioneering Black women, and she is on the last page of the coloring book herself.
In a World of Her Own
Turner said she realizes she is in a unique market and sometimes feels like “I’m in a world of my own.”
She said that she knows she is helping to inspire and educate people as she continues along on her personal journey, and that she will continue to guide others toward “being authentic with your own story.”
She said in 2021 she launched “The Write Fitness,” which is a music and fitness pop up that offers “step aerobics and twerk fitness.” She said she hopes to open a studio where she can offer fitness classes and add a spin class.
Her ultimate goal is to have all her brands under one roof where people can “get a juice, buy a greeting card and take a class.”
The Write Juice
FOUNDER: Joshlyn Turner
HEADQUARTERS: Downtown San Diego
NOTABLE: Turner sits on the board of the nonprofit DETOUR/F.A.N.C.Y., a group that helps mentor and empower young girls in underserved communities