Jamie Heenan, owner of Keep Well, fully embodies the characteristics of a strong, female entrepreneur.
When life threw her a curveball, she began to focus on her health through more mindfulness, determination, juicing, and rigorous exercise.
Heenan is the owner of Keep Well, located at the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton Keep Well provides affordable and nutrient dense sustenance to customers through juices, smoothies and smoothie bowls.
Heenan is a Scranton native and a graduate from the University of Scranton. After graduating, she pursued her corporate career.
Heenan is the mother of a 10-year-old daughter, who she wants to show that people can do whatever they put your mind to.
Her daughter was a large motivator for Heenan as she inspired her to pursue her interest in wellness and juicing into a business.
Although Heenan has no background in health and nutrition, she began to learn from her peers and her own research.
She quickly fell in love with nourishing her body and observing how it was directly affecting her life as she manages her colitis and an autoimmune disorder that affects her skin.
Heenan’s vision for Keep Well came to be in 2017 amid chaos in both her personal and professional life.
She began to see how her health was reacting to her body’s stress and decided to make a change.
After diving into the world of juicing, fasting, and herbs as natural remedies, Heenan took the next step in opening her own juice and smoothie shop.
She enrolled in the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Center’s StartUP Program in the Spring of 2019.
At the same time, she ran into an acquaintance called the Kimchi Dude, while visiting the Marketplace at Steamtown. Heenan discussed her business idea with him and coincidentally he was looking to leave the Marketplace, so he sold all his equipment.
Everything fell into place as Heenan bought the booth and equipment and planned for her grand opening.
Keep Well opened in October 2019 selling fresh juices, smoothies, smoothie bowls, and energy bites.
Most of the product’s ingredients are organic and locally grown to increase the nutrients and quality.
Heenan’s favorite part of owning her business is teaching and educating customers on her products and their benefits.
She feels a sense of accomplishment each time she helps customers and their health. Educating people on the benefits of different natural products is an important part of the business for Heenan. It goes back to her mission that if you keep well, you will fuel well and feel well.
Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has negatively impacted Keep Well.
One issue is that the pandemic has disrupted the food supply chain. It has been more difficult to find organic produce for her products.
Additionally, Keep Well is located at the Marketplace in Steamtown and there has been less overall foot traffic since the beginning of the pandemic, which can also be contributed to the foot bridge connecting the Marketplace to Steamtown National Historic Site remaining closed due to unrepaired damage.
Decreased foot traffic has impacted how many people visit Keep Well.
A further impact of the pandemic is that Heenan decided to shut down the business at the beginning of the pandemic in March and did not reopen until July.
To aspiring entrepreneurs, Heenan would advises finding someone or some business that sets a precedent. Find people that have been successful with what you want to achieve.
These people have gone beyond what new entrepreneurs want to reach. They inspire others to accomplish.