Austin woman founds juice company after breast cancer diagnosis

Kat Sampson

Each Saturday, the farmer’s market at Republic Square Park is filled with white tents housing various vendors and the occasional string quartet. Daily Greens is one of the busiest of those white tents. The Austin-based company sells bottles of cold-pressed drinks that are each packed with six pounds of locally sourced produce, consisting of nine servings of fruits and vegetables.

The juices are also sold at Whole Foods, Central Market and other natural grocers around the Austin area. Daily Greens founder and CEO Shauna Martin created the company after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. 

At 33 years old, with a nine-month-old son and no family history of breast cancer, the diagnosis was a shock. A vegetarian for most of her life, Martin always considered herself healthy, but she still sought out a way to combat the draining chemotherapy treatments with a change in diet.

“Being diagnosed with breast cancer was a real wake-up call for me,” Martin said. “I developed the cleanse to help me detox from all the poisons
and trauma.”

Soon, juicing became an integral part of her diet as a meal supplement. Her friends and family teased her for consuming what they called “pond water,” but the hobby eventually turned into a day job.

“I convinced a friend to start making the juice with me for no pay, and we would spend every weekend making juice until midnight,” Martin said. “I would take what we made to the farmer’s market the next morning and each weekend we would sell out. So I kept making the juices, all the while keeping my day job as a corporate attorney.”

Apart from creating a product that Martin said is akin to drinking from the fountain of youth, she also became the board president of the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas. Through the center, Martin co-founded the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls, a social network for young breast cancer survivors in the Austin area. 

Runi Limary, a patient navigator at the BCRC, worked with Martin during her time as the center’s board president. 

“Shauna Martin personifies a strong, young breast cancer survivor,” Limary said. “First and foremost, she’s a mom, [a] wife and [a] career-minded woman. She has accomplished a tremendous amount since she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.”  

Sean Hickman, a Daily Greens employee, can be found working the tent any given Saturday and speaks to customers about Martin’s positivity.

“[She] has not just overcome a fatal disease, but she has become a source of awareness,” Hickman said. “Shauna is a perfect example of how you can fight for your health.”

Martin makes an effort to push her product to an audience that doesn’t just include health gurus. Vitality, one of the seven Daily Greens juices, is based off of the sweet and savory taste of barbecue sauce. It was created in an effort to bring meat-lovers into the juicing game.

“Our cleanses are designed to help folks ease into a healthier lifestyle,” Martin said. 

Freshman Tayla Daniel moved to the U.S. from Australia in high school, said the juices remind her of the clean eating attitude in Australia. 

“During the summers, my mom would grind all the fruits and vegetables and just drink that,” Daniel said. “You wouldn’t add anything to it. With Daily Greens, it’s the same. You can taste that it’s healthy and that it’s doing good for your body.”

Daily Greens, which is in the process of expanding to Whole Foods sites across the country, is gaining popularity. Martin said she couldn’t be happier.

“When pure exhaustion sets in, the only thing that keeps you going is an unwavering belief in what you are doing,” Martin said. “I believe in Daily Greens and the health benefits of drinking a daily green juice with all of my heart, and that is what drives me every day.”