Luke Einsel had an idea seven years ago. Take smoothies and frozen drink products to the public through food service programs, thereby redefining beverage distribution. Thirsty Coconut was born and is thriving in the Kansas City market and eight other states!

“It was a complete disaster” says Luke about his retail storefront launched in May 2012. “I pivoted to renting machines to survive”. Luke found out that B2B sales was something he really liked and it was a great market to be successful in his venture.

In five years, Luke has used every resource he came across in Kansas City to help push through some really rough storms. Missouri SBDC and ScaleUP! Kansas City played a big role in his business development.

“ScaleUP! and the SBDC opened my mind on how to grow my business. Education is the single most important thing that can change a person’s life and trajectory. The education I received as part of ScaleUP! and with further counseling at the SBDC allowed me to work with other entrepreneurs and build a network. That has allowed me to rapidly outgrow many competitors.” Luke received counseling at the SBDC at UMKC with Jill Meyer and Rebecca Gubbels and continues to work with counselors as well as stay involved with ScaleUP! today.

Thirsty Coconut is a perfect example of turning pivots into smaller hurdles to overcome. Showing up everyday and giving your best effort to continually improve are the secrets of Luke’s success.

The company actively looks for ways to better the community; inventing custom parts that are built in prison programs, working with college students to develop business skills on projects, and developing unskilled employees with no job experience to thrive in the company. Bringing capital to the Midwest and create projects in underserved markets is one of the company’s biggest goals.

Luke and Thirsty Coconut have been named to 25 Under 25 in 2018 as well as featured in multiple business publications including Thinking Bigger, Startland News, and Louisberg Chamber of Commerce site.

Thirsty Coconut

15303 Westover Rd, Kansas City, MO 64147

@ThirstyCoconut on Twitter