Stacy Madison, owner of Stacy’s Juicebar on Highland Avenue, is one of Needham’s many notable citizens. She is the founder of Stacy’s Pita Chips, which she sold to Pepsi in 2006 to headline Frito Lay’s healthy snack division. After selling the company, she founded Stacy’s Juicebar in 2014, which she owns and manages to this day.
The Needham Times sat down with Madison to discuss the two businesses.
Do you have a favorite flavor of Stacy’s Pita Chips?
I feel like it’s "Simply Naked," really. It applies to so many things; it’s so versatile as a chip. But, you know, I do love the multigrain with a slice of cheese. I don’t know, I just like each for their own thing. With my kids, we’ll do chocolate covered pita chips and we’ll do that with the cinnamon sugar. They all have their own little space in our life.
What advice would you give kids who want to become business owners?
The most important thing is to figure out what are the things that you love to do. Then, you answer the question, “How do I make a living doing that?” Everything else will fall into place. You see so many people out there nowadays who are making a living and they just don’t like their job. That’s when it becomes work. They’re working and you’re just making a living doing what you love to do every day. That’s living.
If you could go back and do something differently, what would it be?
People ask me that question all the time and it’s still a hard question. Referring to the pita chip company, I always used to say that I would have bought better equipment. Referring to the juice bar, I would say that I would’ve started this sooner. I feel like I’ve done this before, so what took me so long to start the [darn] thing? Even if you’ve done it before, it’s still really hard to find your niche. It doesn’t make it any less important to find what you love to do every day.
What’s it like walking into a sandwich shop and seeing your name on the chips?
It was very exciting when I first saw the pita chips on the shelf. But what’s even more exciting is when you watch someone pay for them at the register. I’ll never forget there was this one time when I was in the grocery store, and it was after the company had gotten bigger. I was so excited about seeing the pita chips in a woman’s food cart that I said to myself, “You know what, I’m going to say something this time.” So, I went up to her, introduced myself, and said, “Those are my chips,” and she said, “No they’re not, they’re mine,” before walking off.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Definitely having my kids. Second would be the pita chip company, which comes from the satisfaction of changing so many lives. There were 300 people working there and those people had their families. There was the guy who had to deliver the chips, and the guy who had to stock the aisles. There’s a ripple effect of working with people who love to do this.