Luis Manta Turns Seoul Juice Into Profitable Business at the Chaifetz School
Luis Manta started his company, Seoul Juice, while he was an undergraduate student at the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business. Manta played for SLU’s men’s soccer team and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Originally from Phoenix, Manta decided that SLU was the best place to continue his academic and athletic careers.
“I really liked the business school and how small the class sizes were and how awesome all the professors seemed. I also liked the service aspect in all of it as well,” Manta said.
During his second year as a student-athlete at SLU, Manta had an allergic reaction to Gatorade following a practice. Following this experience, he set out to create an alternative to popular sports drinks to keep him hydrated without having to worry about dangerous side effects.
Seoul Juice is made with just three ingredients: Korean pear juice, organic lemon juice and filtered water.
“My mother grew up in Asia, and I was accustomed to eating the Korean pear. I researched fruits with hydration benefits, and the Korean pear drew my eye because I’d grown up with it,” Manta said. “So, when I was playing soccer at SLU, I started blending it with water and lemon juice.”
“SLU actually helped me with funding and connected me with the law school through the Blue Diamond Accelerator. It helped give me the tools to get Seoul Juice started,” Manta said.
SLU’s Blue Diamond Accelerator provides training, mentoring and support to three non-graduating undergraduate and graduate students per semester who have an idea or existing business. Through this, SLU fosters a sense of innovation and entrepreneurship in students in the Chaifetz School and throughout the community.
Today, Seoul Juice is growing rapidly and sells online and at retailers in six states, including 10 locations in the greater St. Louis area. The refreshing and hydrating juice is expected to be available nationwide this year, and Manta hopes his product can provide health benefits to everyone, from kids to athletes.
“Our goal is to be in everyone’s kitchen,” Manta said.
Manta attributes much of Seoul Juice’s success to the mentorship and resources available through the Chaifetz School.
“I owe a lot to SLU for helping me get started. There are a lot of resources, and I think if you do want to be an entrepreneur you should go to school and learn from your professors, especially ones with marketing and accounting backgrounds,” Manta said.
With Seoul Juice’s growth Manta also recognizes the support he’s received from Chaifetz’s extensive alumni network.
“The alumni network has been awesome,” Manta said. “We get a ton of help even from people who graduated 50 to 60 years ago. Quite a few of our business deals have gone through because of SLU.
“There are a lot of amazing people at SLU willing to help, and that’s what makes SLU different from a lot of other schools,” Manta said.
Founded in 1910, the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University has shaped the future of industry for more than a century. As one of the oldest business schools west of the Mississippi, the Chaifetz School has built a reputation as a leader in business education committed to innovation, inclusion and impact and recognized with eight undergraduate and graduate programs nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report.