Beeauty. It’s logically the first thing we seeing beeings notice about a person, but it’s decidedly not skin deep and hardly a way to judge someone. Yet a lesser soul giving TJS’s Shadrach MacDonald a sideways glance might dismiss his intricate facial tattoos (the kind worn by New Zealand’s wholehearted Māori people) as some weirdo thing that makes MacDonald something he’s not. Uneducated? Scary, maybe? A punk? Fill in the blank.
If they did judge, that lesser soul would be the loser…and not in the snarky sense, but in the truest. They’d lose out on getting to know the passion, ingenuity and heart behind MacDonald’s ink; ink he tenderly chose to face the world with to honor the people he’d met as a boy and marveled at. And it’s MacDonald’s heart that The Juice Standard (TJS) co-founder and CEO Jamie Stephenson was drawn to when they met.
“His clear eyes,” says Stephenson. “When I hired him, that’s what I saw. He’s our artist. And when I think of him, and how he works with us, I think of the word ‘synergistic.’ I’ve been working with some of the team for year, and to have the ability to have a group of people working in a 660-square-foot-kitchen—smiling and laughing—he’s just a synergistic, creative force. He’s wonderful.”
Since MacDonald manages TJS’s daily 5 a.m. juice and nut milk pressing, does that synergy go straight into your Singletons? If you beelieve that energy transmutes from one place to another—if his vibes are in our juice—we’re a lucky hive to have MacDonald among our King Bees.
Since We Opened With The Tattoos…
“I got them when I was barely 18,” says MacDonald of his tā moko tattoos. Calling the Māori some of the nicest people you’ll meet (“if you’re walking, and their door is open, they will invite you to sit at their table to eat with them”) MacDonald was a rare youth propelled toward body art to emulate, not retaliate.
With swirls, dots and lines even more pronounced than his eyes, MacDonald “practiced” being in public with facial stencils to gauge how people would react. “They’re what everyone calls a ‘job killer’,” he says lightly.
Undeterred, at Chicago’s Harold Washington College, if professorial inclination was to prejudge, it was squelched by MacDonald’s academic creds: dean’s list; Phi Theta Kappa; a major in addiction studies, and a minor in psychology.
“I’ll be the first to tell you that people judge you every day,” he says of his tattoos. But they’re not a regret. Not even close.
Talents That Surprise Behind Those Eyes
“Lots of people are surprised I’ve golfed since I was 4 and that [members] of my family are junior-pro or pro-[amateur],” shares MacDonald, who the day of this interview was enjoying quiet time at the home he shares with longtime friend and love, Rowan.
“I was a contractor for a while…a plumber, a carpenter. I’m a certified forklift operator. We owned our own bike-rebuilding company, and we turned it into [rebuilding] motorcycles and cars. It’s just one of those things where I feel guys should be able to do this stuff.”
All that Renaissance man stuff has in fact come in handy at TJS, where co-founders Stephenson and COO Marcella Williams marvel at his tackling everything from screwy plumbing to resealing floors. “Working on stuff—breaking stuff and rebuilding stuff—is pretty much what I’d rather be doing than watching TV or playing video games.”
Ask Not What TJS Can Do For You…
Along with Williams and Stephenson, MacDonald’s the guy you want in the TJS kitchen. He’s a master recipe developer who loves learning from the ladies the health bennies of different fruits and vegetables, and then tinkering with ingredients to create the new bites and sips you Bees have come to love. And from homemade kimchi and coming-soon hummus and tahini sauces to alchemizing the company’s juice pulp—ALL that pulp!—into WHealthy™ pastries and muffins, MacDonald’s previous kitchen manager/sous chef experience garnered in Chicago and California restaurants is put to delicious use, daily.
What Free Time?
MacDonald and Rowan prefer nights at home tinkering in the kitchen (he cooks her breakfast and lunch every day, and by night they cook together…natch) and hikes suggested by fellow avid hikers Williams and Stephenson. Whether he’s working on menus and juice recipes or playing Mr. Fixit around the store, for MacDonald, “It’s nice to have an entire group of people working [together]. It’s nice to have all of their knowledge….I am truly blessed to be a part of the TJS family.”