Despite a protracted process that resulted in the extension of a revised offer, Moose Juice owner Tobey Karpicz has decided to withdraw a bid to bring his juice bar property to the RiverWinds community center.
Karpicz was awarded the bid to provide cafe services at the center earlier this year, but after lengthy and sometimes confusing negotiations—during which he balked at a requested $30,000 security deposit—the Woodbury Heights business owner has backed out of the process.
Although the township lowered its requested security deposit from $30,000 to $20,000, Karpicz decided to withdraw his bid.
As he was the lone bidder for the job, that means the township will put out a new request for proposals (RFP).
In an e-mail to Patch, Karpicz said he had been “working on alternative options for Moose Juice” since the original deal was scuttled.
But as the process dragged on, he started to consider more seriously relocating home to Massachusetts, where his family lives, and which he said is “a more business-friendly state" than New Jersey.
“I had put so much time effort and money into [the proposal] I really didn’t want to walk away from it,” Karpicz said. “[But] I had a change of heart and made the decision to move back home.
“I figured I’d withdraw my bid [and] enter a new bid,” he said. “If I got it, great; if I didn’t, I’m in the same place I am now.”
Karpicz was still hopeful that Moose Juice could offer a competitive bid under the new terms of the RFP, when it’s issued.
“If it doesn’t work out, I wish West Deptford and RiverWinds the best, and a big thank you to the surrounding community that have supported me the last four years,” he said.
At the September meeting of the RiverWinds Advisory Board (RWAB) committee, Christine Strano was tapped to head up a “juice bar subcommittee,” assisted by Bill VanKat, that will help shape the terms of the new RFP.
Board chair Jeff Hansen suggested during the meeting that the RFP for cafe services could be potentially expanded to include the vending machines at the community center as well.
“Somebody to come in and take care of everything, not just the juice bar,” Hansen said during the meeting.
Hansen also added that he had “reached out” to Active Network, the marketing company tapped by the township to generate new revenues, to “ask if this was a possibility.
“Look at the process we went through,” he said. “Maybe they bring bigger guns here.
“We have to advertise it better; maybe take a little off the township[‘s hands],” Hansen said.