Alum turns from acting to juicing

Colin Fickes conquers multiple platforms

Hardy Hogan, Reporter

Pullquote Photo

I had a great time at Broughton, I have very special memories with the friends I made and the organizations I was a part of

— Colin Fickes

“One Tree Hill,” “Transformers,” and “Chrystal” are all productions that alumnus Colin Fickes has acted in. Fickes graduated from Broughton in 1998 to pursue a career in acting and film production.

“I had a great time at Broughton,” Fickes said, “very special memories with the friends I made and the organizations I was a part of, namely WCAP and show choir.”

Fickes began acting in some form or fashion at age six, participating in productions at The North Carolina Theatre and Raleigh Little Theatre throughout his childhood years. After being involved with Broughton theatre and graduating in 1998, Fickes attended Catawba College where he dropped out halfway through his freshman year to act in a horror film called “Cherry Falls”.

After acting in “Cherry Falls”, Fickes moved to New York City for three years then spent 10 years working in Los Angeles.

“When I hit 30, I wanted more stability. I would have great years where I would work all the time and then years where I hardly worked at all. Also, when it becomes something you make a living at, some of the joy and initial passion dissolves. At least for me anyways. I had been acting so long that I began to wonder if I could do anything else of value. I became bored and stressed by it. I would stress out about booking roles in shows that were kind of crap. It stopped bringing me joy and wasn’t a career I could ever see myself settling down with,” Fickes said.

Unsatisfied with his current situation, and going through what could be described as a mid-life crisis, Fickes moved back to Raleigh to find more stability. One September afternoon, Fickes was driving around Raleigh when he developed a craving for cold pressed juice. Remembering that he’d drank the juice in New York and Los Angeles, Fickes searched for organic, cold pressed juice around Raleigh. After finding none, Fickes decided he would make his own juice company, now called “Humdinger Juice.”


“Several names were in the mix and then one night our mother shouted out “Humdinger,” and I just knew that was it. The definition of Humdinger is something that is an extraordinary or outstanding thing of its kind. That’s what I think cold-pressed juice is and it also makes you think of a hummingbird. Our grandmother loved hummingbirds so it’s a homage to her as well” Fickes said.

However, while the name of the company came out of nowhere, starting the company was not easy.

“It was very tough starting the company. Things get a little easier as you go along, but there is always something new that comes along and challenges you. I think the toughest part of running your own business is trying to make time for yourself. It is something that stays with you, even when you go home at night. I have tried to make a rule of not checking email after 5:30 p.m. Since our business deals with customer service, that is a hard thing to do, but I try.”

One of the main reasons Fickes moved back to Raleigh was to be closer to family. Since then, he has been able to become business partners with his sister and mother as well as childhood friends.

“We spend a lot of time together, so it’s been great,” Fickes said. “We also know each other really well, so it’s easier to call each other out on things. At the end of the day, we have each other’s back and that feels good.”

While there has been many sleepless nights, juice stained clothes, and heavy workloads, there has also been many aspects of the business that Fickes has thoroughly enjoyed and found rewarding.

“Trying to make the switch from the creative brain to the analytic brain has been really fun for me,” Fickes said. “But I think watching something grow and take on a life of its own has been the most rewarding. Seeing folks out and about drinking Humdinger Juice makes me really happy. To think that it was just an idea in my head two years ago, and now an actual product that people can purchase is just wild to me.”

“Humdinger Juice” brought in nearly $100,000 in revenue in 2013, and exceeded that amount in the first five months of 2014, Fickes said