Most people are aware they need to eat healthier. The problem is, superfood beverages and to-go salads are expensive. For those who don’t have $20 to spend on a Whole Foods salad or $10 to splurge on a juice, nutrient-dense meals can be hard to come by. That’s why 21-year-old Francesca “Sol” Chaney founded Sol Sip, a vegan restaurant that is affordable and healthy.
The full-time student is on a mission to provide delicious and nutritious food to the inner-city community in Brooklyn. As a city dweller, she has worked three jobs. So, she can relate to the struggles many people face when looking for food.
The entrepreneur believes many people want to eat healthy, but can’t due to their fixed incomes. “The wellness community can be really classist,” Chaney told Essence. “Our intention [with Sol Sips] is to make organic plant-based beverage and bites available to everyone,” Chaney added.
The 21-year-old has been incorporating wellness practices into her life for years. Not only has she worked at an apothecary and wellness center, she has been a full-spectrum doula for the past three years. “In many Black, Indigenous and Eastern communities it’s a tradition to meditate, grow your own food, create medicinal concoctions and facilitating healing rituals, yet many of the same communities have been ostracized for a very long time,” said Chaney.
Most of the items at Sol Sip are made with four ingredients are less. The simplicity reduces costs and ensures healthiness. At present, the restaurant offers a monthly sliding scale brunch. A full meal with a beverage costs between $7-$15. “My mission to help close the accessibility gap in wellness,” said Chaney.
The young, black entrepreneur says her greatest challenge has been securing funding to expand Sol Sips. “I’m also challenged with finding innovative ways to grow my community through my business in a way where it’s a win/win for the business and my community,” she said.
While these are deterrents, Chaney is more determined than ever. “I look forward to launching our farm-to-table initiative and creating a Sol Sips internship program for Black and brown girls in East NY, Brownsville, Bushwick and Bedstuy,” she said.
If you would like to support Chaney’s vision and help close the accessibility gap in wellness, consider donating to the GoFundMe for Sol Sips. You can find Sol Sips at 203 Wilson Ave in Brooklyn, New York.
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