Sol Sips is the brainchild of Francesca “Sol” Chaney, a student in her early 20’s with dreams big dreams of health and wellness for her community. The vegan restaurant began as a personal endeavor, Chaney found herself trying to eat well while under an intense college and work schedule. “She didn’t feel like she had many options where she was living, so she began making organic drinks with four ingredients or less.”, said writer Madison Feller in her piece for Elle.
It’s understood by most that New York is a hustle and bustle type environment. Seemingly everyone and everything is moving at the speed of light. People are power walking up and down subway stairs, cabs are zooming, and the idea of sitting down for a tasty, nutritious meal is basically a luxury. When I lived there and had a full time job, I had to spend nearly $15 on a good salad, and sometimes I’d eat quickly so I could return to my work. The city generally doesn’t encourage the idea of affordable health because of capitalism, and the belief that things, no matter how sacred, have to be rushed.
On top of that, Crown Fried Chicken (and places like it) is the unofficial restaurant of Brooklyn, which was once a predominantly Black and Brown borough. Though gentrification is a major issue, Brooklyn is still home to many Black people and people of color who are indirectly excluded from the wellness industry. Thankfully, Sol Sips is putting a stop to that.
Francesca started sharing her juices with those close to her, and the idea grew from there. What began as a way to stay on top of her health transformed into a pop up shop, and eventually found a permanent home in Bushwick a few months ago. Chaney’s establishment serves plant-based meals, like sandwiches and wraps, in addition to offering juices and smoothies. Sol Sips also offers a sliding scale brunch once a month, to assure that everyone has a chance to eat good food for a small amount of cash.
In an interview with Vibe, the young entrepreneur describes where her ingredients come from, which is important because customers deserve transparency. Also, it encourages people to try reaching out to companies as they try preparing their own healthy meals. Cheney revealed “[o]ur food is locally sourced from an organic wholesale company, and we’re building relationships with local farmers in upstate New York, and also local farms in Bushwick.”.
What makes Sol Sips so incredible is the fact that it’s fueled by love, a desire to better the community, and youthful energy. Watching someone nearly my age make such an impact on the people around her is nothing short of inspirational. Her drive, and what it has produced, is something that we all have access to if we dedicate ourselves to a worthy cause. There’s no age cap on doing what’s right for ourselves and those we love. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, be sure to stop by Sol Sips – they’re open 7 days a week!