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Photo credit: Sol Sips

Twenty-one-year-old Brooklynite Francesca “Sol” Chaney is on a mission to make healthy, delicious and affordable vegan food accessible to the inner-city community, reports Live Kindly. Thus, the young entrepreneur opened Sol Sips, her plant-based restaurant in Bushwick.

A full spectrum doula and pre-health professions/anthropology student at Brooklyn College, Francesca knows about the struggle of juggling a busy life and a healthy, balanced and affordable nutrition. Thus, she began making her own smoothies for on-the-go meals to keep herself fueled to power through her demanding days. “I was feeling more energized and lighter,” she said about the extra burst of energy she felt with her all plant-based diet.

It was her own experience coupled with the belief that people in low-income areas may prefer healthy food over fast food –  if they can afford it – that inspired Sol Sips.

Francesca ’s journey to herbalism, natural healing and holistic health care began in 2015 while working at her cousin’s apothecary. It was there where she began making herbal tea blends and elixirs for her own personal wellness. Soon after, in the summer of 2015, she began introducing her Sol Sips drinks to the community. Since then, Francesca has created her own signature twists on herbal tea, caffeine-free herbal coffee, nut milks and juices, and is now working on sodas…and even wine!

Fast forward: In 2017, Francesca was offered the opportunity to open a pop-up cafe in Bushwick. What initial was just meant to be a three-month operation has now become Sol Sips’ permanent home. Partnering with her mother Emeli, a nutrionist, the ladies are now offering a fully plant-based menu including staples such as vegan omelets, soups and wraps, plus the beverage program Francesca has already developed. Additionally, on weekends, brunch is served on a sliding scale menu, where anyone can purchase a complete vegan meal, ranging from $7-$15 – true to the idea to make healthy, nourishing food available to everyone.

“My mission is to help close the accessibility gap in wellness,” she said.

And that is not the end of it. Her plans for Sol Sips include a farm-to-table program, as well as the launch of an internship program for girls of color in East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant.

If you want to support this burgeoning young business – other than through your patronage – take a look at their GoFundMe page.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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