When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, you want it to be as easy and cost-efficient as possible, right? In some areas, this may not be a reality, but 22-year-old Francesca Chaney is committed to bringing accessible, healthy vegans food to her community of Bushwick in Brooklyn, New York. 

Sol Sips was born while Chaney was a full-time student trying to maintain a healthy life while working three jobs. According to Elle, when she realized she didn’t have a lot of healthy food options around her, Chaney took matters into her own hands and began making four-ingredient or less organic drinks. She started off simply making them for herself and her community, selling them at her cousin’s apothecary and community festivals. As time went on and people started seeing the benefits from her nutrient-rich drinks, she realized what she was doing was not just a passion but a need. 

“I guess there was this assumption that I was doing this to be a hero or something, [But] it was for me first and foremost. Then it extended to the community because just living in East New York in high school… and knowing that there were not options for me to have a healthy vegetarian meal outside of my home… just because the option isn’t there doesn’t mean that we’re not seeking the option,” Chaney told Elle. 

Sol Sips went from a side-hustle to a pop-up shop to a community staple small-business in Brooklyn. In terms of pricing, Chaney wanted to make things affordable for those who enter the shops' doors because she wanted a menu that personal friends could buy from. 

"I didn't want it to be a thing where my own personal friends were not able to come and eat here because they felt like it was expensive.”

Drinks range between $6 to $9 and food ranges from $4 to $10. Also, as an attempt to fight gentrification, every Saturday from 11 AM to 4 PM, Sol Sips hosts a “sliding scale brunch” in which customers can pay whatever price they feel comfortable with between $7 and $15 for a full meal and beverage. 

"There's always going to be people that deal with you a certain way, will deal with me a certain way. Because not only am I young, not only am I a woman, I'm also a black woman. I'm also from East New York. And then I'm still finishing up my degree. There are so many different aspects that are really unconventional when you think about [a] business owner, especially within a neighborhood that is gentrified and continuing to be gentrified. So those are always things that come up. But then there's also an extreme amount of support that outweighs that."

Chaney also encourages other young entrepreneurs to seek out their own support system and keep people around who will help you grow as you cultivate your dreams. 

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