CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s been a challenging two years for business owners, and now business owners are navigating higher prices on almost everything.
Hip Hop Smoothies is a small business expanding and growing despite these difficulties.
“Once again we’re facing the same type of situation [like pandemic]," Roberto Brooks, co-owner of Hip Hop Smoothies, said. "But ... support from the community – I guess because of the great product we offer ... that’s able to keep us above water and open for business.”
Brooks started Hip Hop Smoothies with his wife in 2018 as a food truck. In March 2020, they opened the first location when everything shut down for the pandemic.
During that time, Brooks said the business lost 50% in sales and stayed open only thanks to strong customer support.
Thanks to that strong support, Hip Hop Smoothies recently opened its second location on North Sharon Amity Road in Charlotte.
“They’re great people, their product is amazing, so me and my family we came out this morning," said LaToya Walker, who came out to support the business on opening day on Sunday.
Brooks said Hip Hop Smoothies was able to overcome pandemic-related challenges, but now he's dealing with inflation. Prices on some produce purchased increased by 50% or 75%, he explained.
Despite this, Brooks is feeling optimistic. Opening a location on Charlotte's east side has been a vision and a goal for a long time. On Sunday, that dream became a reality.
“It actually feels great," Brooks said. "Our vision was to make sure we get out into the community to provide a healthy alternative food option for people, so for us to be able to come here to the east side where they need healthy option and choice ... it feels great.”
Hip Hop Smoothies offers $6 smoothies every Friday. Brooks said that’s another way they want to make sure everyone in the community has access to healthy food.
The new location is located at 5800 North Sharon Amity Road in Charlotte.
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